Following a deflating loss to Burnley at Turf Moor, Liverpool headed back to London to take on hosts Tottenham Hotspur. Mauricio Pochettino's side unsurprisingly started the match strongly, looking to build some early season momentum and prove that the encouraging progress shown last year was not an aberration. It was Liverpool, however, who grew into the contest more quickly, forcing a number of crucial interventions from keeper Michel Vorm, before taking the lead through a James Milner penalty.
Alas, the three points were not to be had, as Spurs survived more Liverpool pressure in the second half and found an equalizer when Danny Rose was in the right place at the right time. Ultimately, it was an enterprising and promising performance from Jürgen Klopp's men, and a confident Premier League debut for Joel Matip, but there was also a palpable sense of disappointment among both players and supporters at having to share the points with Spurs.
Klopp's first match as Liverpool manager coincided with this very same fixture last season, with neither side able to find a winner yet again. Despite echoing some of the regret at dropping points once more, Klopp was quick to point out the positives immediately after the match, especially relative to that first performance under his watch.
"Today was a different game. We were absolutely 100% more in this game compared to our first game here. It was a little bit of a counter-pressing festival that first game, today was more about football. We played better, we had more opportunities."
During the post-match press conference, Klopp was able to elaborate more on what he liked about Liverpool's performance today, once again balancing disappointment about the result with satisfaction from a solid performance against a team expected to contend for a top four spot this year.
"For a good side like Tottenham, a football playing side . . it's not a game you win scoring four or five. They are a really good defending team and they’ve played together a long time so it is difficult to create one chance, we had a few. A good sign.
This game showed again what we can do, how we can play. Sitting here with four points after three games is not what I wanted but this is our base and we will build on this base."
It wasn't, however, all rainbows and sunshine from the press conference. When the topic of discussion turned to the Sadio Mané goal that was disallowed for offside, it was mentioned to Klopp that Mané appeared to be onside. The Liverpool manager was visibly deflated and had a tougher time remaining sanguine, but kept himself in check: "That's not cool." We couldn't agree more, Jürgen.