Before some Liverpool fans had even settled in their seats at Anfield for Sunday’s Champions League final rematch between the Premier League-leading Reds and Tottenham Hotspur, they might have thought that it wasn’t going to be their day.
Harry Kane put Spurs up just 54 seconds after kickoff, and the visitors took their lead into the dressing room at halftime. But Liverpool came roaring back after the break and eventually got the two goals they needed — one from captain Jordan Henderson, the other from Mohamed Salah — to beat Spurs 2-1 and restore their six-point advantage on second-place Manchester City.
Son Heung-min began the sequence that had the Reds chasing the game when he cut inside Henderson and right back Trent Alexander-Arnold and fired a fierce drive toward goal. The shot deflected off central defender Dejan Lovren and ricocheted off the crossbar, with Kane well-positioned to nod it past home goalkeeper Alisson Becker:
The early goal wasn’t a fluke. Liverpool started the season looking every bit like the best team in Europe, but the form of Jurgen Klopp’s side has been on the wane for over a month now, most recently with Manchester United halting the Reds’ 17-game Prem win streak last weekend. Tottenham took full advantage of a defense has suddenly become suspect.
Up top, the chemistry between Liverpool’s attacking trio of Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane has been well short of its previously devastating best. So maybe it made sense that Henderson was the player who found the equalizer; the central midfielder had not scored a goal at Anfield in almost four years:
And the Reds had to rely on a penalty for the winner. Salah converted from the spot with a quarter-hour to go after Serge Aurier clumsily chopped down Mane:
A win is a win, and Klopp and his crew will take it after the way this one started, and after settling for the draw last week. But one still gets the sense that Liverpool will have to be better, much better, to win that elusive English title for the first time in 30 years.
After a nightmare start to the season for Tottenham, even a point would’ve been huge for the visitors. And for long stretches of the contest Spurs looked like they deserved nothing less. Had another shot by Son not hit Alisson’s post, perhaps the outcome would’ve been different.
As it stands, though, Mauricio Pochettino’s side is winless in three league matches, losing two of them, and will remain 10th in the table, threatening the clubs’s place in next season’s Champions League after a runner-up finish last year as the Argentine manager’s seat grows hotter.
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