Premier League Round three kicked off at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon with home side Tottenham Hotspur welcoming Liverpool in what has been described as a pick of the week in England.
An openly contested clash between top 4 contenders offered plenty of excitement and two completely different halves with the game ultimately ending in a share of spoils 1-1.
Following the third consecutive draw between two sides, we take a look at 5 key moments from the match in London:
Consistency a major problem for Liverpool
Reds opened the game in dominant fashion having exercised possession football and fast transitions to cause plenty of problems for Tottenham early on in the game. Liverpool had several chances to break the deadlock and take the lead, but it wasn’t until the 43rd minute and a reckless in-box start from Lamela on Firmino that Liverpool earned the lead from the white spot.
James Milner’s goal was cancelled in the second half with Tottenham left back Danny Rose executing a precise shot with 20 minutes from time to earn a point for Spurs in what ended up being an eventful match.
Saturday’s clash provided additional proof that Jurgen Klopp’s side lack consistency as they once again failed to take advantage of their on-field dominance. German tactician set up his team to entertaining side and a hard-working group, but with mixed results which tend to undermine Klopp’s influence with the Reds.
Spurs’ lack of transfer activity could be a problem
Mauricio Pochettino opened the new Premier League season with pretty much the same squad he had at his disposal last season. Having secured their best-ever Premier League finish, Spurs headed into the new campaign looking to make additional step forward as they prepare to enter the much-desired Champions League this year.
With more responsibilities and plenty of games ahead of them in what is likely to be a busy year, Spurs were expected to make significant investments to bolster their ranks and add depth to the squad.
Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen are the only new faces at White Hart Lane however and Pochettino might be in for a long year if he loses some of his key players to injury. Mousa Dembele’s absence through suspension is an omen as the Belgian was sorely missed against Liverpool.
Mane a major impact
The Senegal international was once again the most prominent performer for Jurgen Klopps side at White Hart Lane.
Sadio Mane was sorely missed against Burnley in a game he missed due to a shoulder injury, and his return to Liverpool line-up provided Reds with an instant momentum. A £30 million summer signing from Southampton hit the ground running at his new club, impressing with goals and assists in the first three Premier League rounds.
The 24-year-old winger has already become the main man for Liverpool, leading the way in attack and at the same time working hard to help defensively against Tottenham.
Vorm a worthy replacement for Lloris
Tottenham Hotspur’s early season has been marked with an injury to first-choice goalkeeper and club captain Hugo Lloris, who was forced off in the first half against Everton due to an injury issue that is likely to keep him sidelined for four weeks.
The 32-year-old Netherlands international shot stopper Michel Vorm stepped in to replace the French goalkeeper and has so far done a wonderful job.
Vorm had a great impact on the game with his numerous saves and timely interventions in great deal helping Tottenham avoid defeat against Liverpool. One of the key moments of the game was definitely Vorm’s early save from Philippe Coutinho, a big morale boost for the keeper who had a great game at the Lane.
Liverpool need to improve defensively
Reds have made plenty of changes under Jurgen Klopp as they are now a lively side with their great movement causing plenty of problems for opposing defences.
Their own defence, however, remains exposed and in serious lack of quality despite additions and new arrivals in the likes of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan. Heart of defence might be solved and well boosted, but flanks remain vulnerable with James Milner acting as a make-shift left back against Tottenham following poor performances from Alberto Moreno.
It is clear that Klopp’s team has plenty of room for improvement, but the German will have to act quicky as he doesn’t want to lose pace in the race with other top four contenders.
TOTTENHAM: Vorm 7 – Walker 6.5 (Janssen 6), Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 6.5, Rose 7.5 – Dier 7, Wanyama 6.5 – Lamela 6, Alli 7, Eriksen 7 (Winks – ) – Kane 6 (Onomah – )
Unused subs: Carter-Vickers, Davies, McGee, Son Heung-Min
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 6.5 – Clyne 7, Matip 7, Lovren 7, Milner 7.5 – Lallana 7 (Stewart – ), Henderson 6, Wijnaldum 7 – Mane 8 (Sturridge – ), Firmino 6, Coutinho 7 (Origi 6)
Unused subs: Grujic, Manninger, Moreno, Lucas Leiva
REFEREE: Robert Madley