Liverpool beating Jose Mourinho is a cathartic experience. That’s what we got to experience as Jurgen Klopp and his Reds grafted their way to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. It’s never going to be pretty when Mourinho shows up at Anfield, and it certainly wasn’t today, but Liverpool dug deep to find victory.
If you paused the game at the 83rd minute and asked me who I wanted to score the winner, I wouldn’t have hesitated. It’s Bobby Firmino, for me. The man means so much to how we play and his goal tally is what it is, but for this game I’d pick him. And thankfully Santa rewarded me with my Christmas wish. His header was perfect and it came just in time. I love a 90th minute winner.
This felt like the first really big match of the season. Maybe it had to do with fans in the stadium. Maybe it’s because it’s December and things are piling up, but first vs second truly felt that way. But this game felt massive and winning it even more so. Let’s dig deeper into Liverpool’s victory over Tottenham.
Dissecting the Narrative
Curtis Jones has made the jump
We have to talk about what a player we have on our hands here. Curtis Jones is only 19 years old, and there’s been plenty of players of Liverpool past that have shown flashes, but Jones seems to have officially arrived. He was the best player on the pitch tonight and when the team looked lost for ideas, it was his fearlessness that drove the team forward. Stats never tell the full story, but I think looking at what Curtis did this evening.
- 94% Pass accuracy (106/113)
- 2/3 Accurate long passes
- 2 Chances created
- 1/3 Shots on target
- 4/5 Aerial duels won
- 4 Interceptions
That win in context
Every single season we talk about the December fixtures and how brutal they’ll be for everyone. That’s objectively true in normal seasons, and what Liverpool has been able to under Klopp during the last few Decembers has been nothing short of incredible.
This December, though, is a whole different beast. As Noel noted on Twitter shortly after the game, there’s absolutely no rest for Liverpool this season during the festive fixtures. Which is bonkers in normal times, but in a condensed season such as this one, it’s pants on fire crazy.
This isn’t just a Liverpool problem. Every elite team is struggling. We saw what we saw during the Manchester Derby over the weekend. Liverpool looked horrendous on Sunday against Fulham. Chelsea looked awful yesterday and well, City....I don’t even want to begin with their problems.
This win over the top of the table Tottenham was very, very huge for Liverpool.
Jose’s delicious tears
If you’ve followed football for a long time or for just a little while, you’ll know that Jose Mourinho is persona non grata in the Premier League. He’s a truly horrendous individual and maybe one day he’ll find peace with his higher power. Today is not that day and I’m truly grateful in his misery. His team completed 61% of their pass attempts. They had 24% of the match’s possession. They had no interest in playing actual football and got punished for it. Get stuffed, Jose.
Mourinho on his post-match clash with Klopp: "I told him the best team lost and he disagrees but that's his opinion. By the way, if I behave the same way as he does on the touchline, I'm out."— David Lynch (@dmlynch) December 16, 2020
Bonus: Here is Mourinho’s face when Liverpool scored the late winner.
New wallpaper, lock screen, site background, Twitter header, out of office reply, and Christmas card. pic.twitter.com/qXNRDs8urr— Liverpool Offside (@LFCOffside) December 16, 2020
What Happens Next
So, as it goes with this season, Liverpool kick-off their next match about 14 minutes after you close out of this article. Just kidding. They have to kick off at half noon Saturday morning against Crystal Palace, who is still being managed by Roy Hodgson. Talk about a game that won’t be pretty. However it may shake out Liverpool must find a way to three points.