Liverpool got off to a calamitous start, giving up a goal inside a minute, and struggled early to gain a foothold against Tottenham Hotspur. The squad settled down, however and ran rampant for much of the second half.
Join us as we try and separate narrative from reality of the match up and how it all went down in the end.
The Fullbacks: Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson were fantastic today, especially on the attacking end. Robertson was extremely good at breaking pressure from the early pressure from Spurs by serving as an outlet on the left flank and driving forward with the ball. He consistently got to the endline and cut the ball back into dangerous spots. On the other flank, the young Scouser seemed to continuously serve the ball up on a platter. Trent had 7 key passes in the game, one fewer than the entire Spurs side.
Fabinho Tavares: I am a known admirer of Xabi Alonso and his ability to run the game from a deep lying position. Fabinho is reaching those lofty heights in my estimation. His go-go-gadget legs always seem to snake in to poke the ball away from attackers at just the right time. His vision and understanding of the space on the field allow him to switch angles of the attack or even create chances on his own. His lofted pass into the box generated Jordan Henderson’s goal. Don’t believe me? Let’s see what Pep Lijnders has to say.
Pep Lijnders on Fabinho: "He is like a lighthouse. His timing, his vision, his calmness, it gives another dimension to our midfield."— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) October 27, 2019
2 key passes, most passes in the opposition half, 4 tackles, 3 interceptions, 11 ball recoveries
Paulo Gazzaniga: Yeah, I know, he plays for the other team, but Gazzaniga deserves to be called out for his heroics in net. He made 11 saves on the day, including some absolutely top shelf stops to rob Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and others. Without him, it likely would have turned into a rout. Pity he was so good today, a rout would have been better for my health.
Liverpool’s Home Record: Anfield is a fortress, and Liverpool have gone 45 games unbeaten at home. In the second half, the Kop was absolutely raucous behind the Spurs net cheering their team on to victory.
Dejan Lovren: The Croatian defender had a chance to stake his claim in the center back hierarchy with Joel Matip out injured. Instead, Lovren was caught out several times and was not at his vocal and commanding best.
Mauricio Pochettino: The Spurs manager just looked bereft of ideas and resigned to giving up the inevitable second goal as Liverpool pushed for the win. Players like Christian Eriksen seem completely unmotivated, and the squad as a whole are a shadow of the buzzing machine they were last season. Spurs sit 11th in the table behind the likes of Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, and even Manchester United. I don’t see how Poch stays in his role there much longer.
Dissecting The Narrative
Ah, good old Penaltypool. Yet again, the Reds had to “get lucky” with a “marginal” penalty call to win the game. At least, that’s what you heard from the NBC announcers in the US. If you disregard the fact that Liverpool ran rampant in the second half in particular, and Sadio used his head and quick feet to put himself in a position to be fouled, sure. If Harry Kane had done that, you’d hear him lauded for how smart of a play that was.
Dissecting the Narrative Part II: Jordan Brian Henderson. The skipper was not having the best of days yet again, having his pocket picked several times in dangerous positions, including leading to the Spurs goal. But all is forgiven as Hendo hopped into the right spot to lash home a goal in the second half. Even with the goal, however, it will be interesting to see how long Jurgen Klopp will keep trust in his captain. Of the three midfield spots, his seems most vulnerable to be lost to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Naby Keita based on form, however.
What Happens Next
Liverpool were under pressure, but they maintained their six point lead in the table over Manchester City, and remained the only unbeaten team in the Premier League. Liverpool will attempt to keep their unbeaten streak at Anfield alive as they host Arsenal in the League Cup. Expect a much changed side to take on the Gunnars. Youth players such as Rhian Brewster, Harvey Elliott, and Sepp van den Berg were all kept out of the U23 match this weekend and are likely to feature.