Liverpool’s perfect start to the Premier League season continued as they got past Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds made a fast start at Wembley but it too until the 39th minute for Georginio Wijnaldum to nod home the opening goal of the game. Roberto Firmino capitalised on shocking Tottenham defending to double the lead at the start of the second half. Erik Lamela got on the scoresheet with only minutes remaining but Liverpool had done enough to secure victory.
Liverpool let Tottenham off the hook straight away
Liverpool thought they had seized the lead after less than a minute as James Milner’s cross was stabbed home by Roberto Firmino. However, Sadio Mane attempted to play the ball when marginally offside and the goal was correctly ruled out. An excellent block from Eric Dier then denied the Brazilian as he got free in the box only seconds later.
The hosts created their first chance from a free-kick as they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area. Christian Eriksen stepped up but could only find the gloves of Alisson.
Wijnaldum nods Reds ahead
As the first-half wore on, opportunities became few and far between. Firmino did manage to steal the ball and play through Mane only for the speedy forward to scuff a shot straight towards Michel Vorm.
The Reds did hit the front though and it came via Wijnaldum. From a corner, the Spurs’ keeper flapped at the ball with it finding its way to the Dutch midfielder. He leapt highest to nod the ball just beyond the ball before Vorm managed to claw it away. After a quick check with goal-line technology, the goal was awarded.
Mane should have doubled the lead just before the break as he raced into the Tottenham box. He had options but elected to go alone and put a weak effort wide of the post. As a result, Jurgen Klopp’s troops headed into the break with a slender but deserved advantage.
Golden chances for both sides
Liverpool again resumed at a high tempo and could well have struck through Mane. Salah picked up a loose ball in the Tottenham half and pulled the ball back. Mane turned well and shot but Vorm did well to parry.
Tottenham then immediately began to show signs of life. Lucas Moura charged at the Liverpool defence and let fly with a low effort that ricocheted behind off the base of the post.
Firmino tap-in silences Spurs
The Reds were the next to find the net though and it was calamitous from a Tottenham perspective. Toby Alderweireld attempted to cut out Mane’s low cross only to deflect the ball onto the base of the post. It rolled across the line with Vorm failing to deal with it before Firmino rammed home from a matter of inches out.
Their advantage could have been stretched even further on the counter attack. Mane tore into the Liverpool box before playing through Naby Keita. However, his shot was parried over by Vorm.
The Dutch goalkeeper then denied Mo Salah with ten minutes remaining as Liverpool looked to put the game to bed. Mane also spurned a great opportunity from the edge of the box but he put a poor effort straight at the Tottenham goalkeeper.
Lamela gives Liverpool uncomfortable ending
Tottenham did have time to eventually get on the scoresheet. From a corner, substitute Lamela got free at the back post and had plenty of time to control and lash the ball past Alisson.
As was to be expected, Tottenham poured men forwards but they could not find a way through with only a minute remaining as Liverpool secured their fifth consecutive victory.
This match was pretty much trademark Liverpool. The Reds started at a high tempo in both halves and got the goals that they deserved. The only negative is that they were not clinical enough so could well have racked up five or six. They now turn their attentions to their clash with Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening.
Elsewhere, Maurico Pochettino’s will be severely disappointed with his team. Spurs looked lethargic throughout the game and did not threaten their visitors all too much until the final stages. They will hope to get back to winning ways in midweek against Inter Milan.
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm (6); Rose (6), Vertonghen (6), Alderweireld (5), Trippier (6); Dier (5) (Wanyama (N/A), 82′), Winks (5) (Son (5), 73′), Dembele (5) (Lamela (7), 60′); Eriksen (6), Moura (6), Kane (5).
Liverpool: Alisson (6); Robertson (7), van Dijk (8), Gomez (7), Alexander-Arnold (6) (Matip (N/A), 90′); Keita (6) (Sturridge (N/A), 83′), Wijnaldum (7), Milner (8); Mane (7), Firmino (7) (Henderson (6), 74′), Salah (6).
Goals: Wijnaldum (39′), Firmino (54′), Lamela (90+3′)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A