Given how tightly packed the table is, today’s match between Liverpool and Tottenham has massive title implications.
Will the Reds go back atop the Premier League? Can Spurs continue being the “results machine” that Jurgen Klopp claims? And will 538 continue losing all credibility with their ridiculous SPI placing Manchester City as the best team in the world?
Liverpool are the better team by many multiples in the first half. They have 80% possession and 8 shots on goal (7 on target) to Spurs’ 1 and 1. Yet, the score is 1-1 going into half. Maddening.
Second half saw Liverpool dominate for long stretches but a little more ambition from the Spurs. The Reds kept leaning on Tottenham though and Roberto Firmino buried a passionate header in early stoppage to secure the win. 2-1 Liverpool. Top of table.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Tottenham
Jurgen Klopp (7) –
He picks the right starting XI. Will he have them in the right frame of mind?
The first half was as good as Liverpool has played domestically all season. Klopp makes no subs but that was probably the right decision. The lads never looked tired.
Alisson (7) –
Maybe could’ve come off his line sooner on the Son goal. Otherwise literally had nothing to do the first half because Spurs had one freaking shot.
Had to come up with some big boy saves in the second half though and be alert off his line.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5) –
Will the real TAA please stand up? Please stand up? Today would be a good day for vintage TAA to show up this season. Will have his hands full with Son.
Offensively ambitious, ripping a shot in the first 40 seconds. Does well to track down Kane and snuff out a counter. Getting shredded defensively. May be time to shift him to midfield. Ooof.
Rhys Williams (7.5) –
How close is Rhys to being an EPL regular starter? Today is the test. He’s been superb. Wins everything in the air. His long passes and through balls are on point. Did I mention he wins everything in the air? Another class showing.
Fabinho (6.5) –
Nothing too showy but steady and consistent. Outshined by his younger center mate.
Andy Robertson (7) –
Perfectly waited free kick in the 11th that finds Firmino’s head and almost gets Liverpool on the board. Feels like he’s got an assist or two in him today. Gets his assist on a perfectly delivered corner to Bobby’s head for the win.
Curtis Jones (8) –
Coming off his best game as a Red. We need a similar showing today. Won’t get an assist credit probably, but 100% responsible for setting up the Salah goal. Follow it up soon thereafter with a solid attempt in the 29th minute. Kid is on fire. This stat is amazing:
Curtis Jones in that first half. Completed more passes (62) than anyone else on the pitch. 93% passing accuracy. Only Andy Robertson has touched the ball more often.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) December 16, 2020
Really, really strong.
Gini Wijnaldum (7) –
Definitely a “good Gini” game. He’s been a real driving force offensively today. Not always tidy but he bossed today.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) –
Wow. Henderson is fast af. Tracks down Son like he stole his biscuit. Otherwise his regular commanding self. Exerts himself at the end of the match when Liverpool needed an extra spark.
Mo Salah (8.5) –
Playing with a confidence and hunger for the goal that feels like 2017-18. Fortunate to get the opener but also totally deserved it. Played with purpose all match.
Sadio Mane (7) –
Really thought Mane would be on fire today. However, other than a few solid first half dribbles he’s been neutered. Although his effort on goal in the 73rd minute was just stupid good. Wears down Aurier by end of match and starts looking like the Sadio we all know and love.
Roberto Firmino (7.5) –
Turns and link up is strong today. Definitely goal hunting. Utterly buries the wining header at the end and celebrate like he got a big fucking monkey off his back.
MAN OF THE MATCH
So many deserved it today. Jones, Williams, Bobby…but Salah was the most consistent threat all day. He gets MotM honors.