Liverpool and Spurs Play to a Free-Flowing Draw

Spread the love

Liverpool and Spurs Play to a Free-Flowing Draw

Liverpool and Spurs played to a draw Saturday at White Hart Lane in what was an exciting Premier Leauge encounter. Jurgen Klopp went into the match under slight pressure following a disappointing defeat at Burnley. Klopp reinstalled the now-fit Sadio Mane to the Liverpool frontline. The Senegalese pace in behind was a major factor in Liverpool’s strong first-half performance.

Game Recap

Spurs started brightly in front of their home fans and had the better of the first exchanges. Liverpool grew into the game and started to win back possession, launching probing counter attacks. Jordan Henderson provided aggressive pressing in the opening phases. His willingness to chase down the ball was directly responsible for Philippe Coutinho’s testing Michel Vorm early on.

On a better shooting day, Coutinho could have scored twice. Liverpool were flowing and the openness of the game suited their style of play. Spurs were penned back for large parts of the half and relegated to sparse counter attacks of their own. Roberto Firmino was tripped by Erik Lamela and the resulting penalty was dispatched by James Milner to give the Reds a thoroughly deserved halftime lead.

Liverpool almost grabbed a second on the 56th minute with Mane dispatching a lightning attack. Adam Lallana was marginally offside and the goal was ruled out. Spurs started to come into the game around the 60-minute mark with increasing pressure. Danny Rose steamed in on the left to fire home a dangerous Eric Dier cross and Spurs were level. The game then solidified and the free-flowing play became cautious. Both sides had some half chances in the last phase, but the game petered out into an entertaining draw.

Refereeing Controversy

Referee Robert Madley created a controversy when Jan Vertonghen quite blatantly pulled down Joel Matip in the box prior to a Liverpool corner. The Cameroonian defender had stolen a step on the Spurs defender and the resulting contact should have resulted in a penalty under the new rules. Madley decided only to lecture Vertonghen. 

Liverpool’s Fitness

Liverpool were physically dominant for much of the first half.  On the break there were some lighting attacks, with Mane and Lallana pushing the ball forward at pace. Spurs to their credit hung in and pressed when Liverpool seemed to be taking a lull, and it was in this phase that they equalized.

Sadio Mane Lucky

Mane was brilliant as an attacking force once again. His clever running at pace and endeavour in tracking back make him a real asset. Klopp will need to address his tackling, however. The Senegalese was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch after persistent fouling.

Jordan Henderson Solid

Henderson put in a real shift at White Hart Lane. The sniping criticism he has faced lately seemed to power the Reds skipper on. He was aggressive but smart in the tackle, and played within his means. Henderson’s engine is evident; perhaps a holding role can be coached into him.

False Nine

Striking is not Firmino’s forte but the Brazilian does supply guile and a superb workrate as the first to press opposing defenders. His clever run resulted in Liverpool’s penalty close to half time. The Brazilian lacks the finishing prowess of a Daniel Sturridge or the physical presence and power of a Divock Origi. It has been rumoured that behind the scenes there may be some kind of clash developing between Sturridge and Klopp. Origi could count himself unlucky not to start in the striking role here. Klopp has some decisions to make as to who leads his frontline. If he gets it correct, Liverpool may have a profitable season.

Aerial Presence

Joel Matip had a very solid display at Spurs. The former Schalke center back added some much needed aerial cover to the Liverpool defence. Liverpool corners now pose a threat, Matip should have been awarded a first half penalty when he was pulled down by Vertonghen. Mobility in free-flowing play may be Matip’s Achilles’ heel. Judging by today’s display, Liverpool have a new aerial threat on both ends of the pitch.

Anfield Return

Klopp’s team have now navigated two difficult away fixtures in North London. Four away points from six against two of last season’s top four is a good return. The Reds return next to Anfield against the reigning champions Leicester. Klopp will hope for no injuries during the upcoming international break in order to continue the fine start to the season at the revamped Anfield.

Main image credit