Liverpool moved back into the top four after beating Tottenham 2-0 at Anfield courtesy of a first half brace from Sadio Mane. Jurgen Klopp’s side ended their disappointing recent run of five games without a win in the Premier League with a convincing victory, reminiscent of their performances from the early parts of the season.
Liverpool have missed Mane sorely during this torrid period since the turn of the new year, due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations. But the Senegalese attacker was in blistering form as he laid siege on Tottenham’s defence. A lovely through-ball from Giorginio Wijnaldum released Mane through the middle, leaving the opposition defenders with no chance of catching him as he raced through on goal to finish with aplomb to open the scoring for Liverpool. And two minutes later, the former Southampton man doubled Liverpool’s lead with a thumping effort, after some poor defending from Eric Dier.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side barely threatened to mount a comeback in the second half. Philippe Coutinho came the closest to scoring a third for Liverpool as the game seemed to drift away. It was a clinical display from Liverpool and could act as a catalyst as they look to revive their season after a poor start to the new year.
Here we take a look how each Liverpool player fared on the evening:
Simon Mignolet – 7/10
Made a fine save to stop Son Heung-Min in the first half. Was solid throughout, claiming anything that came his way and was largely untroubled.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10
Got forward excellently, offering width, which allowed Mane to drift in and wreak havoc. Performed his defensive duties well after an early threat from Son.
Joel Matip – 7/10
Solid as a rock at the back. Dealt with the threat of Harry Kane admirably throughout and came out on top of the Englishman in their duels. Received a booking in the second period, but held strong and made sure Spurs didn’t threaten.
Lucas Leiva – 6/10
Sound in tackles, threatened from set-pieces. The Brazilian, who was expected to be a liability at the back, looked extremely comfortable against Kane and Dele Alli. Subbed off in the second period due to an injury.
James Milner – 7/10
Usual consistent display by the Englishman on the left-flank. Did not have a lot to do defensively with Tottenham hardly threatening and as a result offered himself going forward. Looked to tire out as the game progressed and was booked.
Jordan Henderson – 7/10
Controlled the middle of the park with his excellent distribution in the first-half and also hustled his Spurs’ counterparts with energy. Booked for a tangle with Alli, but an influential display by the captain.
Giorginio Wijnaldum – 8/10
Set up the opener for Mane with a sublime through ball. Was excellent in the midfield going up against Dembele and Wanyama and put in an energetic showing.
Adam Lallana – 8/10
Pressed Dembele and Wanyama relentlessly and regained possession for his team on many occasions. Linked up very well with the forward players. A lively display from the Englishman, helping Liverpool assert dominance in the midfield.
Sadio Mane – 9/10
WOW. Harassed the Tottenham defence throughout the evening with his blistering pace and direct running. Pressed hard, gave left-back Ben Davies a torrid time and took his two goals with expert finishes. Could have had two more if not for Lloris. Underlined his importance for the Liverpool team with a mind-blowing performance.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10
Worked his socks off for his team’s cause, pressurized the Tottenham defence with his buckets of energy. May have lacked the end product in the final third, but full marks for his efforts and willingness.
Philippe Coutinho – 7/10
Failed to break his goal-drought that has now extended to 11 games after a smart save from Lloris. Came close once again in the second period, but saw his effort go wide. Looked fitter and sharper and on the way back to his best.
Emre Can – 6/10
Replaced Coutinho in the 72nd minute and shored up things in the midfield.
Ragnar Klavan – NA
Came on for the injured Leiva in the 82nd minute and preserved the clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – NA
On for Mane with less than a minute left to play.