In this piece, we take a look at some of the key takeaways from Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham this evening.
Liverpool host Spurs
Jurgen Klopp’s men went head-to-head with their opponents from last season’s Champions League final at Anfield a short time ago.
The Reds headed into proceedings on the back of their first dropped points of the Premier League season last time out.
A trip to Old Trafford saw Liverpool forced to settle for a point, after Adam Lallana’s late equaliser cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s first-half opener.
The Merseyside giants since bounced back, though, with a dominant 4-1 win over Genk on Wednesday night.
Tottenham, meanwhile, also secured a comprehensive Champions League victory this week.
The north Londoners brought an abysmal run of just 1 win in 7 across all competitions to an end versus Red Star on Tuesday, by means of a 5-0 victory.
Salah decides it from the spot
As such, Spurs no doubt entered this evening’s matchup with their tails up.
Nevertheless, however, no one could have predicted quite how quickly Mauricio Pochettino’s men would explode out of the blocks.
Incredibly, with less than a minute on the clock, the visitors took the lead, through Harry Kane.
After Heung-min Son’s effort from the edge of the box was deflected onto the upright by Dejan Lovren, Tottenham talisman Kane did brilliantly to stoop low and head home on the rebound.
Liverpool inevitably grew into proceedings as the clash wore on, with the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino having gone close.
Spurs, though, continued to look dangerous on the break, meaning the 2nd goal of the clash was always likely to prove crucial.
And, when it did come, it was the hosts who found the net, to draw level.
A dinked ball over the Tottenham rearguard early in the second-half somehow managed to make its way all the way through to Jordan Henderson, with the English international having lashed home beyond Paulo Gazzaniga in impressive fashion.
This saw the home crowd roused, providing the perfect backdrop for Liverpool to pin the visitors further and further back as proceedings wore on.
As such, with the pressure mounting, it came as little surprise when the Reds finally broke through once more.
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 show little hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Mohamed Salah stepped up to take responsibility, slamming his effort home in emphatic fashion, to send the Premier League table-toppers back 6 points clear of champions Manchester City.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 27, 2019
Aurier the liablility
Another game, another Serge Aurier mistake.
The right-back’s rash, reckless tendencies have become something of a running joke amongst fans, both of a Tottenham persuasion and otherwise.
After being sent off versus Southampton last month, and then being comprehensively torn apart by Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry in the Champions League just days later, Aurier cost his side dearly yet again this evening.
Amid an admittedly solid display along the visitors’ right flank, during which he had not done much wrong, a coming together between the Ivorian and Sadio Mane, at an absolutely crucial point in proceedings, saw Aurier scythe the Liverpool star down, to give away a penalty.
In a somewhat bizarre exchange, the Tottenham stopper actually appeared to have come away with the ball, before Mane reemerged, and Aurier, in his attempts to clear the ball, simply kicked the back of his fellow African’s legs.
And, as evidenced by the scoreline, the 26-year-old’s latest mistake, when all was said and done, prove telling.
If Spurs intend to challenge for major honours this season, or in any campaign over the coming years, Serge Aurier simply cannot be relied upon as a key member of the club’s squad.
Tottenham’s midfield woes
Aurier, however, was far from Spurs’ only sub-par performer at Anfield this evening.
Another major area of concern for the north Londoners was the middle of the park.
After early promise from the likes of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko, Tottenham’s midfield were simply run ragged by their Liverpool counterparts over the remainder of the clash.
Fabinho, in particular, simply looked a level above Spurs’ midfield 3, with Christian Eriksen’s lack of athleticism and defensive nous having been exposed time and time again.
Tanguy Ndombele’s return to full fitness can’t come quickly enough for the capital giants, with the Frenchman having at least added some guile to the Spurs ranks in the middle of the park following his late introduction.
While it was Aurier’s foul that, in the end, proved critical in which way the result went, it could be argued that Tottenham’s latest loss actually stemmed from their midfield woes.
While the two talking points discussed above have focused on negatives, this one contains a far more positive angle.
Understandably, it comes from a Liverpool standpoint, and surrounds the latest display of one of their star men.
The individual in question is Fabinho.
The Brazilian is, simply put, a stupendous footballer.
Fabinho is everything that was, until last season, so badly missing from Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.
The former Monaco man just possesses every desirable attribute of a midfield enforcer.
And every one of these traits was, at one point or another, on full display versus Spurs.
Fabinho patrolled the middle of the park at Anfield, making it his own with a combination of tenacity, finesse, and a near-unrivalled reading of the game.
The 26-year-old also bagged the assist for Liverpool’s equaliser, with a pinpoint ball over the top.
While it will be the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk who continue to take the plaudits for the Premier League leaders over the course of the campaign, Fabinho’s contributions should not, and cannot, go unrecognised.
Fabinho just gets better and better.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) October 27, 2019
The final note of significance stemming from this evening’s action on Merseyside was a potential injury picked up by Mo Salah.
As the tie entered the closing exchanges, the Egyptian went to ground holding his ankle.
Worryingly, this was the same ankle that had kept him sidelined over recent weeks, and saw Salah miss Liverpool’s draw with Manchester United last weekend.
It remains to be seen whether his substitution versus Spurs was more for precautionary reasons than anything else, but fans of the Merseysiders will no doubt be awaiting an update from Jurgen Klopp with bated breath.