Tottenham Hotspur played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against ten-man Liverpool in their first game after two weeks in the Premier League.
Playing their first match in two weeks after three of their games had been postponed, Tottenham made a stunning start to the game as Harry Kane fired home the opening goal just 13 minutes in after being played through brilliantly by Tanguy Ndombele. Things could have gone sour for the Lilywhites soon after, though, as Kane took out Andrew Robertson with a reckless studs-up challenge but was lucky to get away with just a yellow card.
Liverpool, for their part, steadily grew into the game and started to pose a greater attacking threat, although they were there for the taking on the break. Diogo Jota thumped home a brilliant header from a Robertson cross in the 35th minute to level things up before the Reds had a genuine penalty shout turned down by referee Paul Tierney in what was the second contentious decision of the first half.
The game continued to be end-to-end after the half-time break with Liverpool pushing forward and Tottenham threatening on the counter. But it was the Reds who pulled in front, as Robertson diverted home a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross from close range to make it 2-1. However, a howler from Alisson Becker, who had made several top saves up until that point, allowed Son Heung-min to equalise in the 74th minute.
Three minutes later, Liverpool were reduced to ten men as Robertson was shown a direct red card after VAR consultation for a foolish kick-out on Emerson Royal. However, Tottenham failed to make the most of their numerical advantage, as the visitors held firm and ensured that they took back a point from north London.
The result means Jurgen Klopp’s side are now three points shy of table-toppers Manchester City, whereas Antonio Conte & co. remain seventh, but close down the gap to sixth-placed Manchester United to one point. Here are our player ratings for both sets of players from what was an exciting encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham Player Ratings
Hugo Lloris: 7/10
The Spurs captain was proactive and alert in his box, charging out to deal with any threat to good effect while he also made some smart stops, including a couple of saves to deny Alexander-Arnold.
Davinson Sanchez: 6/10
Not the most convincing of displays from the Colombian, who had some nice moments when he made crucial interventions, but there were also moments when he appeared jittery against Sadio Mane.
Eric Dier: 7.5/10
The Englishman is relishing playing at the heart of the back-three as he looked solid in his defensive duties while some of his passing from the back was brilliant, as he constantly looked to play long balls to send Son and Ryan Sessegnon through.
He may not be everyone's favourite player, but he put in a massive shift tonight.
Eric Dier producing some serious numbers👏
— COYS.com (@COYS_com) December 19, 2021
Ben Davies: 6.5/10
The Welshman put in another decent shift as the left-sided centre-back, with him and Sessegnon being able to keep a tight lid on Mohamed Salah for most parts. His mishit clearance played a role in Liverpool’s second goal while he could have done better with a chance at the other end.
Emerson Royal: 5.5/10
There were one or two good pick-outs from the Brazilian, but his end product was generally lacking from the right flank. Defensively, too, he was far from convincing and was lucky to get away without conceding a penalty after a shove on Jota.
Harry Winks: 8/10
One of the English midfielder’s best displays in a long time. Winks played a hand in Kane’s opener, winning the ball back in the centre of the park and then assisted Son for the second with a lovely pass. He constantly sprayed some over-the-top passes for Son and Kane to run onto while putting the hard yards in defensively.
Harry Winks vs Liverpool pic.twitter.com/w7OsHnJn27
— Joe (@JoeGftbl) December 20, 2021
Tanguy Ndombele: 6/10
Handed a rare start, Ndombele made a fine start to the game, setting Kane up for the opening goal with a perfectly-weighted through-ball. However, he failed to make much of an impact from thereon, while he did not offer much defensive support to the team either.
Ryan Sessegnon: 6.5/10
A promising display from the young left wing-back, who was making his first start in the Premier League since January 2020. Did not offer a great deal of attacking threat, apart from one dangerous cross to Kane late in the first half. But the youngster was largely secure defensively against the dual threat of Salah and Alexander-Arnold.
Dele Alli: 7/10
Like with Winks, this was one of Alli’s best performances in a long time. Showed good industry and intensity throughout, making purposeful runs forward, helping create opportunities and posing a goal threat himself. He should have given Alisson no chance in the first half when he could have made it 2-0. Then he scuffed his pass to Kane after the break after being played in by Dier. While a couple of key moments didn’t go his way, the display was hugely positive.
Son Heung-min: 7.5/10
Back into the lineup, the South Korean international looked like a threat to Liverpool on the break but was guilty of missing two great chances to score in the first half. However, Son did get his goal in the second half, with Alisson’s blunder helping him. He created a few chances for his teammates as well. There were signs of ring-rust, but Liverpool had a hard time dealing with him.
Marking Spurs appearance number 300 in style. 👏 pic.twitter.com/0BXVIF6W6H
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 19, 2021
Harry Kane: 6.5/10
Great run and finish to open the scoring, and the relief was there to see on his face after his long-running struggles in the Premier League this season. However, it could have turned into a nightmare for Kane soon after, but he got lucky with the yellow card after a dangerous tackle on Robertson. Had several other chances to score from that point but lacked the sharpness to put them away. While the goal will give him some confidence, there is still a long way to go.
Oliver Skipp: 6/10
The youngster came on for Ndombele in the 64th minute and helped tighten things up defensively.
Lucas Moura: N/A
On for Alli for the last ten minutes.
Sergio Reguilon: N/A
Late sub for Sessegnon.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 6/10
A hit-and-miss game for the Brazilian, who made a great stop to deny Alli in the first half and pulled off a few more smart saves. However, at the same time, there were several hairy moments – a miscommunication with Alexander-Arnold in the first half, failure to deal with a corner and then the biggest blunder of all, when he slid in to try and clear the ball and missed it completely to let Son equalise.
🥴 Alisson has now committed more errors leading to an opposition goal (4) than any other player since the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 19, 2021
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10
Alexander-Arnold was always a threat going forward and forced two saves from Lloris on the night while also creating chances for his teammates. He also got the assist for Robertson’s second with a powerful cross/shot. Defensively, there were occasions when he got caught on the break, he did well in an overall sense.
Joel Matip: 6/10
Not the most assured display from Matip as he was regularly caught out by long balls and struggled to cope against the pace of Son Heung-min. It was not entirely his fault, though, as Liverpool failed to pressure Tottenham enough in midfield to stop them from playing the direct passes.
Ibrahima Konate: 7/10
Fared better than his defensive partner on the night. The Frenchman made several crucial interventions throughout the game, with a couple of tackles to thwart Kane standing out in particular. He, too, was caught out by the long balls but had the recovery pace to cut out a few of them.
Andrew Robertson: 6/10
The Scotsman certainly had an eventful outing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. He missed a great chance early in the game and then played Kane onside for the opening goal. Made amends with an inch-perfect cross for Jota to equalise before he scored the second goal himself after the break. He lost his head after Tottenham equalised, though and kicked out at Emerson, deservedly getting sent off. Let his team down, and will be glad Spurs failed to capitalise on the numerical advantage.
I was brought up to take responsibility when you’ve done something wrong and I have to admit my challenge was poor and misjudged. My mistake giving them the chance to make the decision. Gutted! pic.twitter.com/s32N3ZaKVS
— Andy Robertson (@andrewrobertso5) December 19, 2021
James Milner: 6/10
Had some difficulty getting to grips with the pace of the game early on as Tottenham bypassed him fairly easily. Got better with time though, using his experience to tighten things up while he also made some good runs forward.
Tyler Morton: 5.5/10
A difficult assignment for the young midfielder making his first Premier League start. Morton struggled to keep a lid on Tottenham in the middle and was dragged out of position at times. Did show signs of growing into the game while he was generally solid with the ball, but a big learning experience for the young man.
Naby Keita: 6/10
Starting in the absence of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara, the Guinean made driving runs forward, but the midfielder failed to get tight enough to his Tottenham counterparts to stop them from launching counterattacks. Did get better defensively with time and made numerous tackles. Booked.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
A quiet outing for Liverpool’s MVP, with Tottenham doing well to double up on him and keep him quiet for most of the game. Salah did cause problems with a few dribbling runs and had a hand in the lead-up to the second goal.
Diogo Jota: 7/10
Diogo Jota scored his 10th #PL goal of the season, joining Mohamed Salah (15) on double figures in the league for Liverpool in 21/22
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 20, 2021
He was quiet for large parts in the first half until he powered home a header to get Liverpool back on level terms. He should have been awarded a penalty soon after for a shove by Emerson Royal. Worked hard off the ball but was largely ineffective for the rest of the game.
Sadio Mane: 6/10
The Senegalese speedster had a lively start and caused Emerson endless troubles in the first half, although his decision-making was suspect at times. Got quieter in the second half, though, and was sacrificed after Robertson’s sending off.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
On for Morton at the hour-mark. Not involved much in the final stages of the game.
Kostas Tsimikas: N/A
Replaced Mane after Robertson’s red card.
Joe Gomez: N/A
Stoppage-time sub as Klopp looked to seal the draw.