"Jurgen Klopp will see City as their primary rivals because of their strengths but you can not write off Leicester - not after what they achieved in 2016", he continued.
But the mood changed with 15 minutes remaining when Alisson was dismissed for a handball outside of the box, and from the resulting free-kick, Lewis Dunk halved the deficit, bizarrely catching sub Adrian out as he was organising his wall (79).
Adrian denied Aaron Mooy but nearly spilled a routine effort into his own goal as Liverpool held on for their 13th win from their first 14 games this season.
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Liverpool's Scottish defender Andrew Robertson applaud the fans following the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 1, 2019.
Jurgen Klopp was visibly ecstatic at the whistle, more out of relief than anything, as Liverpool once again ran out narrow winners without being at their usual, slick best. He didn't need to handle the ball, but the way Adrian played when he came on proved this is now a big problem for Liverpool going forward.
It's three straight wins for Jose Mourinho as Tottenham manager - and much of that is down to Dele Alli.More news: Olivia Jade Returns with First YouTube Video in Months, Mum on Lori
More news: Woman raped, murdered and set ablaze in India
More news: Aussie Singer Sia Treats Unsuspecting Customers To Thanksgiving Shopping Spree
"The second half was hard work again but the boys put in another incredible shift", said Klopp in his post-match press conference. That was really, really good how we played there - we could have, should have, finished it off in that period but we didn't and you have the most tricky result. "We can not change it but for me it's not 100% right". "We should have gone better than we did in the second half but you have to give them credit as well", Van Dijk said.
"Everybody sitting here is probably not really warm yet, but imagine you go there in shorts, a really thin shirt and some gloves which are not made for keeping you warm".
"We carried on fighting and Adrian helped us with two really good saves and crosses he caught, but with his cold feet he couldn't kick the ball as far as he wanted. We don't think about the points gap". "All we can do now is to try to win all our games and see where it takes us". I loved that the boys were prepared to do that after a busy week.
"I thought it was a performance of great heart, courage and quality against a fantastic team, and at times the Anfield crowd had to get behind their side because we were really in the game, especially after the sending-off", Potter said.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker's red card and Lewis Dunk's clever free-kick made the European champions sweat in the final stages, but they dug in and held on in a manner that has characterised their charge towards a first title in 30 years.