Different team, same outcome – How the media assessed Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham

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The media praised Liverpool’s consistent performance level despite Jurgen Klopp making wholesale changes to his team, and the displays of strike-duo Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi, as the Reds beat Tottenham at Anfield.

A sharp brace from the impressive Daniel Sturridge sealed a place in the League Cup quarter-finals for Liverpool as they beat Maurcio Pochettino’s Spurs 2-1.

The Reds No.15 anticipated well inside the box to put Liverpool ahead with a close-range finish after nine minutes, and he doubled the lead mid-way through the second-half when he raced clear and slotted home at the Kop end.

Vincent Jansenn pulled one back from the spot with 15 minutes to go to ensure of another nervy ending for Klopp’s men, but the Reds held on to give Klopp his first victory over Spurs as Reds boss and crucially, a place in the last eight.

It was a deserved victory for Klopp’s men, who should have won by a bigger margin, and the German can certainly be pleased with the efforts of his completely changed team.

Here is how the media saw the contest.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Alberto Moreno after the 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Reporters were full of praise for Liverpool’s performance on a night that Klopp named a completely changed starting XI, showing the strength of the squad at his disposal.

The Mail’s Ian Ladyman wrote:

It would appear that even at the level beneath Jurgen Klopp‘s established first eleven players have been imbued with the same buccaneering spirit, the same spirit of freedom and adventure.

The Guardian’s Andy Hunter commented on the collective hunger of the Reds’ rotated side:

There was an eagerness to impress throughout the home side, debutants and experienced internationals alike, and a similarly enterprising approach from a youthful Spurs side made for an open, flowing contest.

For Goal.com, Melissa Reddy noted:

Liverpool could not have been more different, and yet the outcome was the same.

[…]

10 games and counting. 10 games and there’s no signs of their streak subsiding. 10 games, 26 goals scored and just seven let in.

The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce felt the quality of the performance despite mass changes proved such strength in depth can bring Liverpool silverware this season:

Here was glorious proof of the strength in depth which looks capable of delivering the silverware Kopites crave this season.

[…]

The danger with so many changes was that Liverpool’s approach play would be disjointed. But such is the confidence running right through Klopp’s squad that a shadow line-up stamped their authority on proceedings from the start.

The Mail’s Dominic King provided an interesting view point, assessing the night as one that proved Liverpool’s transfer strategy is now paying off:

Was this the greatest performance Liverpool have produced under Klopp? No. But was it significant? Absolutely. It was a sign that, at last, they have options running through their squad; that players have settled and are capable of making contributions.

[…]

It also worth noting that the transfer committee has hardly been discussed during the period Liverpool have accumulated 20 Premier League points and moved into the League Cup quarter-final. And that has to be a sign that it is now running smoothly.

However, Ladyman bemoaned the Reds’ inability to kill the game once again and was concerned by more signs of “reckless” defensive play that left the Reds hanging on:

That they didn’t record a more comfortable victory can be attributed to a problem that was evident when they beat West Brom by the same scoreline at Anfield on Saturday.

So far at least, Liverpool are not clinical enough and can be reckless at the back. It almost undid Klopp’s team as West Brom came back at them and it happened again here.

The dazzling displays of goal-scorer Daniel Sturridge and the highly-impressive Divock Origi unsurprisingly drew much praise from reporters.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the first goal against Tottenham Hotspur during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Reddy eulogised over the quality the duo showed on their returns, with their performances showing the strength of Klopp’s attacking options:

Opting to field Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge in tandem up front, the duo illustrated just how blessed the German is in the attacking department.

[…]

Origi delivered a performance to put him in man-of-the-match contention, while England international Sturridge converted both of Liverpool’s goals. On another night, he’d quite comfortably have taken home the match ball.

Hunter felt Sturridge’s performance and two goals were a reward for his patience:

That is Sturridge’s lot at present, biding his time while Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané drive Liverpool to joint-top of the Premier League, but the patience of an outstanding predator was rewarded with two clinical goals.

The Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly praised Klopp’s decision to unleash the duo in tandem as it paid off:

While Liverpool lost something in terms of control of the game, Sturridge and Origi both had nights to remember.

[…]

Klopp had changed formation to a 4-4-2 diamond to accommodate both his strikers and it was a gamble which paid off.

The BBC’s Luke Reddy believes Sturridge staked his claim for a starting role against Crystal Palace on Saturday:

Even so, with 21-year-old Origi and 18-year-old Ovie Ejaria playing either side of him, Sturridge stepped up to perhaps make a case for starting against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

However, Ladyman felt Origi outshone Sturridge on the night:

Overall, however, he was slightly outshone by the dazzling Origi. The powerfully built striker was unplayable for a period in the second half, his runs down the right side proving too much for Tottenham‘s full back Ben Davies.

Reporters gave their views on who of the incoming players impressed for Klopp’s altered team at Anfield, with plenty of praise for debutants Trnt Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Hunter was among those who felt incoming debutants “looked at home” on the big stage:

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria would have started regardless and both looked at home on the Anfield stage, the former providing a determined outlet from right-back and the latter becoming more composed in midfield as the game wore on.

The BBC’s Reddy was one of the numerous reporters who felt Ejaria enjoyed an impressive night:

Looked confident on his full debut, was prepared to pass the ball in tricky areas and was at ease when called upon to dribble.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Steven Kelly praised the much-maligned Alberto Moreno for an assured display:

A good night for the Spaniard. His past tendency to go walkabout was nowhere to be seen as he was disciplined for the whole game and gave the Reds a good attacking outlet, particularly in the later stages after a comfortable lead was reduced by one.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's Marko Grujic in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

ESPN’s colleague, Richard Jolly, was impressed by Marko Grujic’s showing:

Beginning a maiden game at Anfield, Grujic brought a sense of drive that explains why Klopp, a manager who likes powerful players, purchased him. The Serb took the opportunity afforded by his role at the tip of the midfield diamond to get forward.

And finally, the Mirror’s David Anderson complimented Simon Mignolet’s display, feeling the Belgian showed he’s just as good as Loris Karius currently:

The manager confirmed that Simon Mignolet had been replaced by Loris Karius as Liverpool’s No 1 yesterday and the Belgian showed a great attitude against Spurs.

He was assured in his handling, commanded his area and kicked well to prove he is every bit as good as Karius right now.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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