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Reds Column IV

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool

Defending Premier League Champions Liverpool Fc ended their 5 Match Winless Streak in an empathetic fashion as they beat the hosts Tottenham Hotspur Fc 1-3 in the Premier League.

Fabinho was sidelined due to a minor muscle issue prior to Liverpool Fc (The Reds) encounter with the hosts Tottenham Hotspur Fc (Spurs).

Given Fabinho’s latest setback and the lack of Centre Back options; Jürgen Klopp had to shuffle his Centre Back options.

Fortunately, Captain Jordan Henderson returned to the Starting XI as the Englishman recovered from an unspecified Minor Fitness Issue.

The Skipper was lined-up alongside with Joël Matip at Centre Back with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson continuing as Full Backs.

With Alisson Becker remaining in Goal, the rest of Team that faced the hosts Manchester United in the FA Cup 2020-21 Fourth Round retained their places.

All in all. the Reds Youth Academy Players Rhys Williams and Curtis Jones were the ones that made way for Henderson and Matip.

As expected, Spurs under José Mourinho were happy to sit back, allow the Reds to come on them with the hope of playing on the counter.

The Reds started well but it was hosts that came close through Son Heung-min as the Korean struck the ball and beat Alisson Becker at the near post but the Goal was ruled as Offside after a VAR review and the Reds were fortunate to get away early on.

The Front 3 (Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah) looked like they were back in sync and worked together in tandem.

Joël Matip defended astutely as the Cameroonian read the game well.

One of the tactics used by the Reds to open up the Spurs Defence was to play the ball over the Spurs Defenders.

The Reds broke the deadlock at the stroke of First Half as Firmino tapped in the ball after Mané played in to pass the ball on the path of Firmino.

Klopp would feel more satisfied with the Reds overall performance during the First Half as the First Half ended at 0-1.

Matip was replaced by Nathaniel Phillips before the Second Half began as the Cameroonian struggled during the First Half, after sustaining an ankle ligament damage.

The Reds extended their lead to 0-2 after Mané’s shot was stopped by Lloris but Trent Alexander-Arnold struck the resulting rebound in to the bottom left corner of the net in the 46th minute.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg cut the lead for the home side with a well struck shot outside the box in the 48th minute following an assist from Steven Bergwijn.

A good pass to Mané found Salah and the Egyptian struck well but the Goal was chalked off after another VAR Check by Referee Martin Atkinson in the 56th minute.

Mané finally ended his mini Goal Drought in the 65th minute as an inch perfect cross from Alexander-Arnold was met by Mané. The Sengalese then struck the ball to the high centre of the net to make 1-3 for the Reds.

After sustaining a head injury during the Second Half due to a head collision in the air with 2 Spurs Players, Thiago with a head bandage made way for Curtis Jones in the 77th minute.

Divock Origi was brought on to replace Firmino in the 87th minute.

The Reds went on to seal a well deserved 1-3 win over the hosts Spurs that ended also their 5 Match winless streak that included their dispiriting loss to the visitors Burnley Fc.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 6: Decent handling, anticipation and distribution but overall did not had much to do. The Goal from Højbjerg was simply unstoppable.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: What a return to form from the young Englishman. Scored a goal and provided the near perfect cross that resulted in the third Goal. Dealt reasonably well to deal with Bergwijn particularly.

Joël Matip – 7: Timed his challenges very well and read the game brilliantly. Did brilliantly to dispose Son and Harry Kane. Hauled off before the Second Half.

Jordan Henderson – 8: Calm influence at Centre Back and played the ball that initiated the First Goal. Snuffed out the Spurs attack and that left Son especially a frustrated figure.

Andrew Robertson – 6: Defensively dealt well to deal with the Spurs Wingers and but could not much going forward.

Midfield:

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Energetic display as the Dutchman operated as Number 6. Shielded the defence well to snuff out the Spurs attack in the Midfield and looked to get the Reds on the Front Foot.

Thiago Alcântara – 7: Made needless sliding tackles and got ruffled by the pace of the English Football but found his groove with good distribution and quick incisive passes.

James Milner – 7: Sharp and incisive in the Midfield. Provided the leadership in the Midfield that was missing with Henderson pushed back to the Centre Back position. Shielded the Reds defence whenever needed.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 8: Like Alexander-Arnold, the Senegalese contributed to assist and a Goal. Was a constant menace for the Spurs Defence.

Roberto Firmino – 7: Scored the Opening Goal at the stroke of First Half. His affinity to score Goals against Spurs continued. Linked up well with Salah and Mané.

Mohamed Salah – 6: Had a Goal chalked off by the VAR. The Egyptian looked threatening at every Goal scoring situation but unfortunate not to score.

Substitutes:

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: Replaced the injured Matip. Done a decent job defending well and was ably supported by Henderson.

Curtis Jones – N/A: Brought on to replace Thiago.

Divock Origi – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 7: The German Coach had to dig deep in search of internal solutions and managed to outwit Mourinho again.

Henderson was lined-up alongside with Matip but the Cameroonian was again subbed before the start of the Second Half due to an unspecified injury.

With only few days remaining for the Winter Transfer Window 2021 to close, the Reds needs to seriously consider bringing in a Centre Back; otherwise results as witnessed in the last few games could repeat.

With Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez being long term absentees due to knee injuries; the Reds are not helped by Matip as his frequent injury woes have made him an unreliable option.

 

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