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Salah’s super Spurs record & a poignant first since Houllier’s final game

Liverpool went top of the league with the 2-1 win over Tottenham and the game brought up plenty of telling statistics – with the most crucial being an added three points!

Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino were the goalscorers, either side of Son Heung-min’s equaliser for Spurs.

The Brazilian’s late winner lifted the Reds into top spot and there we’ll hope to stay, after a hard-fought victory where Jurgen Klopp‘s side were dominant throughout and fully deserved the points, which came in epic fashion.

As ever, we’ve trawled the data and crunched the numbers and come up with the best stats of the night from a Liverpool perspective – and there are some absolute belters to take away from another special Anfield occasion.

Passes, both normal and key

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 16, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (R) celebrates with winning goal-scorer Roberto Firmino at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, Liverpool were absolutely and entirely deserved victors on the night.

If the 76 per cent possession didn’t explain the level of dominance, then the 2-1 scoreline simply can’t be argued with.

There was only one team attempting to win and one team hoping to not lose, as shown by the fact that Liverpool forced Spurs into the worst on-the-ball performance of the last almost-decade of Jose Mourinho management.

That’s an average of 1.7 passes per minute from Spurs at Anfield – they can be grateful they were even in the game at the break, let alone level.

Amazon also displayed the post-match stat of Liverpool making 239 successful passes in the final third across the 90 minutes, compared to the miniscule haul of 24 from Spurs.

When you have 10 per cent of the attacking intent of your rivals, you generally get what you deserve.

Salah loves scoring against Spurs

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 16, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Few players have had a constant impact against Spurs like Mo!

From his fantastic solo runs to burying penalties in style, our Egyptian King knows how to find a way past this defence and did so again on Wednesday.

This time it was more fortunate, as his lashed shot looped up and in via a deflection, but they all count and he was constantly in position to create danger or take on a chance.

It’s not quite Luis Suarez against Norwich levels of nightmares for Hugo Lloris, but then Spurs are rather better than the Canaries – so to maintain this consistency against a side challenging at the top is arguably as impressive.

As a side note, Salah also went to the top of the scoring charts with this goal, his 11th of the league season, level with Son and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Once every seven years…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 16, 2020: Liverpool's match-winning goal-scorer Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Apparently, Bobby was right on time in more ways than one.

He popped up at the crucial moment to absolutely bury a header in the last minute, his fourth real chance of the night, and gave the Reds the points.

It ended a six-match run without a goal for himself and ensured we went 66 unbeaten at Anfield in the league in style – but it was also only the third time the opposing manager has had to suffer such late defeat in his time in the English top flight.

Those other occasions came precisely seven years apart, 2006 to 2013, so Mourinho was definitely due another one in 2020 and with the days counting down to the end of the year, he must have thought he’d broken the seven-year curse.

Thankfully, Bobby had other ideas. No wonder he looked so bitter at full-time.

Academy minutes

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 16, 2020: Liverpool's Rhys Williams during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We featured three youngsters who have come through the Academy for all 90 minutes on Wednesday night: Trent at right-back, Rhys in the centre and Curtis Jones in midfield.

All played their part and the latter two in particular came in for effusive praise from Jurgen Klopp, which was much-deserved, but perhaps the boss himself should be accepting a bit more praise too.

We all know managers who would rather stick the experienced old head at the back no matter how vast the positional change, but Klopp continues to give talented youngster their opportunity to shine.

Adding the 270 minutes accumulated by the trio against Spurs, Academy graduates have now played 1,903 minutes of Premier League action this term and we’ll hit that 2,000 mark in the next game in all likelihood, just our 14th league fixture of the campaign.

Considering Trent has been out injured it could have been even higher, but they are all playing their part right now and seizing their chances in style.

For comparison, last year our Academy contributed 3,533 league minutes to the cause – 3,176 of which came from our No. 66.

An unknowing nod of respect to Houllier

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MONDAY, MAY 24, 2004: Liverpool's manager Gerard Houllier on the pitch at Anfield after a press conference to announce his departure from the club. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This one no doubt wasn’t planned, let alone known – except by the excellent LFC statistician Ged Rea.

Last night, in opting against making a substitution, Jurgen Klopp became the first Liverpool boss to not make a change in 908 matches.

The last time such an event happened was…in Gerard Houllier’s final game in charge.

That came back in 2003/04, also at Anfield as the boss said goodbye to the club against Newcastle – and last night, as that stat was finally repeated, Houllier was said goodbye to by the club in particularly poignant fashion.

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