Liverpool clinched a dramatic 4-3 home triumph over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening to move to fifth in the Premier League table.
Even though Champions League qualification looks beyond reach, Jurgen Klopp’s side have rediscovered their winning touch, stringing together three straight league wins for the first time in 2023.
With fifth-placed Spurs one point above at the commencement of this round, a victory on Merseyside was a necessity for the hosts as the Reds bid to ensure Europa League football for next season.
They couldn’t have hoped for a better start as Curtis Jones fired them 1-0 up only three minutes into the game with a composed finish from inside the box after receiving an inch-perfect pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
A mere two minutes later, Luis Diaz marked his return to the starting line-up for the first time since October with a bang.
Cody Gakpo teed him up inside the box with a sublime through ball, with the Colombian winger’s curling effort slicing past Fraser Forster.
It wasn’t the end of Tottenham’s misery as Liverpool put clear daylight between the sides in the 15th minute through a penalty converted by Mohamed Salah.
World Cup winner Cristian Romero committed a reckless tackle on the edge of the box, taking Gakpo to the ground and handing the Egyptan a perfect chance to score in his sixth straight home league outing.
For the second time in a week, Spurs conceded three times within the opening 15 minutes. Interim manager Ryan Mason seems incapable of solving his team’s growing defensive issues.
His men have capitulated twice before half-time in both Premier League games since he replaced Christian Stellini in temporary charge earlier this week.
But talismanic striker Harry Kane threw Tottenham a lifeline late in the first half volleying home a delightful cross from Dejan Kulusevski through the legs of Allison Becker.
The Swedish forward could’ve whittled down the gap further minutes later after robbing Andy Robertson of the ball, but Alisson denied him with a leg save in a one-on-one situation.
Tottenham enjoyed a mighty start to the second half, yet the post came to Liverpool’s rescue twice in a matter of minutes.
When it looked like Spurs have given up on this fixture, Cristian Romero found Heung-min Son with an inch-perfect diagonal ball, with the Korean superstar beating Alisson with a composed finish in the 77th minute.
Richarlison needed less than ten minutes on the pitch to restore parity, connecting his header with Son’s top-notch set-piece delivery to open his Premier League account in the Tottenham shirt in stoppage time.
However, Liverpool snatched away all three points in the 94th minute as second-half substitute Diogo Jota escaped his markers and found the bottom far corner to seal an enthralling 4-3 win for his side.
Alisson (7/10) – Made a crucial stop to deny Kulusevski late in the first half. Powerless against Kane.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7/10) – Delivered another assist to help fire Liverpool to a flying start and kept his passing clean throughout the game.
Virgil van Dijk (7/10) – Despite pulling off a stunning goal-line clearance to thwart Son, Kulusevski made him look silly with a simple dribbling moments after.
Ibrahima Konate (6/10) – Not as convincing as his abovementioned colleague. Picked up an unnecessary yellow card and danced on the edge of expulsion.
Andy Robertson (6/10) – Another proactive display on the left flank from the Scottish star, yet unlike Arnold, his crossing was below his high standards.
Harvey Elliott (6/10) – Full of running and energy but couldn’t find any impact in the front third.
Fabinho (7/10) – Did all the heavy lifting in the middle of the park, battling and bruising with Kane and Son. Not as nearly as effective in the attacking aspect.
Curtis Jones (8/10) – Broke the deadlock with a brilliant finish and enjoyed a phenomenal match overall, distributing the ball all over the place with pinpoint precision.
Luis Diaz (7/10) – Returned to the scoresheet with a beautiful effort. However, other than the goal, failed to influence his team’s attacking movements before leaving the pitch after the hour mark.
Mohamed Salah (6/10) – Slotted home a penalty but could get his foothold in the game, struggling to produce anything meaningful from open play.
Cody Gakpo (8/10) – Teed up Diaz for Liverpool’s second and drew a penalty to send Salah to the spot. Game-changing display from the Dutch forward.
Jordan Henderson – (5/10)
Diogo Jota (8/10) *MOTM* – Klopp’s super-sub came on midway through the second half and slotted home a last-gasp winner to cut Spurs’ celebrations short.
Darwin Nunez – (4/10)
James Milner – (NA/10)
Fraser Forster (3/10) – Every attempt on target Liverpool produced today finished in the back of the net, summing up his day.
Ben Davies (6/10) – Kept Salah quiet all game and was a rare shining light in Tottenham’s otherwise terrible-looking backline.
Eric Dier (5/10) – Unable to hold high-flying Gakpo and looked shaky with and without the ball.
Cristian Romero (3/10) – Woeful could be the perfect word to describe the Argentine’s performance today. Completely out of shape. Plus, gave away a cheap penalty.
Ivan Perisic (6/10) – Not one of his best displays for Tottenham this term, but still provided depth on the left when given space to venture forward.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (7/10) – Pulled all the strings in the Spurs midfield, moving the ball around with precision and purpose.
Oliver Skipp (7/10) – Another lively-looking Tottenham midfielder who failed to find a final product despite producing plenty of running.
Pedro Porro (5/10) – Besides wayward crossing, the January arrival had concentration slip-ups at the back, especially in the first half.
Dejan Kulusevski (7/10) – Set up Kane on a silver platter after making van Dijk look like a second-tier defender. Pity Allison denied him from point-blank on the stroke of half-time.
Heung-min Son (8/10) – Absolutely masterclass attacking showing from Spurs’ long-serving stalwart. His superb first touch accommodated a routine finish to initiate the comeback before picking out Richarlison with a sublime free-kick delivery.
Harry Kane (7/10) – Showed his killer instinct to stab home the only chance he had today.
Pape Matar Sarr – (6/10)
Richarlison (7/10) – Thought he rescued a point with his first Premier League goal for Tottenham, but Jota spoiled his party.
Lucas Moura – (NA/10)
Arnaut Danjuma – (NA/10)
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