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Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Hits and Flops as Reds topple Spurs to claim top spot | Premier League 2020-21

Liverpool secured a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to Roberto Firmino
Liverpool secured a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to Roberto Firmino's late winner
Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 04:04 IST
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Roberto Firmino’s 90th-minute winner propelled Liverpool to a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in a top of the table clash at Anfield that saw the Reds topple Spurs from the number one spot in the standings.

Earlier, Son Heung-min had restored parity for the visiting side just a few minutes after Mohamed Salah had given Liverpool the lead in the first half.

Liverpool started in the ascendancy, dictating the pace of the game with a series of measured passes in the Spurs half. Their opponents adopted a deep defensive position and waited for chances to hit on the break.

Liverpool were rewarded for their efforts in the 26th minute through Salah. The Egyptian pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the area and saw his deflected shot loop over a helpless Hugo Lloris into the Spurs goal.

However, it wasn’t long after the opening goal that Spurs’ gameplan came good. The visiting side hit back with a sharp counter-attack that Son finished off with an unerring strike into the bottom corner.

Despite Liverpool maintaining their dominance in possession in the second half, Spurs had the best chances to take the lead. Steven Bergwijn hit the post before Harry Kane headed wide from close range moments later.

Spurs were left to rue their missed opportunities late on, as Firmino powered home a bullet header from a corner in the 90th minute to win Liverpool the game and maintain their perfect record at home this season.

On that note, let’s take a look at the hits and flops from an engrossing match at Anfield.

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#1 Hit: Giovani Lo Celso

Lo Celso shone in the Spurs midfield before being replaced on the hour mark.
Lo Celso shone in the Spurs midfield before being replaced on the hour mark.

Despite being replaced by Lucas Moura a few minutes before the hour mark, Lo Celso was able to make quite a telling impact on the match during his time on the pitch.

Drafted into the starting eleven to replace Tanguy Ndombele, the Argentine international partnered Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the center of the Spurs midfield. Lo Celso was often the link between defense and attack for Spurs.

It was Lo Celso’s precise through ball that set Son on his way for the equalizer. The Argentine drove forward into midfield before squeezing the pass through for his teammate to score.

For all his attacking contributions, Lo Celso did not shirk his defensive duties. He was often found clearing the ball away from goal in his own penalty area in addition to making a few tackles to stop a number of Liverpool moves to develop.


#2 Flop: Serge Aurier

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Mane and co gave Aurier a torrid time. down Spurs
Mane and co gave Aurier a torrid time. down Spurs' right flank.

Serge Aurier has shown himself to be capable of making errors with worrying regularity during his time in England. Unsurprisingly, many thought that Aurier’s run in the Spurs starting lineup would come to an end with the summer signing of Matt Doherty from Wolves.

However, the Ivorian has raised his game admirably in this campaign, taking advantage of every opportunity given to him in the Spurs side this season. Aurier seems to have reclaimed the right-back spot from his Irish teammate for the time being.

Unfortunately for Spurs, it was the error-prone Aurier of old rather than this season’s solid, tough-tackling, and dependable version that took to the field against Liverpool. He found himself in all sorts of trouble virtually from the first whistle.

Aurier seemed all at sea when up against the trickery of Sadio Mane, the overlapping runs of Andy Robertson, and the well-timed advances of Curtis Jones. He was caught out of position time and again by Liverpool’s attack-minded players.

Were it not for the defensive cover afforded to him by Moussa Sissoko, Aurier could have found himself in serious trouble as he struggled to cope with Mane throughout the game. The latter seemed to be able to go past him with relative ease on multiple occasions.

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Published 17 Dec 2020, 04:04 IST
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