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Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool: Five talk points as Reds stay on top

Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool: Five talk points as Reds stay on top

Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino were on target for Liverpool before the late consolation of Erik Lamela

Last updated: 15/09/18 16:24

Georginio Wijnaldum scored the opening goal

Georginio Wijnaldum scored the opening goal

We choose five talk points from Liverpool's 2-1 victory at Tottenham in the Wembley Stadium, while Jurgen Klopp's side maintained their perfect start of the season to stay on top of the Premier League.

Klopp wins tactical battle

Klopp was well aware of the challenge with which Liverpool in Wembley was defeated 4-1 last season. Liverpool had lost two goals after those 12 minutes, but this time they were much better prepared. They had the ball in the net after 45 seconds and while being left offside, it set the tone for what would follow.

Liverpool seemed imminent from the outset and it was largely due to how they were set up to get to Tottenham, with Klopp instructing his side to exploit the space behind the backs Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah jumped at each revenue in those areas, making Liverpool more than their opponents outnumbered.

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Jurgen Klopp greets Liverpool's performance against Tottenham

Jurgen Klopp greets Liverpool's performance against Tottenham

The side of Klopp also won the battle in the midfield. Naby Keita, James Milner and goalkeeper Georginio Wijnaldum did not have as much of the ball as Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele, but they offered much more intensity and penetration. Printing was too much for Spurs; so too was the speed and immediacy of their forward fit.

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Klopp described it as Liverpool's "best performance of the season".

Kane concerns

Pochettino rejected the idea that Kane had been playing fatigue during his pre-match press conference, but this was another subdued spectacle that gave the argument extra weight. The 25-year-old scored twice in this game last season, but he struggled to participate this time, making it four gigs for club and country without goal.

He was not helped by bad service, but the statistics were nevertheless worrying. According to Opta, Kane had only 22 touches in the course of 90 minutes – his second lowest total in the Premier League since the start of last season. For the fourth time this season, he only collected two shots on goal. That happened only twice during the previous campaign.

Marathonman Milner

Milner was not expected to play a prominent role this season after adding Keita and Fabinho in the summer, but he has so far started all Premier League matches and his strong start of the campaign went on with a man-of-the-world -match-action against Spurs.

James Milner was named man of the competition in Wembley

James Milner was named man of the competition in Wembley

Milner turns 33 in January, but his untiring energy remains. According to data from the Premier League, he followed only 13 kilometers at Wembley – more than any other player on the field. At 8 km / h he also recorded the fastest average speed. Milner exerted a constant pressure, made more tackles (five) than any other player and helped Liverpool gain control in dangerous areas.

Milner also beamed with the ball, made more passes in the opposition half (32) than anyone else and produced dangerous episodes. According to Opta, he made four crosses and created three scoring options. He may not get as much praise as some of his teammates, but no one had more influence at Wembley.

Form errors

Michel Vorm entered the Tottenham team in the absence of the injured Hugo Lloris, who accepted a driving fare earlier this week. The Dutchman had not started a Premier League match since January and his return to the side was not an opportunity he would like to remember.

Robert Firmino celebrates 2-0 after placing Liverpool

Robert Firmino celebrates 2-0 after placing Liverpool

There were a few nice saves, not least Keita and Salah in the second half, but he was partly responsible for both Liverpool goals. For the first time he failed to take any distance before the ball fell to Wijnaldum and to go home, and for the second time that his failure to collect the ball and get the ball out of the post, Firmino could go home stabbing.

Vorm was not helped by part of the defense around him, but with Lloris expected to be on the sidelines for three weeks, his mistakes Pochettino are not filled with confidence for the upcoming Tottenham matches – starting with Champions League rivals Inter Milan on Tuesday.

Van Dijk shines again

Virgil van Dijk underlined his value for Liverpool with another impressive achievement in the heart of their defense. The late comfort goal of Erik Lamela ensured that Liverpool did not have a fourth zero score of the season, but the towering figure in the middle hardly made a mistake.

Van Dijk made more openings (five) than all other players on the field, but the most impressive aspect of his performance was some of his defensive defenses. After 12 minutes, he was quick and alert to intercept a dangerous pass over the top of Danny Rose, and there was another example when his middle back Joe Gomez was pressed into error shortly after the break.

"Van Dijk has made such a difference in that defense," said Sky Sports Pundit Jamie Redknapp. Kane, who hardly smells all afternoon, would testify to that.

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