Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side deserved their “big result” as they beat Tottenham to win a fifth straight league game at the start of the season for the first time since 1990.
The Reds emerged impressively from their biggest test so far at Wembley with a victory that was far more emphatic than the final scoreline suggests and keeps them top of the Premier League table.
Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first away league goal since joining Liverpool – technology adjudging his header to have crossed the line despite the attempts of back-up Spurs keeper Michel Vorm to clear.
The visitors were dominant almost throughout and doubled their advantage after 54 minutes when Roberto Firmino scored from on the line after Jan Vertonghen turned Sadio Mane’s cross on to his own post.
Andrew Robertson and Lucas Moura hit the woodwork for either side but the Reds could and should have made this a more convincing win, with Naby Keita and Mane missing chances to add to their goal tally.
Erik Lamela pulled one back for Spurs deep into stoppage time and Son Heung-min saw a late penalty claim turned down after he was brought down by Mane but it was all too late and Liverpool’s triumph was fully deserved.
“What a game from my boys – that was really, really good,” Klopp said. “If we win at Tottenham it’s a big result.
“Tottenham are one of the best teams in world football, and to come here and perform like that after the international break… I didn’t take that for granted.
“We were defensively good, offensively good, and the performance was better than the result. It was perhaps a bit nervy at the end but no problem. I have nothing to be critical about today. If you win games and you’re not 100% with the performance it’s still three points – I like that. It’s a deserved result.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said: “I am not disappointed – the game showed how competitive the Premier League is and we played a really good team who started very well.
“In the second half we made mistakes but we were pushing. The goals we conceded came from our own mistakes, but I am calm.
“After we beat Manchester United at Old Trafford I said we still need to improve, and I’m still saying that.”
Liverpool’s title ambitions have been clear since the arrival of expensive summer acquisitions such as £67m goalkeeper Alisson from Roma to top up other new signings Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, as well as the £75m purchase of defender Virgil van Dijk in January.
The expectations have been heightened by those four straight wins but a trip to face Spurs at Wembley, where they were well beaten 4-1 last season, was regarded by many as the acid test of those aspirations.
They answered in the most positive manner possible and confirmed their growing status as the team most likely to topple reigning champions Manchester City.
True, Spurs were astonishingly lethargic but it would be unfair to remove credit from Liverpool on the basis of the home side’s performance.
The Reds were more vibrant, dangerous and energetic from the first whistle and moments of discomfort when they were not in control were few and far between.
The imperious Van Dijk ruled at the back, Liverpool were dominant in midfield and the pace of Mane and the guile of Firmino were simply too much for Spurs.
Source – BBC