Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
Premier League (13), Anfield
December 16, 2020
Goals: Salah 26′, Firmino 90′; Son 33′
Alisson (out of 10) – 7
The Reds’ dominance in the first half meant he was barely called into action and he could do nothing about Son Heung-min’s equaliser.
A sloppy pass after the interval almost saw Harry Kane embarrass him from distance, but it was an otherwise strong performance.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Alexander-Arnold had a really poor outing at the weekend, but this was much improved as he builds back to full match fitness.
Providing constant quality from right-back, whether it be raking passes, threaded balls or one lovely nutmeg, he was oozing class throughout.
Not always perfect defensively, but good enough in that area.
Rhys Williams – 8
On the whole, the teenager did himself proud, holding his own against a world-class attack and looking confident in possession.
Caught out of position when Steven Bergwijn hit the post after the break, but then massively improved and was superb in preventing any counter-attacks before they begun.
Played in Salah for one superb chance after a good interception.
Fabinho – 9
Continuing at centre-back, the Brazilian was exceptional, marshalling the troops in a way Virgil van Dijk would have been proud of.
Biting into tackles and timing them to perfection, he also kept the ball ticking over, never allowing the likes of Son and Harry Kane to take control.
You would think he had been a central defender for his whole career.
Andy Robertson – 8
Robertson has been Liverpool’s Mr. Reliable this season and that was no different at Anfield, and he produced a predictably energetic display.
One brilliant run and cut-back to Mohamed Salah outlined not only his relentless running, but also his calm when the final ball is required.
A world-class left-back and got the assist for Firmino’s winner, swinging in a corner.
Jordan Henderson – 8
Henderson was used at centre-back in the second half at Fulham, but he was back in midfield on Wednesday night.
The captain set the tempo from the off, barking at teammates – Alexander-Arnold and Robertson both received rollockings – and fizzing passes out wide.
Defensively strong, too, putting out fires on the occasions they needed to be extinguished.
Gini Wijnaldum – 8
Wijnaldum is a contender for Liverpool’s Player of the Year so far and he played his part in the Reds outplaying Spurs for such large periods.
The Dutchman was physically dominant, holding off opposition players, and he linked up endlessly with Robertson and Sadio Mane down the left-hand side.
Such an intelligent footballer.
Curtis Jones – 9 (Man of the Match)
Jones has been in excellent form of late, but this was arguably the biggest test of his senior career to date.
He passed with flying colours, looking like a seasoned professional and proving to be the best player in the biggest game of the season.
The 19-year-old gave Liverpool the guile that Henderson and Wijnaldum can occasionally lack, playing a key role in Salah’s opener.
This kid has a massive future.
Mohamed Salah – 9
Salah has broken Spurs hearts before, scoring in the 2019 Champions League final, and he was at it again at Anfield.
Liverpool’s No.11 put the hosts 1-0 up with a fortuitous deflected strike, but he was magnificent in his all-round game, tracking back, linking with teammates and playing one outrageous pass to Robertson.
Forever criminally underrated.
Sadio Mane – 7
Mane has been going through a lean spell in front of goal, and while he was generally good, it just never quite happened for him.
So often, he was unlucky to see the ball ricochet off him as he tried to battle through Spurs tackles, and he grew frustrated as the game went on.
One brilliant spin and shot saw him clip the crossbar.
Roberto Firmino – 8
Firmino often turns up at Anfield in the biggest games – he certainly did that.
He took a little time to get into the game, but started to drop deep and link-up effectively, making him a nightmare for Spurs’ defenders to mark.
The Brazilian then headed home ruthlessly in the dying minutes, securing an enormous win for Liverpool.
The celebration was even better, running the whole length of the pitch.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi, Phillips, Neco Williams
Jurgen Klopp – 9
Klopp faced possibly his biggest night of the season so far, as he came up against a buoyant Jose Mourinho full of his usual mind games in the lead-up to the match.
The Liverpool manager got a largely faultless performance out of his team, with the Reds so dominant and playing a wonderful quality.
A win is huge and Klopp will know that – this victory once again highlighted the never-say-die attitude he has instilled in his players.