Liverpool drew 0-0 with Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime, as Jurgen Klopp‘s reign in charge at Anfield started with a deserved point in north London.
Tottenham 0–0 Liverpool
Premier League – White Hart Lane – Saturday 17th October 2015
It was a momentous day for Liverpool Football Club, as Klopp took charge of his first game since becoming manager nine days ago.
Unfortunately, the German was left with limited options in attack, with Divock Origi leading the line in the absence of injured duo Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge.
Ings is a long-term casualty, along with Joe Gomez, but there was a place on the substitutes’ bench for Sturridge.
Klopp unsurprisingly opted for the 4-2-3-1 formation that brought him to much success during his Borussia Dortmund days.
Lucas Leiva and Emre Can started in midfield, while Adam Lallana and James Milner took up wide roles either side of ‘No.10’ Philippe Coutinho.
It was a very confident start by the Reds, with plenty of relentless pressing and interchanging between the attacking players.
Origi thundered a header off the crossbar in the 10th minute, and Hugo Lloris just about kept the ball out in the melee that ensued.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side did start to grow into proceedings, perhaps unsurprisingly, and Simon Mignolet was forced into a brilliant save to deny substitute Clinton N’Jie.
Spurs were the team who looked the most likely to open the scoring as half-time approached, with a string of corners and dangerous attacks testing Klopp’s men defensively.
Mignolet denied Harry Kane expertly and Mamadou Sakho produced a brilliant block to thwart Dele Alli, as the hosts continued to press.
N’Jie fired over from range, and it proved to be the final moment of note in what had been a very entertaining opening 45 minutes.
Liverpool were unchanged for the second-half, although the intensity of their play was sure to see alterations made as the half progressed.
A tame Lucas shot and a long-range Kyle Walker shot were the only real attempts on goal in the first 15 minutes after the restart, as the game suddenly all went a little low-key.
Lallana appealed for what looked like a soft penalty after a challenge by Alli, as the match increasingly looked as though it was heading towards a stalemate.
Origi’s stinging effort tested Lloris with 12 minutes remaining, while the dangerous Kane again saw his effort kept out by Mignolet. Can then drove a shot narrowly wide.
A share of the spoils was a fair outcome in the end, and Klopp will feel content with his first game in the Anfield hot-seat.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Lucas, Milner, Lallana (Allen ’81), Coutinho (Ibe ’87), Origi.
Subs not used: Bogdan, Toure, Sinclair, Teixeira, Randall
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Alli, Dembele, Chadli (N’Jie ’11), Eriksen, Lamela (Townsend ’87), Kane.
Subs not used: Vorm, Davies, Wimmer, Winks
Man of the Match: Mamadou Sakho
Referee: Craig Pawson
TOTTENHAM 0-0 LIVERPOOL
PLAYER RATINGS – Top performers for Reds
TALKING POINTS – Mignolet, Sakho, Pressing and more
ANALYSIS – Sakho impresses, Skrtel struggles
FAN REACTION – Happy enough
KLOPP POST-MATCH – Full video of press conference