Liverpool dominated throughout after going 1-0 down early on to Tottenham, with their overwhelming display ultimately rewarded with a 2-1 win.
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
Premier League, Anfield
October 27, 2019
Goals: Henderson 52′, Salah pen 75′; Kane 1′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Could do nothing for Spurs’ goal and could do little else until late on, such was Liverpool’s dominance.
Snuffed out some half-openings well, made some excellent stops in the dying minutes and will be left disappointed a first clean sheet of the season eluded him again.
Spurs were suspect on the flanks and Liverpool exploited that, with both Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson key outlets with their overlapping runs and crosses from out wide.
But the biggest credit to Trent was the variety of deliveries he provided from the right, and invariably they troubled the away side’s back line—which no doubt inspired his switch to attack in the closing stages.
Had a powerful effort kept out by the impressive Paulo Gazzaniga in the first half, but should be content with his role in the victory.
Dejan Lovren – 5
Lovren played 31 times under Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, and the wonder is whether the manager tasks his current side to isolate the weaknesses of his former player.
Spurs pinned Harry Kane on the Croatian and the booking Lovren left Anfield with was testament to his struggle against the striker.
He wasn’t dire, but often toiled in the air and on the recovery.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Was arguably guilty of ball-watching ahead of Kane’s first-minute opener, but that may be too critical given Heung-min Son’s deflected effort appeared destined to go high and wide.
Van Dijk certainly wasn’t at his commanding best, but he fared better than Lovren when taking over duties in marshalling Kane.
Andy Robertson – 7
Like Alexander-Arnold, Robertson was a constant threat out wide and had both Christian Eriksen and Serge Aurier scrambling throughout.
He provided more defensive steel than the right-back, but offered less in terms of end product from crosses.
Fabinho – 9 (Man of the Match)
Outstanding. Great both on and off the ball, as the platform on which Liverpool built their relentless attacks from the edge of the centre circle.
Inventive and clinical in his passing and suffocating in his defensive play.
Strangely, the big disappointment was that he didn’t get booked: a yellow card would have ruled him out of the Aston Villa game, but ensured he returned to play Man City.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Persistent in snapping at heels but positionally suspect and culpable for the opener, with many calling for his withdrawal at half-time.
Certainly improved after the break, and played a key role in the fightback with a fine ghosting run at the back post to fire home the equaliser on 52 minutes.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
Another midfielder who could have been considered for a half-time substitution as the in-form Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lay in wait, but Wijnaldum did play an important part in the first half.
He was used to double up on Aurier and allow Robertson space on the left flank, while in the middle he stymied the duo of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko as he held the ball well.
But his exit definitely could have come sooner.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Salah is still not at his best, but was a menace down the right and after testing Gazzaniga on a number of occasions showed his composure from the spot to make it 2-1.
Left the field late on with an ankle injury, and hopefully it isn’t serious.
Sadio Mane – 9
Should have equalised with a header on the half-hour, but despite wasting that chance Mane was one of Liverpool’s standouts in terms of pressing and linking play in the final third.
As with against Leicester, his endeavour won the penalty which, ultimately, won the game.
Roberto Firmino – 7
Took time to find his feet as Spurs starved him of space, touching the ball just 16 touches in the first half, the fewest of any Liverpool outfielder and the same amount as Alisson.
But he was more vibrant after the break and had more joy dropping into pockets of space, creating openings for those overlapping and winning possession high up the pitch.
James Milner (on for Wijnaldum, 77′) – 6 – Played an important role in sustaining the lead late on.
Joe Gomez (on for Salah, 85′) – N/A – Did little in his short cameo. Will be disappointed not to have started.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino, 90+3′) – N/A – The briefest of outings.
Subs not used: Adrian, Lallana, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Opted for stability over dynamism as he made two changes in midfield, but it was questionable whether both Wijnaldum and Henderson should have started.
Clearly spotted a hole in Spurs’ setup in the tandem of Aurier and Eriksen and Liverpool duly took advantage, while his changes in the second half helped the Reds structurally.
Will be delighted to take the three points after disappointment at Old Trafford.