Liverpool finally brought an end to their eight-hour goal drought and took three points to go back into fourth with a 3-1 win at Spurs.
Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool
Premier League (20), Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
January 28, 2021
Goals: Firmino 45′, Alexander-Arnold 47′, Mane 65′; Hojbjerg 49′
Alisson – 6 (out of 10)
He’s not at his best, let’s be honest. Nothing he could do about the goal but he doesn’t have that aura of invincibility and surety about him right now.
Beaten quite easily at his near post for Son’s goal that was ruled out by VAR very early on.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
This was a significant step forward for Trent with his first-half performance, more progressive on the ball and quicker to surge forward into space.
Still a bit off it with tackling and tracking defensively, but we can let him off that when he belts one in like he did.
Oh..and WHAT a cross for Mane’s! Took his goal expertly. This is the Trent we need.
Joel Matip – 7
Great recovery tackle on Son midway through the first half. Another one shortly after to deny Kane on the run. Had a really good half!
And then went off, obviously. Let’s see what this injury is…
Has only completed consecutive league games ONCE this season – and that was before/after an international break.
Jordan Henderson – 8
Can’t really complain at a single thing Henderson did in this game, regardless of anything he actually did.
He was again out of position at centre-back, started with Matip for the first time and then got put with Nat Phillips, also for the first time.
Honestly, it’s incredible how many new variations of defensive partnerships we keep creating – that’s 16 in the league alone this season now, in 20 games!
Andy Robertson – 7
Did well defensively, usually available as an outlet. A fairly quiet outing for Robbo, but solidity was better than spectacular given recent results.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
The Dutchman in the deeper role this time and it proved more effective. He’s extremely good in that role, gave it away once or twice but basically able to take the ball, keep the ball and control that middle space.
Thiago Alcantara – 7
Withi Gini deeper, Thiago was a little more advanced.
A few silly early fouls but again his ability to dictate play and switch the game was on show.
The more movement we have in attack, the better we’ll see him look. Took a head injury and subbed later on.
James Milner – 8
Made the runs from deep to join up with the attack, even if he didn’t always get the through pass come his way.
Milner put in a massive shift in the middle, even if he’s far from the most talented player around – this was about driving the team on, taking the odd risk when needed to keep the play positive and then doing the hard miles once the Reds were ahead.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Two brilliant passes through to create openings for Mane. His ‘goal’ was ridiculously ruled out, but Mo was very important to this win, no mistake.
Roberto Firmino – 8
Honestly, he can probably have a 10 just for being the one to put the ball in the net and end the EIGHT-HOUR goal drought.
But aside from his one-yard masterclass, this was Firmino at his most effective: dropping into spaces, making defenders look silly with quick passes, closing down anyone in sight.
Sadio Mane – 9
Missed a huge chance in the opening stages, then had two more great openings without scoring – all this points to the fact he’s still doing the right things, making great runs and getting into dangerous areas…but lacks his confidence or instinctive behaviour to just bury it.
And that’s why he gets a perfect rating: the continuation of doing his job and having the belief that, with constant work, it will happen…and it did.
Set up Firmino with another good run, teed up Salah for his disallowed strike and then absolutely blammed one in himself. Well in, Sadio.
Nat Phillips (on for Matip, 46′) – 7 – Booked within minutes but didn’t have loads more to do until a few late headers and clearances.
Curtis Jones (on for Thiago, 77′) – 6 – Saw out the game.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino, 87′) – n/a – Another clean sheet.
Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher, Rhys Williams, Kostas Tsimikas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri
Jurgen Klopp – 9
Went with the usual system and the big senior players – those available, anyway.
Whatever the process has been, it hasn’t been immediate, but it has got the Reds back on the right path: we played our usual way and this time repeatedly opened up Spurs, repeatedly won the ball with a high press and, once the floodgates burst apart, repeatedly found the back of the net.
Klopp will say he kept the faith throughout, and maybe he did, but you can bet there was an element of relief, too.
We bossed Spurs, and Klopp out-tactical-battled Mourinho.