Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp gave a hearty appraisal of his side’s victory over Tottenham, though the injury bug struck again with Joel Matip now set for an extended period on the sidelines.
Liverpool returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The first-half seemed destined to end goalless despite chances coming thick and fast at either end.
With seconds to spare before the whistle blew, excellent work down the left-hand side from Sadio Mane teed up Roberto Firmino to tap home from close range.
Both sides shuffled their pack in the interval, with Harry Kane succumbing to an ankle knock and Matip replaced by Nat Phillips after picking up an injury.
Trent Alexander-Arnold in a bounce-back performance doubled the Reds’ advantage before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg pulled one back with a powerful drive.
Liverpool were showing plenty of self-belief despite their recent poor form, and put the game beyond Tottenham’s reach when Mane punished sloppy defending from Joe Rodon.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match (via the BBC), Klopp said: “I am delighted – it was a great game. Super intensity as we predicted. We scored the goals in the right moments, the right people scored the goals, so all good apart from their goal.
“What I saw today it’s not about shape or form it’s about who we are. That was us. Second half especially it was us, it was a massive fight.
“I don’t remember that Spurs had a lot of the ball but we defended it very well. A good performance and I saw a lot of things I wanted to see.
“You cannot really be sure that you will score goals like this in the second half because they made two changes but offensively we coped well with their formation.
“We played in between the lines and were so often around the box, the counter press was really good, we were high enough defensively but not crazy high.”
Alexander-Arnold lauds centre-backs
The resurgent Alexander-Arnold also spoke to the press, telling BT Sport: “We needed that and we deserved it.
“We dominated most of the game, they had the goal disallowed which probably would’ve changed the game. We came with a game plan which we executed perfectly and we deserve the three points.
“Goals in games like this change the way the opposition play, they had to come out a bit more in the second half. We could find the space easier and we had our chances and put a few away.
“We’ve had set back after set back especially in the centre-back area and Joel Matip played well and then Nathaniel Phillips in the second half – they have both done a great job which shows the quality we have round the pitch. For myself, it’s always good to get a goal and help the team.”
When asked what had changed to spark such an improved performance, the right-back replied: “Nothing has really changed, we’re the same team we always have been.
“We have the same mentality going into games, we respect the opposition. We have the expectation on ourselves that we should win the game and it was a whole performance from the lads.”
The news was not all positive, however, with the length of absence Matip is set to face expected to be significant.
Klopp has said it looks like Matip's injury is serious.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) January 28, 2021