From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Liverpool managed to hold off a late rally to secure a 2-1 win at Tottenham on Sunday.
The Reds raced into a first-half lead which ultimately proved fatal to Spurs, who have slipped to fourth in the Premier League table.
After racing in behind Eric Dier, Darwin Nunez’s sliced half-volley brought an acrobatic save out of Hugo Lloris as the first half-opening of the afternoon fell Liverpool’s way.
The Uruguayan was the busiest player in the opening stages, again just missing after meeting Trent Alexander-Arnold’s searching cross-field pass, this time firing wide.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for the Reds after 11 minutes, with Andy Robertson’s cross controlled and knocked on by Nunez to the Egyptian, who fired into the bottom corner from around 12 yards out.
Tottenham nearly levelled twice in the following minutes with Alisson turning the ball onto the post after Ivan Perisic missed a cross from Harry Kane, before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg forced the Brazilian into a low save.
The hosts were incensed that they weren’t awarded a penalty when Alexander-Arnold shoved Ryan Sessegnon to the ground – a decision only briefly looked at by VAR.
Liverpool added a second when Eric Dier’s poor header back to Lloris was intercepted by Salah, who dinked the Spurs captain to double the lead.
The hosts sought to make amends after the break with Dier heading on an early corner, though it was a comfortable save for Alisson to make.
Dier’s deep cross was then cut back by Sessegnon for Perisic, who rattled the crossbar with his first-time strike.
Sessegnon himself then fired just wide with his weaker right foot as Spurs’ fast second-half start continued, while Lloris denied Salah from close range at the other end following a swift Liverpool break.
A free-kick from Perisic was flicked on by Harry Kane, before the England skipper pulled one back for Tottenham after being slipped through by the returning Dejan Kulusevski.
Spurs penned Liverpool back in and nearly found an equaliser through Clement Lenglet, who headed narrowly over from a corner.
They went even closer in the final minute of regulation time when Kane’s flick on alluded Rodrigo Bentancur by a hair, with the ball only just falling the wrong side of the post.
Liverpool managed to ride out four long minutes of stoppage time to claim a big victory in what’s been a disappointing season for them so far, closing the gap on the top four to seven points.
GK: Hugo Lloris – 5/10 – Hesitant on a few crosses but made some decent saves.
CB: Eric Dier – 3/10 – His mindless error changed the complexion of the game and gave Spurs too much to do.
CB: Clement Lenglet – 6/10 – Kept Firmino largely quiet but it didn’t count for much.
CB: Ben Davies – 5/10 – Did his best to battle Salah and yet the Egyptian still scored a brace.
RM: Emerson Royal – 4/10 – Defensively could have helped Dier out against Nunez, while his distribution left a lot to be desired.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – 6/10 – Technically excellent but failed to make an impact in the final third.
CM: Yves Bissouma – 6/10 – Did his duties as the deepest midfielder well, though he had a lot on his plate.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 4/10 – One of those days where the Dane’s touch wasn’t sticking and his passing was way off.
LM: Ryan Sessegnon – 5/10 – Got at Alexander-Arnold a few times but should have exploited that matchup more.
CF: Harry Kane – 7/10 – Often tried to make everything happen, which is understandable considering Spurs’ attacking absences, but this meant his action in the penalty area was limited.
CF: Ivan Perisic – 6/10 – Asked to play a much more advanced role and was a focal point of most of Spurs’ best attacks.
SUB: Matt Doherty (68′ for Emerson) – 6/10 – An upgrade on Emerson in every department.
SUB: Dejan Kulusevski (68′ for Sessegnon) – 7/10 – An instant impact who forced Liverpool to change how they defended.
SUB: Lucas Moura (89′ for Bissouma) – N/A
Manager: Antonio Conte – 6/10 – Spurs were ultimately undone by individual errors, though their structure was impressive in spite of key absences.
GK: Alisson – 6/10 – Had a couple of hairy moments but ultimately his shot-stopping saved Liverpool.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6/10 – Tremendous on the ball but was clearly on skates off of it.
CB: Ibrahima Konate – 7/10 – Usually defended on the front foot well.
CB: Virgil van Dijk – 7/10 – Similarly played with aggression but noticeable stood off following Kulusevski’s introduction.
LB: Andy Robertson – 7/10 – Helped by the fact Emerson was so poor. His delivery was typically great.
DM: Fabinho – 5/10 – Wasn’t always concentrating but this was one of Fabinho’s better performances this season.
CM: Harvey Elliott – 6/10 – A technical wizard, though was roughed up by Spurs’ aggressive midfielders.
CM: Thiago – 8/10 – Glided through Spurs’ midfield with ease and also put in some crunching challenges.
RW: Mohamed Salah – 9/10 – Back to his ruthless best today, taking both goals extremely well and proving the difference.
CF: Roberto Firmino – 5/10 – Marked out of the game and was eventually hooked.
LW: Darwin Nunez – 7/10 – Caused all sorts of problems down Tottenham’s right side.
SUB: Curtis Jones (74′ for Firmino) – 5/10
SUB: Jordan Henderson (74′ for Elliott) – 5/10
SUB: Joe Gomez (87′ for Nunez) – N/A
SUB: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (90′ for Salah) – N/A
Manager: Jurgen Klopp – 5/10 – Liverpool managed to hold Spurs off but it was much closer than Klopp would have probably liked.