Liverpool recorded their first win over a team in the top seven for the first time under manager Brendan Rodgers as they beat Tottenham 3-2 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
After taking the lead through Luis Suarez, Spurs went ahead with Jan Vertonghen heading two, before Stewart Downing equalised and Steven Gerrard’s penalty gave the Reds three points late on.
Liverpool were missing Pepe Reina (calf injury) but Daniel Sturridge returned after injury. Rodgers opted for an attacking side, keeping Coutinho on the left and Suarez in behind Sturridge. The starting eleven the strongest available in most opinions.
The opening goal had a South American feel to it, with Coutinho linking up well with the ever-improving Enrique down the left and the Spanish full back slid a perfect ball inside the box for Suarez who expertly finished at the near post past Hugo Lloris at the Anfield Road End. His 29th goal of the season – 22nd in the League – and 50th goal for the club (in 91 appearances).
Liverpool were the brighter side in the first-half but Spurs levelled on the stroke of half-time as Gareth Bale’s cross from the right hand side was met by defender Vertonghen who headed past Jones.
It was the same combination that put the visitors ahead shortly after the break, Bale won a free-kick from Lucas – the Welshman holding his face after contact on his shoulder – and his dangerous ball in eventually fell to Vertonghen again as Johnson slipped and he did well to switch to his left foot and volley in.
Spurs had the momentum and it looked difficult to see Liverpool coming back into the game. The substitution of Joe Allen, for Coutinho, gave Liverpool more control in midfield and worked well.
But it was two mistakes from Spurs that really offered the opportunity for the home side. Kyle Walker’s bizarre back pass was miscued and Lloris came charging out, Downing did well to round the keeper and with a defender on the goalline he hammered it low and hard.
And the winner arrived with 8 minutes remaining when Jermaine Defoe stretched for a ball and put Suarez in control in the box only for Assou-Ekotto to rush in and take out the Uruguayan. Steven Gerrard expertly put away the spot-kick to the keeper’s left.
The win puts Rodgers side into the top six for the first time this season and records their third straight League win for the first time under the Northern Irishman.
Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez, Coutinho (Allen 59), Sturridge (Henderson 88).
Subs not used: Gulacsi, Skrtel, Wisdom, Sterling, Shelvey.