Liverpool earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening, as Jurgen Klopp's men continued their march towards a maiden Premier League title.
The Reds almost took the lead in the opening two minutes when Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tested the Spurs goal, but debutant
Klopp's side continued to dominate proceedings during a breathless first half, with Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk both squandering great opportunities in front of goal. The visitors were relentless in their pursuit of the first goal though and struck with
Key Talking Point
Cagey matches are often decided by their opening goal, and no one knows this better than Spurs boss José Mourinho. After setting up his side in typically stubborn fashion, all of their good work in the opening half an hour was undone by a wonderful Firmino strike. But Mourinho will feel pretty hard-done by when he looks at the replays.
Liverpool were awarded a throw-in following a clash between Serge Aurier and Mané, but the ball appeared to strike the Senegalese forward last before going out of play. The Reds scored in the subsequent action, and the Spurs boss will be pondering why VAR did not intervene following this clear error.
Technology was brought in to clarify our game, but it is raising more questions in the Premier League as the weeks go on.
Substitutes: Lamela (6), Lo Celso (6),
It must be torture to play as a forward in a Mourinho set-up. Lucas Moura was a willing runner for Spurs' counter-attacking system, and he provided an excellent outlet for his tiring teammates on a difficult evening in north London.
Lucas created Tottenham's best chances by himself, driving in behind the Reds' backline, and working shooting opportunities from next-to-nothing. The Brazilian forward benefitted from his side's attacking intent in the second half, and he provided some moments of quality in the final third, but ultimately failed to change the outcome of the result.
Lucas is not a natural striker, but he'll perform any role assigned to him for the team.
The contrast between the work ethic of Lucas Moura and Eriksen is pretty striking..— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) January 11, 2020
Incredible stat by Sky. Only Lucas Moura has averaged more time in Liverpool's half. The other 10 Spurs players are spending most time in their own half, at home. Liverpool dominant. Need a goal.— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) January 11, 2020
Key Talking Point
Another game, another step towards immortality for this Liverpool side. Klopp's men seem unstoppable this season, and after last year's failed title challenge, the Reds look set to end their long Premier League title drought.
Liverpool dominated the game from start to finish, and apart from the occasional and expected scare towards the end of the match, the visitors were comfortable in their one-goal lead. Klopp's side had several opportunities to cement the result, but they saw out the victory and took another huge step towards lifting the big trophy.
With the title all-but wrapped up, could the Reds actually finish the season unbeaten? Who can stop them?
Substitutes: Lallana (7), Origi (6), Shaqiri (N/A)
He may not score as many goals as his strike-partners, but Bobby Firmino is just as vital as any other player in this Liverpool team. When facing a side whose manager is the master of 0-0 shutouts, you need a touch of star quality to break the deadlock. And Firmino has just that - and then some.
After a nervy start, Spurs had settled into the game as the first half progressed, and they looked set to keep Liverpool at arm's length until the half-time whistle. It wasn't meant to be, however.
Firmino found himself in a pocket of space in the penalty area, and like a man who possesses all the time in the world, the Brazilian shifted the ball onto his left foot and rifled home a ruthless finish.
A stunning moment and one of genuine quality.
Tottenham follow up their difficult evening against Liverpool with an FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough in midweek, before travelling to a resurgent Watford on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool continue their march towards Premier League title success with a grudge match against arch-rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.