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Klopp and Liverpool make huge statement in Premier League title race after downing Tottenham

Liverpool defeated Spurs 2-1 at Anfield on Wednesday
Liverpool defeated Spurs 2-1 at Anfield on Wednesday
ANALYST
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 14:44 IST
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Liverpool have proved that they are still the team to beat in the Premier League after recording a hard-fought 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur.

Jurgen Klopp’s side has endured a tough season so far, with the team having to contend with some major injuries in the course of the campaign. However, they’ve stuck together all through it and are on course to win a record-equaling 20th league title.

Wednesday’s win against Tottenham saw the Reds move to the top of the Premier League table outright. They now find themselves three points above the North London outfit.

If the result was impressive, Liverpool’s performance was even more commanding. The Merseysiders controlled the game from the start and created a raft of chances in the opening half-hour.

Mohamed Salah’s 26th-minute opener was a deserved reward for the Reds’ relentless waves of attacks. The Egyptian saw his deflected effort fly into the net after ricocheting off the crossbar to give Liverpool the lead.

Sorry Jose, the best team won

Mourinho was in denial at full-time when he suggested Tottenham were the better side. In truth, Spurs had numerous chances to win the game after Son Heung-Min pulled them level in the 33rd minute, but failed to do so.

Steven Bergwijn came closest to scoring when he was played through one-on-one with Alisson Becker, but the Dutchman was unfortunate to see his curling effort bounce off the post.

Moments later, Harry Kane also had the chance to give Spurs the lead when he was left unmarked in the Liverpool box. However, the Spurs captain could only direct his header into the ground and out for a goal kick.

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Tottenham’s missed chances came back to haunt them when Roberto Firmino scored at the death to hand Liverpool an important win at Anfield, stretching their unbeaten home record in the Premier League to 66 games.

"I think even a draw would have left us not with the best taste because we had them there to win it," Mourinho said after the game, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"It was not just about the big chances, it was the moment of the big chances. The moment was when they were in trouble, in their worst moment, and we had it there to kill it and we missed it.”

Liverpool are still the team to beat

Despite Mourinho’s lamentations, Liverpool were clearly the better side. Tottenham had some big chances but the Reds completely dominated the game and created more.

Liverpool had 11 shots on target as compared to just two for Tottenham. The Reds also had 76% of ball possession, while Spurs could only manage 23%.

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“Tough period, really tough period. We went already through and playing then a game like this tonight is absolutely exceptional,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Top game, deserved the three points against a top side, organisation-wise so difficult to play against them with the counter-attacking threat they have. So, I liked the game a lot.”

This was a professional performance from Klopp’s side and by extension a huge statement in the Premier League title race. Whether or not Liverpool can keep their place at the top of the table is a matter for another day.

But if anything is clear, it is the fact that Liverpool are still the team to beat in the Premier League.

Published 17 Dec 2020, 14:44 IST
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