Rio Ferdinand responds as Liverpool give ’emphatic answer’ to title question

Rio Ferdinand changed his tune after Liverpool emphatically answered their critics with a thumping 3-1 win over Tottenham.

Jurgen Klopp’s side went into Thursday’s clash without a win in their previous five Premier League games, having failed to score in their last four.

The drought suffered by their fabled front line led some to question the Reds had any chance of defending their title – especially after they were overtaken by both Manchester clubs in recent weeks.

And ahead of the game against Spurs, Ferdinand claimed the Anfield board may have “sacrificed” Liverpool’s title ambitions by not giving Klopp an emergency centre-half in the January transfer window.

The Reds’ defensive problems remain, with Joel Matip forced off through injury on Thursday after stand-in centre-back Fabinho had been ruled out in the build-up to the game.

Trent Alexander-Anold scored and set one up and in a man-of-the-match display

But Liverpool’s attack certainly silenced their doubters against Spurs, with goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold – who answered questions about his own form with a man-of-the-match display.

And Ferdinand admitted afterwards that Liverpool had got their critics “off their case”.

“I think Liverpool definitely needed this result,” the ex-Manchester United defender told BT Sport.

“Everybody’s been on their case. Is their season over in terms of challenging? I think they’ve answered that emphatically tonight.

“Yes they were given some gifts tonight but you’ve got to be there to take them.”

Liverpool’s win moved them back up to fourth place, and while they are still four points behind current pacesetters Manchester City – who have a game in hand – Ferdinand said Klopp’s side were right back in the title race.

“Liverpool are going to be there or thereabouts,” he said. “This strikeforce, yes they’ve had a bit of a blip in their form in front of goal but, these guys are seasoned in knowing how to be around the top of the league. They are going to be a force.

“Yes they’re missing main cogs in the backline but when you’ve got these types of strikers gaining confidence from this you’re always going to be in with a chance.”

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