Huge hurdle cleared with Reds too shrewd for outdated Mourinho – Media on Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

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The media felt Liverpool cleared a big title hurdle with the 1-0 win at Tottenham and showed up Jose Mourinho’s ‘outdated’ tactics.

The red winning machine churned out another priceless victory to extend the lead at the top of the Premier League to a monstrous 16 points.

Roberto Firmino’s Divock Origi Champions League final-esque finish earned the win on Liverpool’s first visit to the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Victory was extra special as the Reds made history – setting a record for the best-ever start to a season in European top-flight history with an incredible 61 points from 21 games.

Here is all the key analysis from the media on what felt like a significant victory.

 

Reporters were in awe of Liverpool’s relentlessness in clearing a “huge” hurdle in the title surge…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neil Jones, writing for Goal.com, reflected that this was a significant challenge overcome in the surge for the title:

This was another hurdle cleared, a huge one in their quest for a Premier League title.

[…]

Don’t ever underestimate how important a win like this is.

The Mail’s Oliver Holt was simply in awe of Liverpool’s relentlessness and completeness in all facets of play:

We talk about Liverpool in abstract, about how good they are, about their win record, but it is only when you see them up close that you remember how relentless they are, how merciless they are, how commanding they are, how well-drilled they are, how brilliant they are, how fiercely they fight to regain possession, how swiftly they counter-attack.

The Liverpool Echo’s Ian Doyle noted how this Reds side are simply one of a kind:

English football has never seen anything like this remarkable, relentless Liverpool side.

And the Mirror’s Alex Milne reckons Liverpool can win every trophy still available to them, given how Klopp’s side are “on another level to any other team in the world”:

They are simply on another level to any other team in the world at the moment, and it would be no surprise to see them winning every trophy left on offer this season. They are that good.

 

The media lauded Liverpool’s “psychological dominance” to emerge victorious despite not hitting top form…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The BBC’s Phil McNulty wrote how the Reds’ mental strength is overpowering opponents and dragging the Reds over the line on awkward days:

It’s true they were let off by Spurs’ missed chances but there is perhaps a sense that Liverpool’s dominance is having a psychological impact on their opponents so that when rare opportunities come along, they are being snatched at.

Writing for Football365, Matt Stead noted how Liverpool’s reputation is overawing opponents and earning so much respect that opposition can’t lay a glove on the Reds:

Liverpool have benefitted from a reputation they have cultivated as a side with so few weaknesses and such immense strengths; this was surely the last time they will be treated with such unnecessary levels of respect and awe by the opposition.

The Guardian’s David Hytner wrote that the Reds’ ability to win even on days where they don’t hit top levels is giving Klopp’s side an aura of “invincibility”:

They continue to find the way and are coming to feel invincible.

 

Journalists discussed the impressive and not-so-impressive aspects of Liverpool’s performance…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Starting with the positives, ESPN’s James Capps praised the Reds for retaining “patience and composure” and assessed that as key to getting over the line:

It wasn’t the most fluid of performances from either side, but Klopp’s outfit were patient and composed throughout as they continue to storm towards a first Premier League title.

Doyle attributed Liverpool’s “attitude, collective work ethic and self-belief” as not only central to the win but also to the title surge:

Talent is one thing. But when the cylinders aren’t all firing, Liverpool have the attitude, the collective work ethic, the self-belief and the sheer will to see the job through.

However, Standard Sport’s David Lynch saw concerns with Liverpool’s lack of ruthlessness to kill the game, and thinks the Reds preference to sit and defend a slender lead is a dangerous approach:

At times, though, it can feel like the Reds are a little too happy to sit on a lead once they have done the hard work in carving it out.

[…]

Controlling games is one thing, but doing it while only one goal ahead is a dangerous tactic to fall back on with such regularity.

 

The media wrote how Klopp has ‘eclipsed’ Mourinho as the Reds overcame Spurs’ outdated tactics…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Independent’s Miguel Delaney explained that it was inevitable that this Reds team would be too good for Jose Mourinho’s ‘outdated’ spoiling tactics:

That has succeeded for Mourinho in the past on occasions he has utterly relished, but this Liverpool are too good, that approach a little too spent.

[…]

If Liverpool’s record of 20 wins from 21 games isn’t all that healthy for football, brilliant as they themselves are as a side, what does Mourinho’s approach mean for football? He should try playing some.

The Mail’s Mark Draper explained that the game showed that Klopp has well-and-truly eclipsed Mourinho in the touchline battle:

There’s no doubting who wears the crown now. It doesn’t take a FIFA coach of the year award and a World Club Cup to identify the world’s most charismatic and admired manager.

Even Pep Guardiola has had to take a step back to allow football’s most-feted football to enjoy the centre stage.

Stead stated that, even though Mourinho’s tactics were ineffective, Liverpool are impossible to defend against due to the sheer match-winning quality all over the pitch:

The counter-argument is that Liverpool are too dangerous to consider doing anything different.

[…]

There is certainly too much talent and danger to hope to contain it for long, uninterrupted periods.

Elsewhere, Lynch focussed on Liverpool’s improvement in a usually problematic month of January, praising Klopp for finding a solution to yet another long-term problem:

January has never been a happy month for Liverpool teams managed by Klopp.

[…]

But the early signs suggest that one of the few issues the German had yet to fix is well on the way to being sorted out this season. That’s two games, two wins, and six points collected already and, though more tough tests await, Liverpool don’t look like a side who will be afflicted by the January blues.

 

As usual, the watching journalists picked out their star performers…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Milne was hugely impressed by Joe Gomez, and stated that the centre-back should be a starter for England at Euro 2020:

The 22-year-old has been in excellent form in recent weeks, helping the Reds to five clean sheets in a row in all competitions, and was fantastic again tonight alongside the peerless Virgil van Dijk to make it six consecutive games without conceding.

On the evidence of his recent showings Gomez simply has to start for England in this summer’s European Championships.

Stead labelled Gini Wijnaldum “the game’s best player”:

Wijnaldum was the game’s best player.

[…]

He barely misplaced a pass and, with five dribbles, provided an outlet and spark. No player better defines Klopp’s era of Liverpool than a tireless but talented peg that can be moulded to fit any gap.

And finally, Lynch heaped praise on Alisson for his sensational handling on the night:

As he so often does, Alisson Becker refused to give the opposition a sniff as he held on to every single shot that came in his direction in a manner rarely seen even at this level.

The Brazilian’s handling is simply world class, and that proved crucial to his team getting three points on board in this one.

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