Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits his side struggled to kill off Tottenham during his side's 1-0 Premier League victory at the New Tottenham Stadium.
Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game, as the Reds extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 38 matches.
But Tottenham had two golden opportunities to level in the final 20 minutes, with Son Heung-Min and substitute Giovani lo Celso both failing to hit the target from close range.
The European and world champions now have a 16-point lead over second-placed Leicester City, with a game in hand, and 17 points over third-placed Manchester City.
"We had to play for it – and in the end we had to fight for it, really hard. We could have closed this game earlier," the German said.
"We should have, I would say; the chances were clear. We had moments when we didn’t make chances, but they were ones I would say usually would have to be a 100 percent chance.
"I think we played some exceptional football to bring Robbo [Andrew Robertson] on the touchline but then we didn’t find the free player or the defender blocked the last ball. We could have done better in these moments, but then it was only 1-0 and that’s normal.
"Against a team like Tottenham, it is not decided and in the end we needed luck in one situation and Ali in two other three other situations.
"Until 72 or 73 minutes, I think, we had 77-80 per cent possession, so it is a big challenge to come here and have that amount of possession knowing about the counter-attacking quality of these players on the pitch.
"It was intense, really, but I think we deserved the three points. It was not our best game we played so far, but it was a very good one and, as I said, [we played] really good football in a lot of parts of the game and in the end a proper fight. All good."
Photo: Getty Images.
By Nick Royle