Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 1 Liverpool
Liverpool: Firmino 37’
As expected, Klopp has made plenty of changes to the Liverpool starting line up to take on Spurs. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets that third midfield position in place of the injured Fabinho, Keita, and Milner. The other 10 players are the ones you’d expect in a big game like this. New guy Takumi Minamino makes the bench.
Liverpool get a huge chance in the first few minutes of the game. Firmino’s shot is only blocked by the heroics of a Spurs defender throwing himself in front of the goal. The resulting shot hit off the rebound by Oxlade-Chamberlain smashes into the bar.
Minutes later, Moura and Son both get off shots that are wide of the target.
It’s Liverpool that seem to be on the front foot, with Spurs forced into plenty of desperate, last minute defending. Liverpool haven’t allowed them to string three passes in together.
Liverpool earn a corner, and the second ball is smartly lofted in by Henderson. Van Dijk gets his head on it, but the shot is blocked by Gazzaniga.
GOALLLLLLL! 37’ - Firmino - Bobby breaks the deadlock as the first half winds down. The goal had been coming, but it was a nice team effort. It starts with a thrown-in for Liverpool. There’s a scrum in the box that ends with Henderson getting his head on the ball. It lands at Salah’s feet, and he gives the ball nudge into Firmino’s path. Bobby takes one touch to control it, and then tucks it passed Gazzaniga. The goal survives a VAR check for a handball against Henderson, and Liverpool lead.
Salah gets the ball on the break, and uses some quick feet to make space for himself, but the resulting left-footed shot is wide of the near post.
No changes for either side as the second half starts with Liverpool ahead by a goal. Both teams get decent chances in the first few minutes, but neither manage to get a shot on target.
Van Dijk is forced into last ditch defending to deny Dele Alli a good opportunity. His tackle in the box is timed perfectly, because he is a machine and I love him. This moment seems to have awakened Spurs, who get some momentum going that leads to a corner.
Klopp just slows the game down at 60 minutes, making his first substitute, with Adam Lallana replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the midfield.
Atkinson plays an advantages as Gomez is fouled. The ball gets to Robertson, but his cutback is read well by Alderweireld and kicked out for a corner. Nothing comes of it, but Liverpool continue to attack as Mane forces Gazzaniga into a diving save moments later.
Spurs have a big chance when Wijnaldum is caught in possession in his own half. Thankfully, Son’s shot goes well over the bar to get the Reds out of trouble.
Things have gotten touchy for Liverpool in the last 15 or so minutes. Lots of dangerous balls whizzing past the box for Spurs, but no one there to get the touch that would send them into the goal.
Divock Origi comes on for Sadio Mane in the 80th minute.
WOW! Liverpool get a huge let-off when Lo Celso shoots wide of the goal off of Serge Aurier’s perfectly placed ball into the box. That probably should have been the equalizer right there, and Liverpool fans take a deep breath.
Erik Lamela gets a long shot off that’s safely ensconced in the hands of Alisson. Spurs have turned up the heat in the last 20 minutes, pressing, keeping possession, and forcing Liverpool into several mistakes.
At the end of regular time, Origi wriggles his way into getting a tame shot off, but it’s easily collected by Gazzaniga.
Those last 20 minutes weren’t great, but Liverpool did the thing thanks to Mad Bobby. They’ll end the week 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Roll on, 2020. Roll on the Mighty Reds.