The wait for Liverpool finally ended at White Hart Lane – and then they just could not stop scoring.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was terrific, showing signs of his marauding best as he scored and got an assist, the same for Sadio Mane as the visitors ruthlessly punished Tottenham’s defensive lapses.
And if it had not been for that dastardly VAR and another highly questionable decision then Mo Salah would have got another, too.
But this was not just about the goals, it was also about Liverpool getting back towards their best.
Jurgen Klopp celebrating on the touchline, delighting in their energy, work rate and passion as his players never stopped moving, working and looking for angles all night.
For a team supposedly out of confidence and struggling for belief, the reigning champions must have picked it up and found it again on the way down to London.
Liverpool were patched up – so were Tottenham – as Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip was their 11th different central defensive partnership this season. They only lasted as a pair until half time when Nat Phillips had to come on for Matip.
But attack was their best form of defence as Mane, Firmino and Salah really clicked back into top gear, the deadly trio in harness again, ripping Tottenham to shreds.
This was also surely Thiago Alcantara’s best game in a Liverpool shirt to date before he came off in the second half with a bandage around his head.
Patched up, battered and bruised but back on the winning trail, Liverpool have got a remarkable hold over Tottenham as this was their seventh win over the Londoners and Klopp also seems to have mastered Jose Mourinho.
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In fairness, Spurs boss Mourinho had his own problems as Sergio Reguilon was missing through injury, Harry Kane had to come off at half time after being kicked from pillar to post but that was no excuse for the home side’s woeful defensive mistakes.
Eric Dier messed up on the first goal, Hugo Lloris was at fault before the second and rookie defender Joe Rodon horribly exposed on the third.
It was just not Tottenham’s night from the moment Heung-Min Son had the ball in the net after just two minutes but it was ruled out by VAR for offside.
But the pace and the feistiness in the game meant it was never going to finish goalless. The breakthrough came in first half injury time.
Is this the result to kickstart Liverpool for the second half of the season? Have your say in the comments.
The excellent Henderson played a lovely ball over the top to release Mane down the left, his cross fizzed into the box and yet Lloris and Dier almost left it for each other to allow Firmino to score from close range.
Liverpool got their second within two minutes of the restart. Mane turned Doherty too easily and his shot was spilled by Lloris straight into Alexander-Arnold’s path and the Liverpool right back drilled a super shot into the ground and the ball flew into the far corner.
Yet the joy was short-lived. Steven Bergwijn teed up Pierre-Emile Højbjerg who unleashed a sensational right foot screamer from 25 yards which curled into the far corner after 49 minutes.
Liverpool looked to have got a third when Salah smashed in a third after 57 minutes but once again VAR stepped in.
Referee Martin Atkinson checked his screen and ruled Firmino handled the ball in the build-up. But Dier had actually handled it first, pushing the ball onto Firmino’s arm.
But Liverpool finally wrapped it up after 65 minutes.
Alexander-Arnold’s ball over the top was completely missed by Rodon and then Mane lashed it into the net.
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