Soccer

Wataru Endo hails Liverpool spirit despite ‘difficult decisions’

Wataru Endo was frustrated after Liverpool missed out on a point (Martin Rickett/PA)
Wataru Endo was frustrated after Liverpool missed out on a point (Martin Rickett/PA) Wataru Endo was frustrated after Liverpool missed out on a point (Martin Rickett/PA)

Wataru Endo was disappointed but proud of the way nine-man Liverpool fought in the face of “difficult decisions” during the last-gasp defeat at Tottenham.

Jurgen Klopp’s men saw their unbeaten start to the Premier League season end in north London as Joel Matip’s own goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time gave Spurs a 2-1 win.

Liverpool had gone so close to a point after seeing Curtis Jones’ booking upgraded to red midway through the first half after his challenge was reviewed by VAR.

Liverpool’s Curtis Jones, right, leaves the pitch after being shown a red card
Liverpool’s Curtis Jones, right, leaves the pitch after being shown a red card Liverpool’s Curtis Jones leaves the pitch after being shown a red card (John Walton/PA)

Son Heung-min soon broke the deadlock only for the Reds to equalise through Cody Gakpo, whose half-time replacement Diogo Jota was sent off in the 69th minute for two yellows.

But the main talking point was how Luis Diaz’s opener was wrongly ruled out for offside due to what the Professional Game Match Officials Limited called a “significant human error” by VAR Darren England.

Summer signing Endo, who came on with Liverpool reduced to nine men, said: “At the end, a very tough game but there were 50-50 decisions in the game and yeah, it’s very difficult to play with nine players.

“But I wanted to get one point so I am very disappointed about it.

“I am just so proud of this team. I am just disappointed.

“We have to learn from this result and of course we showed our spirit, even though we faced difficult decisions we fought until the end.

Liverpool's Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk react after Matip's own goal
Liverpool's Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alisson Becker, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk react after Matip's own goal Liverpool players react after Joel Matip’s own goal (John Walton/PA)

“That’s Liverpool and always we have to try to win the game. We can learn from this game but we just keep going.”

Liverpool will look to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the season at Brighton next Sunday before attention turns to international matches.

Matip will be particularly desperate to win after his late own goal in the capital, but Endo says nobody in the dressing room is blaming the defender.

“Actually, he played an amazing game today so no-one can say something to him,” he told the club website.

“I am so proud of what he did today and I am so proud of what my team-mates did today.”

Liverpool have a Europa League group match against Union Saint-Gilloise before heading to Brighton, but there are no continental distractions for Spurs this year.

Tottenham missed out on European qualification in a poor 2022-23 campaign but have been reborn under Ange Postecoglou, with his new-look side second in the standings.

Guglielmo Vicario celebrates Tottenham's late winner
Guglielmo Vicario celebrates Tottenham's late winner Guglielmo Vicario celebrates Tottenham’s late winner (John Walton/PA)

“It was an important moment,” goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario said.

“We were level, then we scored. We deserved this win all together.

“We have to enjoy this moment, to rest then keep going because we have another challenge next week (at Luton) and then the international break.

“We have to be focused and to prepare the best game by game.

“This has to be our goal throughout the season – keep going, keep working.”