Liverpool rose from their prolonged slumber to show glimpses of the form which made them so mesmerizing in the early part of the season. Liverpool were the hungrier team tonight and walked away with the points.
What a difference a week’s break makes, the first for Liverpool since December.
This is how the Reds fared.
Simon Mignolet (7) – Had a comfortable night in goal. Made a big save in the first half but was pretty much untroubled thereafter. Spurs did not pose any danger off set-pieces which made it one of the better nights for Mignolet in the last couple of weeks.
Nathaniel Clyne (7) – Made a bright start early in the first half with his attacking performance; something he has been criticized for in the last few weeks. The first couple of attacks came down his side with him being involved. Stuck to his defensive duties well through-out the game. Was fouled far too often as the game got a bit patchy in the second half.
Joel Matip (7) – Solid game from Matip as he partnered Lucas once more. Did not have much to deal with in the first half as the Reds were rampant and Kane preferred attacking Lucas which was to be expected. There were more aerial duels in the second half, but Matip was up to the task.
Lucas Leiva (7) – There was bewilderment among the fans as Lucas was named in the XI after that shambolic performance last week. His job sheet was quite clear today, and he stuck to that task which was to send the ball where it came from. This included a set piece opportunity which was duly sent to the stands. Made couple of solid tackles and interceptions. Went off late in the second half to be replaced by Klavan.
James Milner (6) – There were fears that Walker would expose Milner’s lack of pace, but the potential threats were minimized to a large extent. Still the weakest link in the team tonight. Set-piece delivery continues to be appalling.
Jordan Henderson (7) – Excellent game from the captain as the midfield functioned like a pack of wolves hunting for the ball. His ball distribution was excellent for the most part. Was keen on recycling the ball as Liverpool controlled possession in the first half. The game turned scrappy in the second half as the midfield became congested. Stood his ground as the tackles kept flying in. A yellow card was the single negative outcome for the captain.
Adam Lallana (8) – There were questions marks on whether Lallana would be fit enough to start. Lallana ‘The Cyborg’ dispelled those fears with his incredible appetite to cover large distances which was on display tonight as well. He was the first to close down the opposition, trying hard even on the most impossible of opportunities.His pressing trigger eventually led to the first goal. Another clever trap almost led to Liverpool scoring an immediate second goal.
Giorginio Wijnaldum (8) – Outstanding game from the Dutchman who was re-instated into the starting line up. His awareness of space and his team mates shone through-out. His calmness to make a simple pass in a tight situation which was in contrast to what we have seen from Can in recent weeks. Setup the first goal with a pass of great vision and preciseness. Best midfielder this season by quite a distance.
Sadio Mane (9) – Mane terrorised the Spurs defence right from the first moment, brutally exposing their higher defensive line coupled with the lack of game-reading from Dier and Davies. Excellent finish for the first goal as he was stumbling to the floor. Was calm in scoring the second goal after Coutinho and Firmino had their attempts blocked. Lloris made couple of huge saves in that manic first half, else Mane could have scored 4 or 5 goals tonight.
Roberto Firmino (8) – A welcome return to form for Firmino as he had a great game leading the line for Liverpool. His hold up play was generally excellent as he brought the other attackers into play in that first half were Liverpool steam-rolled Spurs. He was involved in the sequence of opportunities for the second goal which was eventually turned in by Mane. He put in a huge pressing and defensive sheet when needed, but it is something we have now got accustomed to.
Philippe Coutinho (7) – The fitness seems to be slowly getting back accompanied by in game sharpness. Some of his close control and deft faints were gorgeous to watch,as he was often closed down by 3 to 4 Spurs players. Still someway off his best though as he was taken off midway through the second half.
Emre Can – N/A
Ragnar Klavan – N/A
Trent Arnold – N/A