Reds “looked like champions again” as Klopp “masters” Mourinho – Media on Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool

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The media feel Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Tottenham can reignite the campaign after the Reds rediscovered their identity and key players returned to form.

The Reds returned to winning ways in style with an excellent and thoroughly deserved victory in north London.

Goals from Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold put Liverpool in control, before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg halved the lead, but Sadio Mane‘s clinical strike sealed the points.

This was an excellent performance from the Reds, with superb performances all over the pitch, and Jurgen Klopp will be delighted with his team’s efforts.

Here’s how the media reflected on a brilliant night’s work from the champions – it makes for much more pleasant reading!

 

Reporters reflected on an “outstanding result and performance” and assessed the Reds “a level above” Tottenham…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 28, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

To write that was Neil Jones for Goal, also reflecting on a win that was impressive both for “its importance and its execution”:

“What a win this was, both in terms of its importance and its execution.

[…]

“Not even another centre-back crisis could halt Klopp’s side, who were a level above their rivals throughout. Not even Jose Mourinho could argue here, although knowing him he’ll try.”

BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty labelled it an “outstanding result and performance” and “an ominous warning” for those wanting to snatch the title from Klopp’s team:

“This was an outstanding result and performance by Liverpool in the face of yet more central defensive injury problems.

[…]

“Their disappointing recent form has seen Liverpool drop down the Premier League and also exit the FA Cup in the fourth round at Manchester United – but the manner of this display was an ominous warning that you write off the champions at your peril.”

The Mirror‘s John Cross wrote that the win showed how Klopp has well and truly mastered beating Jose Mourinho teams:

“Patched up, battered and bruised but back on the winning trail, Liverpool have got a remarkable hold over Tottenham as this was their seventh win over the Londoners and Klopp also seems to have mastered Jose Mourinho.”

The Independent‘s Miguel Delaney attributed Liverpool’s re-emergence to an unwavering belief in their approach, in stark contrast to a Spurs side just “hoping for the best”:

“Liverpool have got out of this bad run, and so quickly looked so good again, because they kept faith in an approach and a plan. Spurs meanwhile just looked to be hoping for the best.”

 

Members of the media believe this is a victory that can breathe new life into Liverpool’s campaign…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 28, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

The Mail‘s Martin Samuel said there is no debate this time over the deserved winners, on a night that saw the Reds’ title push restart and Tottenham‘s end once and for all:

“This time there was no argument about who deserved victory. It was Liverpool. Liverpool were better than Tottenham. Liverpool are better than Tottenham. There, it’s said.

“This could be where the title defence begins in earnest – and where, perhaps, Tottenham‘s own charge ends.”

Delaney wrote that Liverpool “looked like champions again” and thinks this result will kick-start the Reds to push for the top:

“Liverpool at last looked like champions again, and several levels above Tottenham Hotspur, to leap ahead of them in the table with a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane that at times looked like it could have been 5-1 or 6-1.

[…]

“It might well have kick-started Liverpool’s season. Liverpool, after this, can again aim for the top. They finally looked like they belonged there.”

Paul Gorst, of the Liverpool Echo, believes the real challenge now faces Klopp’s side as they must build on this result and “reignite a charge for the top”:

“Now, the next test awaits.

“That is to make sure this absorbing, uplifting, confidence-boosting performance and result is the spark that reignites a charge for the top.”

Meanwhile, Samuel thinks the title race is set to tighten up again, backing Liverpool to now hit top form and take the challenge to Man City:

“There has been a fear that, after so much talk of an open title race, Manchester City could start to run away with it. Here was the riposte to that. Liverpool are back.”

 

Journalists assessed this was the night Liverpool rediscovered their identity and praised the Reds’ “great character”…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 28, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

The Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle wrote that and also gave the Reds a nice “welcome back” message:

“That, though, was a mere footnote on an evening Liverpool remembered their identity.

“Welcome back, Reds.”

Jones dished out high praise, stating “they were stars dressed in red” and that “they looked like Liverpool” again:

“They’ve had their critics, deservedly so, but here they were stars dressed in red, every last one of them.

“For the first time in weeks, they looked like Liverpool. After a month of darkness, has the dawn arrived?”

Cross noted how things looked so much more like the Liverpool we know, both on the pitch and on the touchline:

“This was not just about the goals, it was also about Liverpool getting back towards their best.

Jurgen Klopp celebrating on the touchline, delighting in their energy, work rate and passion as his players never stopped moving, working and looking for angles all night.”

This was “Liverpool’s best performance of the season” according to Doyle, who applauded the Reds for delivering a “brave” display at a time confidence would have been low:

“This was a brave display, willing to take the game to a Tottenham side who live for the counter-attack while backing their ability to keep possession and poke holes in an admittedly under-strength home rearguard.

[…]

“Having seen their obituary penned in some quarters after a dismal start to the calendar year, Liverpool responded with their best performance of the season to send a reminder they will still have a major say in matters at the top of the Premier League.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 28, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

Delaney wrote how the “joy” in Liverpool’s football was back, and admired the quality of the goals:

“There was a joy to their football again, as they put together some supreme moves. Every goal had a mark of high quality, even the one disallowed.”

The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy was impressed by how well Klopp’s team defended and worked off the ball to protect the makeshift defence:

“While their display with the ball was mesmeric, the effort without it was exemplary in the context of their defensive issues.”

ESPN’s Shaun Reynolds praised Liverpool for showing “great character” after a difficult spell and noted how confidence levels visibly returned:

“[Liverpool were] excellent in possession and grew in confidence as the game developed amid Spurs’ plan to keep as many men behind the ball and hit on the counter.

[…]

“But Jurgen Klopp‘s men displayed great character to register a first Premier League win since Dec. 19.”

 

The front three were back in the media’s good books, as were Alexander-Arnold and Thiago…

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 28, 2021: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (R) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the first goal with the last kick of the first half during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

The Mirror‘s Darren Wells saw the front three as “close to their dangerous best again”:

“And after several matches of sluggish forward play, the Reds’ front three looked close to their dangerous best again.

“Mane was a bundle of energy, Firmino was linking play effortlessly and Mohamed Salah was a constant threat. No doubt a welcome sight to Klopp.”

Karl Matchett, writing for the Independent, was full of praise for Mane, particularly the No. 10’s doggedness and determination for which he eventually got his reward:

“Big applause for Sadio Mane. The forward was non-stop with his running and getting into dangerous areas, but spurned several big chances to put his team ahead – yet continued, undeterred.

“His goal was just reward, but even before that he had set up Firmino for the all-important opener and then also got involved for Salah’s disallowed effort.”

Delaney enjoyed Firmino’s performance and pointed out that when the Brazilian is on form, Liverpool’s attack fires:

“Even before the opening goal, Firmino had been having his best performance for a while, and it’s perhaps not a coincidence that Liverpool were having their best attacking performance in a while.

“The Brazilian was offering all the brilliant little touches that were just adding a fluency to the side’s play, and making them flow better.”

ESPN’s James Olley pointed out that the front three have returned to form with ideal timing, ahead of a potentially season-defining run:

“The offensive emergence comes a crucial point as the Reds face in-form West Ham United on Sunday before games against Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City, Leicester City, RB Leipzig and Everton.

“It is a run that cannot be negotiated without Liverpool’s attacking triumvirate rediscovering something approaching their best.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 28, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

Wells praised Alexander-Arnold for delivering a “superb response” to recent struggles and said that when Trent is on form, so are Liverpool:

“Alexander-Arnold has faced his fair share of criticism of late, but he provided a superb response. The Reds full-back was exceptional down the right flank, bombing up and down all evening, and got his just rewards.

[…]

“So much of Liverpool’s play is reliant on Alexander-Arnold being on song. Thankfully for them, it appears he’s back in tune.”

Cross thought Thiago produced his best performance in a Liverpool shirt in his No. 8 position:

“This was also surely Thiago Alcantara’s best game in a Liverpool shirt to date before he came off in the second half with a bandage around his head.”

Just when you thought there was no mention of the desperate need for a centre-back, Jones stepped up, rightly stating that the club now “simply have to act” before the deadline:

:As things stand, their three senior centre-halves are injured and so is their backup. No wonder ‘Sign a CB’ was trending on Twitter.

“There is still time before Monday’s deadline. They simply have to act.”

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