Liverpool had to scrap and fight hard for all three points as they came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday.
Anfield was silenced in the very first minute of the game as Harry Kane nodded the ball past the flailing hand of Alisson Becker after the ball had struck the woodwork from Son Heung-min’s shot, which was deflected off Dejan Lovren.
Thereafter, Liverpool would dominate the possession, but did not test Paulo Gazzaniga apart from a couple of instances of top class keeping by the Argentine, as Tottenham held on to their slender lead. The elusive goal finally came seven minutes post the interval, as Jordan Henderson produced a fine finish to level things up.
With 15 minutes left in the game, the comeback was complete when Mohamed Salah struck from the spot after Serge Aurier had kicked the back of Sadio Mane’s left leg. The result meant Liverpool kept their six-point lead atop the Premier League table intact and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 6/10
Alisson tried his best to clean up after his teammates, but could not manage to reach Harry Kane’s header in the first minute. Not tested a great deal for the rest of the game, mostly making regulation saves. Held his nerve when playing out from the back against the face of the Tottenham press. Still in search of his first clean sheet of the season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5/10
Son Heung-min asked questions of him whenever Spurs pressed forward with the ball. But, apart from a couple of instances, Alexander-Arnold did well and was, in fact, the best of the lot at the back for Liverpool. A constant outlet going forward, the Englishman, afforded plenty of time on the ball, was easily the most potent threat of all the players on the pitch.
Dejan Lovren: 6/10
A game to forget for Lovren, who saw Son’s shot deflect off him onto the woodwork and rebounded towards Kane. Son and Kane would always keep the Croat on his toes whenever they got around the Liverpool box. A great escape in the end as Liverpool narrowly edged Tottenham.
Virgil van Dijk: 6/10
Liverpool’s defensive leader was disappointing for a second successive game, suffering from a moment of lapse in concentration, just as he had against Manchester United last week. This time, he switched off, leaving Kane unmarked and with plenty of time to score the opener. Did find his feet gradually, but the damage had been done.
Andrew Robertson: 6.5/10
Inexplicably afforded lots of time and acres of space by Christian Eriksen, Robertson did float a lot of dangerous balls into the Tottenham box but could not make the required impact. Diligent at the back, he was never really bested by Eriksen or Serge Aurier. Ought to have done a bit better on the ball, though.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
The game had all the makings of becoming a horror show for Henderson when he lost the ball in the lead-up to Kane’s goal. Did look a bit shaky for some time after that but found his feet towards the end of the first half.
Stepped it up well early in the second half, starting with his goal, which was a superb finish. Thereafter, Henderson did not give the Tottenham midfielders an inch, covering every blade of grass to ensure Liverpool’s dominance.
The most consistent player in the game. There was very little to fault in Fabinho’s performance, with the Brazilian utterly dominant all throughout. In what was an all round performance, Fabinho won 8 duels, made 11 recoveries, completed 3 interception and won 3 tackles, while also creating 2 chances and making the most passes in the opposition half. A gem at Klopp’s disposal.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6/10
An unspectacular, but solid performance by Wijnaldum. The Dutchman played almost as a second left winger for much of his stay on the pitch, keeping Eriksen and Aurier occupied to ensure Robertson got the time to put the balls into the box. But, in a week when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita were immensely impressive, he could be feeling the heat.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
At times in the game, Salah seemed to be on the fringes, struggling to impose himself on Danny Rose or Toby Alderweireld. Perhaps, he is still feeling the knock on effects of the ankle injury that forced him to miss the trip to Manchester United last week. But, he made no error in slotting the ball into the back of the net, a thumping finish from the spot. Hobbled off the pitch late on.
Roberto Firmino: 7/10
He might have gone unnoticed for large parts of the game. But, Firmino remained a key contributor to Liverpool’s cause on the day, as he looked to drag Davinson Sanchez out of position, thereby allowing Salah and Mane to drift into central positions. In fact, one such moment saw Henderson reap the benefits when he scored the equaliser. Solid as ever.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
Mane had the best chance to level things up in the first half, but he failed to convert a peach of a cross by Alexander-Arnold. The Senegalese speedster, though, was constantly snapping at the heels of the opposition and took Aurier on with aplomb.
A moment of smart work saw him win the penalty, which Salah converted with ease. Always a factor at Anfield, he is yet to be beaten in a home league game for Liverpool.
James Milner: N/A
Introduced in place of Wijnaldum for the last 15 minutes, Milner used all his experience to ensure Liverpool did not slip up late on.
Joe Gomez: N/A
On for the injured Salah, Gomez helped see the game out.
Divock Origi: N/A
A pair of fresh legs in the dying embers of the game.