Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool: Why a win for the Reds could be essential

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp finally pulled off a trademark performance again after surviving a late siege from Tottenham to enjoy the luxury of back-to-back victories.

Klopp’s team were nervous in the closing stages Sunday’s 2-1 victory, the first on their league travels this season, but the post-match celebrations with the manager and players in front of the Liverpool fans were testament to the importance of those three points.

Victory Napoli in the Champions League it was encouraging as it came against one of Europe’s top form teams and helped heal the wounds of back-to-back league defeats to struggling Nottingham Forest and then Leeds United at Anfield.

Some of the real Liverpool rose against Napoli, although it was in the context of what was effectively a dead rubber, barring a significant change with the team positions already decided.

Liverpool’s win over Spurs carried more weight as it came against opponents who proved a problem last season, with a late draw at Anfield proving decisive as Manchester City won the title by a point on the final day of the season.

And with Arsenal and Manchester City threatening to open a gap at the top of the table, it could prove to be a vital win as the battle for four places unfolds after the World Cup break.

The key for Klopp and Liverpool now is consistency. Real Liverpool don’t need to stand up every now and then. They have to appear regularly and that has been exceeded this season.

Liverpool looked to have hit the ground running with victories over champions Manchester City and West Ham United at Anfield to continue their two poor run of results in the league.

But where Mohamed Salah is there is always hope.

He has returned to form after a slow start to the season, seemingly in a more limited role on the right wing, but has been lethal in recent weeks.

Salah’s two first-half goals showed his world class and put him seventh in Liverpool’s league goalscoring charts with 124 goals.

Liverpool were exploiting Spurs wide spaces on the right wing from the kick-off and that was the route to Salah’s first goal, but he quickly controlled Darwin Nunez’s pass before firing a left-footed shot past Hugo Lloris. it was magical

Salah’s second was the gift of Eric Dier’s deflected header at Lloris, but he showed composure and perfect technique to lift the Frenchman’s finish, the ball moving almost in slow motion as it floated into the back of the net.

Liverpool picked up their first win in the Premier League since May (2-1 against Southampton), and ended the group of five without a win on the road (2-1, 3).

Nunez was also a serious threat in the first half and made such a tireless shift that he deserved a standing ovation when he was substituted late on.

Liverpool were pegged back after the break, but with goalkeeper Alisson outstanding and Ibrahima Konate rocking, they showed a resilience that has been mysteriously lacking this season as they unleashed joy in the final leg to secure the three points.

They now have a chance to go into the World Cup break on top, with a home game against struggling Southampton.

Spurs once again got off to a slow start. This was their sixth straight game to go behind, 13th in 20 games in all competitions.

It’s unsustainable and, with unforced errors like Dier’s, the hole will be too deep for them to dig out of and this was one of them.

Spurs really responded well to going from behind, but Dier’s error was fatal to their hopes. They look vulnerable in defence, and Lloris, for all his flashy reputation, remains error-prone.

Antonio Conte’s side upped the ante after the break and could easily have leveled, Ivan Perisic hitting the woodwork in each half, and Spurs certainly had a good penalty claim rejected when Ryan Sessegnon appeared to be pushed to the ground in the box. Trento Alexander-Arnold in the first period.

Spurs were given too much to do, especially with Son Heung-min and Richarlison missing through injury, and the talented Dejan Kulusevski only returned as a substitute here, immediately showing his quality and what they’ve been missing by setting up a goal. For Harry Kane.

This was Liverpool’s day. It was a common result when they were at their best. They weren’t at their best at Spurs, but they had enough threat in the form of Salah to take the lead and then showed enough resilience to keep Conte’s side at bay.

He must now be Liverpool’s template for the rest of the season.

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