Salah double enough for Liverpool against slow-to-start Spurs
Mohamed Salah scored twice in the first half and Liverpool held on to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in North London on Sunday.
Harry Kane scored in the second half for Spurs, who drop a spot on the table this weekend and sit fourth with 26 points. That’s one back of Newcastle and eight behind leaders Arsenal.
Liverpool moves into eighth with 19 points and the Reds have a match-in-hand on Spurs and Newcastle.
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What we learned from Tottenham vs Liverpool
Liverpool feasts on open buffet: We’ll deal with this more in tactical focus, but Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah will have said, “Thank you” to Tottenham’s invitation to attack a set-back formation. Salah is playing so well these days and will only grow to enjoy Darwin Nunez’s continued understanding of the Premier League. Conte messed up and Liverpool wasn’t about to complain about it (although, it should be said, sometimes Jurgen Klopp does not enjoy teams who “don’t play football”).
Health will be wealth for Tottenham: The talk in Spurs circles has often drifted to what it will do in the transfer market to get ‘help’ for Harry Kane, but Spurs are currently missing Heung-min Son and Richarlison. They just got Dejan Kulusevski back and he immediately assisted Kane’s goal to make it 2-1, so while Spurs would love to have more attacking options they’d probably be a heck of a lot better just to have their current crop of scorers healthy. Kulusevski’s four assists are only surpassed by five other PL players this season.
Rub of the green for Reds: Trent Alexander-Arnold dodged a penalty when he shoved over Ryan Sessegnon in the first half. It wasn’t crazy contact yet a mirror image to the Joao Cancelo foul that sent Fulham to the spot and Man City to a man-disadvantage for 60 minutes on Sunday. It would be interesting to see what a chance at the spot for Spurs at that point would’ve meant for the rest of this game.
Tottenham again invited an opponent -- and in this case remember we’re talking about Liverpool -- to do what it pleased against a sort of 5-3-2 and it’s no surprise to see that Spurs were down 2-0 before they decided to assert themselves on the game. It’s also no surprise that Antonio Conte’s men fared better when they tried to play the game with Liverpool, but it was too late. Conte’s a brilliant boss but he’s been failing his side over the past month or so.
Stars of the show
Tottenham’s off to Nottingham Forest for a League Cup third round match on Wednesday before hosting Leeds on Saturday.
Liverpool has Derby County at home in the League Cup before a visit from Southampton in the Premier League.
Mohamed Salah goal video(s)
Harry Kane goal video: Spurs pull one back
How to watch Tottenham vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 11:30am ET, SundayTV Channel: Peacock Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Spurs have been struggling along and defeats to Manchester United and Newcastle set them back in recent weeks. However, they’ve shown a real fighting spirit and comeback wins against Bournemouth and Marseille have put them in a decent spot with two league games to go until the World Cup break. Conte’s men have been dropping really deep in games and that will probably be their plan once again, especially with Richarlison and Heung-min Son out injured and Dejan Kulusevski close to a return. For Liverpool, defensive issues continue to haunt them and there has been a malaise around them all season long. The regular energy levels just aren’t there and Klopp is trying to rotate his team as much as possible but injuries have also piled up for the Reds.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Harry Kane is having a sensational season for Spurs and he will be their main man as the other three forwards in Spurs’ rotation are out injured. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur are also ticking over nicely and have scored the winning goals over the past two games. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored in each of his last three games, while Darwin Nunez has scored five in his last seven outings as they’re doing their best to give Liverpool something to hold on to.
Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options
Spurs confirmed that Heung-min Son will have surgery on a fractured eye socket and the South Korean superstar faces an anxious wait to see if he will be available to play in the World Cup. Kulusevski could return off the bench and Richarlison is out, while Cristian Romero is also recovering from a knock and won’t be available. All of that means Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil could (eventually)support Harry Kane in attack.
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options
Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita, Arthur Melo and James Milner are all out, as is Joel Matip. Klopp starts Andy Robertson, Darwin Nunez, and Harvey Elliott, who were on the bench for the midweek win against Napoli.