Liverpool made it five wins in five on Saturday after they overcame a Tottenham team that looked nowhere close to their best. In a game that could have so easily have finished four or five goals to one in the favor of the Reds ended in a 2 – 1 victory, courtesy goalkeeping errors from stand-in goalkeeper Vorm. Here we look at the five talking points that we can take for the season ahead.
KLOPP WINS TACTICAL BATTLE
Liverpool lost the same fixture last season 4 goals to one, but they seemed to be very well prepared for it this time around. Jurgen Klopp got one better than his rival manager and tactically outwitted him. He instructed his wingers to make space behind the Spurs fullbacks. Salah and Mane kept making overlapping runs behind Trippier and Rose causing them serious problems during almost every turnover. Klopp’s team won the midfield battle as well. They didn’t see much of the ball but their forward pressing and the speed of their passes were certainly too much for Spurs to handle.
Jurgen Klopp is buzzing with Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/Vqi7J3guKJ
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 15, 2018
MARATHON MAN MILNER
James Milner turns 33 this year, but his fitness level just keeps getting better and better. He wasn’t expected to feature much in the Liverpool squad this year following the arrivals of Naby Keita and Fabinho but Milner has featured in every game this season for the Reds. And his strong start continued with a man of the match performance at Wembley. According to Premier League tracking data, he covered just shy of 13km at Wembley – more than any other player on the pitch. At 8km/h, he also registered the fastest average speed. Milner applied constant pressure, making more tackles (five) than any other player and helping Liverpool win possession in dangerous areas. The man might not get as much credit as some of his other teammates but there was certainly no one as good as Milner on Saturday at Wembley.
Marathon man Milner and four other talking points from Liverpool's 2-1 win over Tottenham.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 15, 2018
THE KANE CONCERN
Harry Kane scored twice in the fixture last time out but failed to make an impact this time out. He hardly got the ball, let alone create something. To be fair to the striker, the service he got wasn’t too great either but his stats were surely poor. He managed only two shots on target for the entirety of the game, something that happened only twice during the entire last season. He also had only 22 touches throughout the game which is extremely poor for anyone’s standards, let alone the World Cup golden boot winner.
— ⚽️442oons⚽️ (@442oons) September 15, 2018
The Dutchman came into the team in the place of captain Lloris and hasn’t played a single premier league game since last January. Yesterday his performance at Wembley is not something he would want to remember for a long time. He did make a few fine saves but was partly in error for both the goals. The first goal resulted from a punch that was not convincing enough that fell to Wijnaldum who headed home and the second one resulted from him failing to gather a ball that deflected off the post, one that Firmino stabbed in for the second.
— kieran holmes (@kieran791) September 15, 2018
VAN DIJK IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN
Another solid display from the Dutch captain reinstated his value to the club. Lamela’s late consolation meant that Liverpool couldn’t keep their fourth clean sheet but the commanding presence of Van Dijk in the heart of the Liverpool defense meant his team pulled off yet another stunning defensive display. The most impressive aspect of his game against Spurs was covering defending. He made interceptions on numerous important situations and made up for a few errors that his partner Joe Gomez made pretty comfortably. His arrival at the club has certainly strengthened their defense massively, an aspect that is vitally important if they are to have a good season this time around.
While @Carra23 was ridiculed for suggesting Virgil van Dijk may be the best central defender in the world, he’s certainly looking like the best in the Premier League. Majestic again today #TOTLIV pic.twitter.com/57D16uo3zg
— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) September 15, 2018