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Liverpool 2, Tottenham 0: First Thoughts

Liverpool wreck Spurs at Anfield. Welcome to 2017, Good Liverpool. It took you long enough to show up.

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Tottenham Hotspur FC

Liverpool 2 Mané 16’, 18’ Tottenham 0

  • PRE-MATCH: Lucas is once again in the starting line up, along with Wijnaldum in place of Can. I’ll tell you what, say what you want about Lucas’s skills as a player, but he’s proved useful to every manager he’s worked with at this club in his decade at Anfield.
  • Liverpool appear to be playing with some fire in their bellies in the first five minutes, so maybe this game won’t end in sadness and despair. Good thing too, because I have a stomach bug and have already been sick enough times today without any outside help.
  • Liverpool come close on a fast break, but Coutinho can’t find his way through. Good pressure from the Reds in the first 15 minutes.
  • GOAL!! Mané 16’ - Mané expertly avoids the offside trap, collects the ball, and slots it home in the back of the net. Liverpool earned that.
  • GOAL!! Mané 18’ - Holy cow, it’s Mané again. This time, Wijnaldum sets him up with a sweet pass. He plays it to Lallana on the break. Lallana’s attempt is blocked by Lloris, but Mané is in the right place to convert the rebound.
  • Sadio Mané is playing like a man possessed. Two goals in 18 minutes, and he’s had two very strong chances in quick succession since then. Good lord, what a player. How we missed him.
  • What the hell is Ben Davies doing? He’s being TORN UP by Sadio Mané.
  • Mignolet barely saves Spurs getting back into this game. First he saves Son’s shot, then Lucas heads away another attempt at close range.
  • That was some 30 minutes from Mané. Liverpool could lose this match 6-2 and Mané would deserve to be MOTM for this opening half an hour alone.
  • Another chance on the break. This time Coutinho makes the wrong choice, tries to shift it onto his right foot and make some space to shoot instead of laying it off to Firmino alongside him at the far post. The resulting shot is easily collected by Lloris.
  • Milner puts them in a tough position about 32 minutes in, conceding a clumsy foul on Son at the very edge of the box. We all know how good Liverpool are trying to defend against set pieces. Thankfully, Eriksen sends the free kick soaring over the net.
  • Despite being up 2-0, the last five minutes of this game has been spent in front of Tottenham’s goal with Liverpool sending wave after wave of attack as Spurs just try to defend.
  • HALFTIME: That first half was straight 2016 vintage. They need to keep the intensity up, and if Spurs can continue playing like crap, that would also be nice. The only Spurs player who looked up for it in that first half was Son. Sadio Mané should join the Navy with the way he turned Ben Davies into glorious knots for 45 minutes. It’s nice when it’s the other team dealing with key injuries to their defense for once.
  • No let up from Liverpool as the second half starts. Several corners and half-chances to Liverpool mark the first six minutes of play.
  • And true to form, as soon as I say that Tottenham begin to wake up, making things uncomfortable for the Reds. Two yellow cards for Liverpool players come in quick succession as Spurs begin to up the pressure.
  • Harry Kane receives a yellow card for a late challenge on Nathaniel Clyne, probably lucky to still be on the pitch. It’s a reminder that Kane is actually playing in this game today. Yellow cards are flying for both sides at the moment. Not sure there will be 22 players on the pitch at full time.
  • Lucas Leiva, who has had an excellent game today, gets pulled up with injury and replaced by Ragnar Klavan at 80’. He leaves to a standing ovation from the Liverpool supporters.
  • Gini’s been great today, but his 45-yard attempts to capitalize on out of position keepers can use some work.
  • FULL TIME: Damn, but that felt good.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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