Crystal Palace heaped more misery on Liverpool when they came from behind to win 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, six months after effectively ending the northern club’s title hopes when they drew 3-3 in their decisive clash last year.
The Reds finished second last season but, like Tottenham Hotspur, have started this term poorly and are looking to climb out of the mid-table and back up the standings.
However, Spurs brushed off their poor start to rally to a 2-1 win at Hull City on Sunday, moving them from 12th to 10th, as Liverpool dropped a place to 12th after losing again at Palace, where their title hopes were spectacularly dashed in May last year when they let slip a 3-0 lead as the Eagles fought back to level.
This time, the Reds wasted a lead they took in the second minute when Rickie Lambert scored his first goal for the club following his move from Southampton in the close season.
Instead of building on it, they crashed to a third successive league defeat as Palace ended a run of five league games without a win.
Goals from Dwight Gayle after 17 minutes, Joe Ledley and a superb free-kick from skipper Mile Jedinak in the last 12 minutes gave Palace the points that lifted them out of the bottom three to 15th on 12 points — two behind Liverpool.
Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher, now a TV pundit, was scathing about the Reds’ performance.
“When they came here [to Selhurst Park] last season, we said they were mentally and physically weak. Same again now, nothing has changed,” he said on Sky Sports.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports: “We made the perfect start but failed to manage the game at 1-0. Obviously, I need to take full responsibility.”
Spurs gave a typical performance, especially in the first half when they flattered to deceive and Hull looked the better side.
However, Tottenham ended the happier despite having to wait until the 90th minute for Christian Eriksen’s winner against the home side, who had three former Spurs players — Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore — in their starting lineup.
Inevitably, it was one of them who scored against their old club, with Livermore cracking home from outside the box after eight minutes.
However, Hull lost their way after Uruguayan Gaston Ramirez was sent off for kicking out at Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen in an off- the-ball incident after 50 minutes and Spurs dominated from then on.
Spurs leveled through Harry Kane after 61 minutes when he was first to react after an Eriksen free kick rebounded back off a post for his 10th goal in 11 matches, before the Dane scored the winner in the dying minutes with a low shot that eluded Hull ’keeper Allan McGregor.
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