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Press Association report

Steve McManaman dramatically rescued a point for Liverpool with their third equaliser in the 89th minute of a White Hart Lane thriller which left shattered Tottenham still deep in relegation trouble.

Spurs thought they had it won with Jurgen Klinsmann's superb 12th minute header, David Ginola's rocket shot four minutes into the second half, and finally when Swiss defender Ramon Vega headed home Ginola's corner with 10 minutes left.

But each time they were pegged back - McManaman first and then Paul Ince, before with time running out hero Vega became the villain when he allowed Michael Owen to brush past him and shoot against the post, leaving McManaman the simple task of tapping home the rebound.

It was heart-breaking for Spurs, who had almost sealed victory near the end when Danish midfielder Allan Nielsen twice hit the underside of the crossbar.

With nearly all their relegation rivals pulling off good results Spurs knew they had to win to keep hold of their survival line in the Premiership.

And their disappointment at the late collapse was starkly illustrated as French star Ginola, having been substituted a few minutes earlier, ran down the touchline in obvious distress to berate his team mates.

The point keeps alive Liverpool's remote hopes of producing a challenge to Manchester United and Arsenal at the top of the table and although they rode their luck in a sparkling encounter it has to be said that teenage shooting star Owen could have wrapped the game up for them with earlier chances that were thwarted by the brave goalkeeping of Tottenham's Espen Baardsen.

It all started brilliantly for Spurs when Klinsmann, after his much publicised fall out with manager Christian Gross, headed home a magnificent goal from a curling Ginola cross to register only his second strike in 10 matches.

Gross had warned Klinsmann that he must score again soon and the German came up with the perfect answer.

Three minutes later he would have had a second but for American Brad Friedel's alert goalkeeping, blocking him on the end of another measured through pass by Ginola.

It gave Liverpool the heart to fight their way back and after Owen had seen Baardsen dive bravely at his feet to block a shot from McManaman's inch perfect left wing cross the youngster returned the compliment and McManaman made no mistake from close range. That made it a goal apiece after 20 minutes.

Both sides had opportunities to regain the initiative before the break but it was not until four minutes after the interval when the next strike came.

This time Ginola was the scorer from fully 25 yards with his right foot after Nicola Berti burst through midfield and invited him to try his luck with a square pass.

Still Liverpool would not lie down and substitute David Thompson had been on the field just two minutes when he provided the right wing cross which Ince hooked spectacularly over his shoulder and beyond the helpless Baardsen.

The young Norwegian had previously defied Owen again with a sharp block and England's newest cap was also left in frustration when Steve Parr hooked his effort off the line.

It was difficult to pick a winner after that but Spurs seemed the more likely when Ginola, having been booked following a row with a linesman, provided the corner from which Vega headed into the net after climbing above all challenges.

That seemed to be it but another lapse in the leaky looked Spurs defence gave McManaman his latest opportunity and he did not waste it, scoring two goals in the game after failing to net since December.

And Liverpool were grateful to him for a sparkling solo performance in a free role which continually troubled Spurs despite all their heart and commitment.

Boss Gross could hardly believe it when Nielsen's two close range efforts came back off the woodwork but it was not Spurs day with fellow strugglers Barnsley, Everton and Wimbledon all winning.

Tottenham: (4-4-2) Baardsen, Fox, Nielsen, Armstrong (Howells, 60), Carr, Ginola (Brady, 86), Vega, Wilson, Campbell, Klinsmann, Berti.

Subs not used: Grodas, Calderwood, Mabbutt.

Booked: Berti, Ginola.

Liverpool: (4-4-2) Friedel, Jones, McManaman, Leonhardsen (Babb, 67), Redknapp, Harkness, Ince, Owen, Bjornebye, Matteo, Carragher (Thompson, 61).

Subs not used: James, Kvarme, Murphy.

Booked: Harkness, Thompson, Jones.

Attendance: 30,245.

Referee: U D Rennie (Sheffield).

Copyright - Press Association

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