Sunday, December 3

Liverpool reduce gap with win over Spurs

With a commanding 3-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool’s spluttering attack burst back to life to help the champions return to winning ways.

Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane’s goals capped a dominant display by Jurgen Klopp’s side. This was Liverpool’s first league win since the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Dec. 19 and restored their place in the top four. For Jose Mourinho’s, the defeat became an even greater blow as he announced after the match that Spurs striker Harry Kane would be out “a few weeks” with both ankle injuries.

When Mane was through on goal but steered his shot wide, Liverpool should have ended their drought in the opening minutes. That miss looked expensive a few minutes later as Son Heung-Min thought he had given Spurs the lead from Kane’s pass. But his effort was marginally ruled offside by VAR. Though Tottenham relied on counter-attacks, Liverpool looked the more menacing side. And deep into stoppage time they were blessed with the opening goal. Firmino’s effort ended Liverpool’s barren streak of 482 minutes without a league goal.

Tottenham substituted Kane, who needed care twice, with Erik Lamela also coming on for Serge Aurier at halftime with Harry Winks. But Tottenham’s plans soon find themselves in disarray. Mane was the creator again and his shot was only pushed out by Lloris into Alexander-path Arnold’s to rifle in the rebound with his right foot.

The goal came just before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg lashed in his first Tottenham goal a minute later to give hope to the hosts. Mohamed Salah then belted a shot past Lloris in a frenetic passage of play, but Tottenham were saved by a VAR. It demonstrated a tough handball in the build-up by Firmino and hence the goal was cancelled. Mane scored again for Liverpool in the 65th minute with Tottenham’s defence unravelling. There was no return for Mourinho’s men.

In all competitions, Liverpool’s seventh consecutive victory over Spurs lifted them to fourth place with 37 points from 20 games. They are now four points behind Manchester City’s leaders who played a game less.

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