Match Report: Liverpool 2 Spurs 0
Liverpool showed creativity, composure and discipline by beating Tottenham Hotspur by 2 goals to nil at Anfield today to narrow the gap to second place to just one point.
It was a tale of two halves as Liverpool showed great qualities in both attack and defence.
The first half was a case of overloading Spurs and pressing them at every opportunity while the second half was an example of how to contain a team while still managing to create chances.
Mane showed that Ben Davies was the weak link in Spurs side very early on and Liverpool took full advantage of it down that right hand side.
From the four tackles Davies attempted during the game, only one was successful and he was caught out for pace and position on a regular basis.
The first 20 minutes set the tone for the rest of the game. Mane put in a man of the match performance as he drew save after save from Hugo Lloris as well as putting two past him showing exactly what we have been lacking during January while he was away at the African Cup of Nations.
Any questions of an AFCON hangover were put to bed after 20 minutes with 2 goals in 138 seconds and he continued to prove a thorn in the Spurs defence until he was replaced in the 92nd minute by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Spurs never really threatened even though Liverpool were not at full strength at the back.
Lovren missed today’s game with minor injury and Klavan didn’t play much of a part in training during the week, having suffered with a virus.
Klavan made the bench but Lucas got the nod ahead of him in the starting line up at the back.
Lucas made sure Harry Kane didn’t get into today’s game and was replaced by Klavan in the 81st minute.
Gini Wijnaldum was exceptional today and proved the point that Emre Can and Jordan Henderson should not start in the same line up.
The second half saw Spurs come into the match a bit more but the frustration grew as did the card count for both Spurs and Liverpool as the game became a lot more scrappy.
Liverpool just edged the possession with 51% to Spurs 49% but created twice as many chances as Spurs with 10 chances created.
Liverpool had 17 shots with 13 of them coming in the first half compared to Spurs 7 with a passing accuracy stat of 72% compared to Spurs 70%.
Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp praised his players saying, “every single one of them gave everything during the game.”
“We had to show reaction and the reaction was perfect. “
He continued by saying that there were a few outstanding performances today, naming Henderson and Wijnaldum as stand out players while also singling out Firmino by saying, “I never saw a better performance from a striker without scoring.”
When asked about the performance in an interview with BT Sport after the game, Jordan Henderson said, “Even without the ball we looked good.”
He continued by saying, “We need to play like that every week no matter who it’s against”
Pochettino on the other hand was very critical of his side’s performance saying, “Liverpool were better and fully deserved the win. We were sloppy.”
“In the second half we reached the same level as Liverpool but it was too late. We were very poor first half.”
He refused to single out the defence and said that the whole team was poor.
When asked about his team’s challenge for the title, he said, “Based on the first 45 minutes, that is not a team ready to challenge for the Premier League”
Steven Gerrard said in his punditry for BT after the match that, “Liverpool never gave Spurs a chance to breathe today.”
Liverpool now head into a two week break with our next game away to Leicester on Monday February 29th.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that the time spent with the squad help to achieve his goal of winning the final 13 games.
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