Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham: Five Things we Learned as Liverpool Rebound from Loss

Mane

Mane got the hosts off to a fast start and carried them to victory. Image via liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool produced some quality football, an emphatic performance fully deserving of the 2-0 win. Sadio Mane’s brace in the first half was enough to propel an energetic Liverpool past a Spurs side who looked as though they had lost the will to play.

5. Liverpool are not done and dusted

Just a week after losing a shocker to Hull City continuing their disastrous mid-season slide, Liverpool rebounded, winning their first league game of the year and showing signs of the team that stood second in the Premier League just a couple of months ago. They absolutely dominated the Spurs, outshooting them seventeen to seven, with nine shots to two on target.

The Spurs were unable to get anything going, and their defense was under constant pressure all night from Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne who turned in some of their best performances all season. While they may not hoist the ever elusive Premier League trophy this season, they can surely compete for a spot in the Europa League and perhaps even the Champions League.

4. Liverpool have Tottenham’s Number

The Reds have not lost to the Spurs in their last ten matchups, including two of the three this season. Klopp’s side clearly has the edge over the Spurs, and they should be happy to see them on their calendar.

The Spurs delivered a performance that was not fitting for a team of their caliber. Tottenham did not play like a team who sit second in the league behind Conte’s Chelsea. They played with an extremely high line, something that only benefited their opponents who utilized their pace to speed by the opposition’s defense. Tottenham have not shown up when it matters most, and if they wish to compete with the best in the world, they need to figure out how to play under pressure.

3. Tottenham Lack Consistency in Big Matches

The Spurs need to step it up when the spotlight is on them. They lost last season’s title due to a poor run of form in the last few fixtures, and their momentum has been stopped after this performance. This was not the Tottenham we saw dismantle Chelsea last month. They couldn’t deal with the pressuring of Liverpool’s attack, and their big players failed to perform. Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane were nowhere to be seen for the majority of the match, an inexplicable blip in what has otherwise been a stellar year for the trio.

Their performance was abysmal, and they looked lost out there on the pitch. The Spurs need to get their act together if they wish to have any chance of catching up to Conte’s Chelsea who have no intentions of letting their lead slip.

2. Liverpool Thrive under Pressure

Unlike the Spurs, Liverpool have been clinical all season when facing the top teams in the league. In eight matchups against the top six teams in the league, Liverpool are undefeated against these sides, holding four wins and four draws to their name. Liverpool have performed better against these sides than against those who are lower on the table, a sign that they thrive under the spotlight.

While this Liverpool side may not be the one that won Istanbul in 2005 (don’t remind me), they show glimpses of brilliance when they need to the most.

1. Mane was worth all the money

Get it? Get it? I should just leave.

Sadio Mane continued to impress with a dazzling performance against a Spurs defense that struggled the whole game. His blistering pace and clinical finishing troubled the Spurs defense all night, and they were unable to cope with the forward. The first goal came off an excellent run from the forward who used his pace to leave Ben Davies in his tracks, and an excellent finish past Hugo Lloris gave the Reds their first goal and something to celebrate. He wasn’t done. The second one was somewhat fortuitous, Mane scoring off a double rebound, a good finish in front of a practically open net.

Purchased for €41 million from Southampton, the Senegalese forward has been worth every penny, and he has already scored eleven times and notched five assists, statistics that were a major part of the Reds’ earlier form. Arguably the best player for Liverpool this season alongside Roberto Firmino, the forward has cemented himself as a key figure in Liverpool’s resurgence.

Liverpool XI: Mignolet 7; Clyne 7.5, Matip 7, Leiva 7.5 (Klavan 82′, 7), Milner 7; Henderson 7.5, Wijnaldum 8, Lallana 7.5; Mane 8.5 (Arnold 90+’), Firmino 8, Coutinho 7.5 (Can 77′, 6.5)

Unused Subs: Karius, Moreno, Sturridge, Origi

Tottenham XI: Lloris 7; Walker 5.5, Alderweireld 5.5, Dier 5, Davies 4.5; Wanyama 5.5, Dembele 6.5 (Sissoko 77′, 5), Eriksen 5 (Winks 68′, 6); Alli 5.5, Son 5.5 (Janssen 82′, 5), Kane 5.5

Unused Subs: Vorm, Wimmer, Trippier, N’Kodou

Referee: Anthony Taylor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luca D'Amico-Wong


Writer for Various Blogs including The AC Milan Offside on SBNation, Courtside Watch, Forza Italian Football, Clash Royale Tactics, and Soccer News. Loves AC Milan and Roger Federer. Avid football and video game fan who loves to travel. Will find blogging about football and video games in his free time.

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