Liverpool eke out an important comeback win over Tottenham: Key Talking Points
Liverpool came back from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield to re-establish their six points lead over Pep Guardiola's Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
Spurs took the lead in the first minute through Harry Kane but two second-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah ensured that Liverpool got all three points. Here are four key talking points from the game.
4. Gazzaniga proves his worth
Tottenham’s sole absentee through injury going into the game against Liverpool was Hugo Lloris, who injured his arm severely; but they did not miss France’s World Cup-winning captain against the European Champions.
Paulo Gazzaniga was arguably Tottenham’s best player against Liverpool and he made them toil for the win.
The Argentine made 12 saves in the game, and in addition to keeping the ball out of the net, he helped out his defenders by coming out to claim the dangerous crosses from Liverpool’s fullbacks.
He was outstanding, the first half double save from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino simply brilliant, and he maintained exemplary resistance in the face of a Reds onslaught.
3. The Reds win the all-important midfield battle
Jordan Henderson and Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum came back to the starting lineup to join Fabinho in the midfield for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp opted for a balanced trio that would nip the Spurs attacks in the bud.
It did not go exactly to plan in the first half as Tottenham players managed to almost breach the Reds' defence many a time.
But the three helped Liverpool boss the midfield encounter as the hosts spent the majority of the game on the front foot. The Spurs midfielders, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko struggled to dominate possession, and were run ragged for most parts.
Henderson answered some of the criticism aimed his way by scoring the crucial leveller past Gazzaniga who was proving to be a tough nut to crack,
Fabinho was phenomenal too, and the Brazilian was the invisible driving force behind Liverpool's comeback victory.
2. Pochettino's defensive headache
Mauricio Pochettino succeeded in getting his Spurs troops to play cohesively and put in a spirited performance.
Nevertheless, the former Southampton gaffer will definitely not be happy about the defensive display from his side, that quite frankly, reeked of complacency.
Many would be of the opinion that Tottenham Hotspur deserved at least a point from Anfield, but it was not to be the case for the North London outfit.
The inability of the Spurs' midfield to adhere to a winnable system proved to be detrimental for the defence that consisted of Danny Rose, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Aldeirwereld and Serge Aurier.
Even though they played well for a good amount of time, it was not enough to stop a powerful wave of attacks from Liverpool.
Moreover, the right-back Serge Aurier's proclivity for rash tackles has been inexplicable, and this would be nothing short of an understatement.
At an absolutely crucial point in proceedings, the Ivorian literally scythed Sadio Mane down, to give away a penalty. Needless to say, Aurier's blunder proved to be telling.
1. Salah proves to be the villain for Spurs yet again
A tangle between Sadio Mane and Serge Aurier in the hosts’ box 15 minutes from time, saw the latter take Mane down, and referee Anthony Taylor showed little hesitation in pointing to the spot.
The pressure was on Mohamed Salah this time around as he stepped up in front of the Kop. Gazzaniga thought he would blast his shot down the middle, but the Egyptian lashed it home past him.
In doing so, Salah netted his 50th goal for Liverpool at Anfield. The former Chelsea man has also made a habit of scoring past Spurs, and has now struck five times in his six appearances for the Reds against the Londoners.
Salah picked up a potential injury too as he went to ground holding his ankle, but Klopp would not be too worried as Liverpool find themselves being the Premier League table-toppers, six points clear of champions Manchester City.