Pascal Gross scored a stoppage-time penalty to earn Brighton a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool as VAR once again took centre stage.
The champions move a point clear at the summit but were left lamenting an afternoon when the interventions seemed to all go against them.
The hosts should have exposed the visitors’ makeshift defence twice in the opening 20 minutes. First Aaron Connolly somehow shot off target when clear before Neal Maupay inexplicably fired a penalty wide. The Brighton forwards’ miserable afternoon was then compounded when he was taken off injured just moments later.
Liverpool hit back and almost snatched the lead past the half-hour. Mo Salah tucked home after charging on to Roberto Firmino’s sublime pass but the goal was belatedly chalked off by VAR for a narrow offside call.
Klopp responded by bringing Jordan Henderson on at the interval and it paid dividends as they produced a much more assured showing, although James Milner was later withdrawn as the Reds’ injury problems continue to mount.
Diogo Jota broke the deadlock on the hour and the Reds saw another goal correctly ruled out by VAR when substitute Sadio Mane headed in late on.
The away side were then left stunned as the referee consulted a pitch side monitor before awarding the spot-kick Gross converted, after a review of Andy Robertson’s challenge with Danny Welbeck.
The result sees the Merseysiders edge one point clear of Tottenham ahead of the Lilywhites’ clash with Chelsea on Sunday. Brighton stay 16th.
Liverpool will now aim to secure qualification to the Champions League Last 16 when they host Ajax on Tuesday night, while Brighton will gear up for a south coast showdown at home to Southampton on December 7.