Sadio Mane returned to his best as Liverpool secured an important 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur to complete a league double over Spurs.
Liverpool put an end to their rough patch in the Premier League following a glorious 3-1 triumph over rivals Tottenham Hotspur, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday.
It was an exciting game for any neutral fan as both sides created early opportunities, with Son Heung-min’s early strike being ruled out for offside. Liverpool did settle into the game and started asking questions from the Spurs defence, which looked vulnerable as time progressed. The visitors eventually found the advantage deep in the first half, thanks to an inevitable defensive mistake that saw Roberto Firmino break the deadlock.
The goal allowed Liverpool to adopt a more attacking approach and it paid off as well as the Reds doubled their lead in the 47th minute. However, the two-goal cushion did not last long, thanks to a blistering strike from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who was the only positive for the hosts in this game. His goal sparked a potential comeback for his team as well.
But, all hopes were shattered when yet another defensive mistake – this time from Joe Rodon – led to the third goal for Liverpool. The strike from Sadio Mane reinstated the three-goal cushion and was enough to seal all three points for the Reds. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these sides following this fascinating result in north London this week.
Hugo Lloris: 2/10
Hugo Lloris was culpable for two of the three goals that Tottenham conceded. The Frenchman should have reacted better to the cross by Mane for the opener while his save in the lead up to the second goal was underwhelming, allowing Alexander-Arnold to score from the rebound.
Joe Rodon: 6/10
Joe Rodon impressed the onlookers with his defensive contributions, particularly with his ability to sense danger and clear out long balls. However, one moment of indecision that led to the third goal, marred an otherwise solid defensive display.
Liverpool had one goal to make it 3-1 overturned by VAR, but this one, from Sadio Mane, stands. #LFC has found its attacking groove again
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) January 28, 2021
Eric Dier: 6.5/10
Eric Dier was not bad defensively either. His aerial and physical prowess made it difficult for Liverpool to create too many clear-cut opportunities despite the immense pressure. But much like Rodon, the Englishman ruined his performance with a moment of miscommunication with Lloris.
Ben Davies: 6/10
Ben Davies had a much quieter night when compared to his partners at the back. He did not exactly have a bad game on the left flank, but the quality provided by Sergio Reguilon was missing.
Serge Aurier: 4/10
Serge Aurier had a disastrous first half, as he struggled to cope with the threat of Mane on the flanks. The Ivorian was eventually disposed off at half-time as Jose Mourinho opted for more solidity in midfield.
Matt Doherty: 3/10
Much like Aurier, Matt Doherty had a disappointing night on the flanks, especially in dealing with Mane. The Irishman could have done much more to stop the Liverpool winger from turning and having an attempt on goal, as the move led to the second goal.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 8/10
Hojbjerg was the only real positive for Tottenham in this game. The Dane battled hard in midfield, keeping the game open with his ability to read the play and make important interceptions. He also scored one of the best Premier League goals of the month to spark a potential comeback early in the second half. His contributions, unfortunately for him, were not reciprocated by his teammates.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg vs Liverpool
88% Pass accuracy
5/11 Accurate long passes
1/1 Dribble completed
1/1 Shot on target
9/15 Duels won
Goal was a moment of magic, the performance a sustained period of excellence. Sadly not matched by teammates pic.twitter.com/PI2y8ivwS1
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) January 28, 2021
Tanguy Ndombele: 6.5/10
Tanguy Ndombele was a vital cog in the Tottenham midfield. He was the link between the midfield and the attack while his ability to run at defenders created spaces for other players, especially in the first half. However, the Frenchman struggled to influence the game without Harry Kane in the second half.
Steven Bergwijn: 3/10
Steven Bergwijn was one of the worst performers for Tottenham in this encounter. The Dutchman provided nothing to the table and looked clueless whenever he had possession of the game.
Harry Kane: 7/10
Harry Kane was the most impressive player for the hosts in the first half. But, to his misfortune, he had to be taken off half-time due to a knock he sustained during the game.
Son Heung-min: 6.5/10
Son Heung-min was an absolute menace for the Liverpool defence with his runs in behind the backline. He even had a goal disallowed during the early stages of the game. However, the South Korean forward struggled to influence the game after the substitution of Kane.
Erik Lamela: 5/10
It was a surprise to see Erik Lamela coming on ahead of other options at half-time. The Argentine raised a few eyebrows as well, particularly with an excellent cross-field pass. But, his influence waned as the game progressed.
Harry Winks: 5/10
Harry Winks offered more assurance in possession as well as the numerical advantage after coming on for Serge Aurier at half-time. It did not make any impact on the proceedings for Spurs.
Gareth Bale: N/A
A late replacement for Bergwijn – a move that should have been made much earlier. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Despite conceding the goal from Hojbjerg, Alisson had an excellent game in between the sticks. His positioning was excellent and the Liverpool goalkeeper was reliable whenever he was called upon.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8.5/10
Trent Alexander-Arnold had an eventful game against Tottenham, having amassed more touches than anyone else on the pitch. He was back to his best in terms of offensive service. Scored a goal as well before registering the assist for the third, albeit by luck.
Trent Alexander-Arnold's game by numbers vs. Tottenham:
86% passing accuracy
80% duels won
8 ball recoveries
4 open-play crosses
3 touches in opp. box
A sensational performance. 💥 pic.twitter.com/edAkfAaHF0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 28, 2021
Joel Matip: 6.5/10
Joel Matip had a nervy start to the game as the experienced defender struggled to deal with Son’s darting runs in behind the backline. Taken off at half-time as he struggled with his fitness.
Jordan Henderson: 7.5/10
Jordan Henderson marked his return to the pitch as responsibly as one could possibly expect. He was asked to play in an unfamiliar centre-back position – a role he essayed with aplomb. His leadership was vital in Liverpool’s win.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
Andrew Robertson was nowhere near as influential as Alexander-Arnold on the left flank. But, he did look dangerous when moving forward and in a more important note, he was solid during defensive phases.
James Milner: 7.5/10
James Milner had a positive game in central midfield, as he filled in for Henderson, who was playing in a more defensive role. The veteran midfielder used his experience and leadership to guide Liverpool to an important victory.
Thiago Alcantara: 8/10
Thiago Alcantara certainly did not enjoy himself in the first half as he struggled to get past Hojbjerg. However, the former Bayern Munich sensation imposed his authority after the restart, using his technique and passing to good effect. Soldiered on despite taking a blow to his head before being subbed off late in the game.
88% efectividad en el pase
90% efectividad en el pase pic.twitter.com/dAQCnUiOiZ
— Pepe Del Bosque (@PepedelBosque) January 28, 2021
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7.5/10
Georginio Wjnaldum had a quiet game by his own standards. He could not influence the game much going forward, though he was certainly vital in the defensive aspect, providing cover for the depleted backline.
Mohamed Salah: 7.5/10
Mohamed Salah had a good game on the right flank. He looked threatening whenever he had the ball and notably had one goal disallowed in the second half. Not spectacular but promising.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
Roberto Firmino proved to be a handful for the Tottenham defence with his intelligent movement and work-ethic. He scored the all-important opener late in the first half, giving Liverpool a priceless advantage heading into the second 45 minutes. Should have finished off an early chance, though.
Sadio Mane: 9/10
Sadio Mane was by far the most influential player for Liverpool in this game. He made life miserable for Doherty and Aurier on the flanks, notably creating the opener before scoring one himself in the 65th minute to seal all three points for his side.
🔎 | FOCUS
Sadio Mané put in a strong performance against Tottenham:
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) January 28, 2021
Nathaniel Phillips: 7.5/10
Nat Phillips replaced Joel Matip at half-time after the former Schalke defender failed to continue. The youngster deserves plaudits for remaining strong at the back, preventing Tottenham a way back into the game.
Curtis Jones: N/A
Curtis Jones replaced Thiago during the final phase of the game in order to add more freshness and energy. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Divock Origi: N/A
A late replacement for Firmino. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.