Two goals from Sadio Mane in the first half ensured Liverpool got all three points against title challengers Tottenham Hotspurs. The Reds finally ended their poor run of form in 2017 with an emphatic win running out 2-0 winners at Anfield on Saturday leaving Mauricio Pochettino’s side floundering in terms of winning the league.
The only win Klopp’s side managed this year was in an FA Cup replay against fourth-tier Plymouth Argyle, with defeats to relegation strugglers Swansea City and Hull City over the past few weeks at home.
It has been a run of games that has almost certainly shattered their dreams of competing with Chelsea for the number one spot in the table, but they brought Spurs’ own bid down in flames with a swashbuckling display.
Pochettino’s men were outshined and outwitted in almost every battle during the game and with them being second best at everything, it took just 16 minutes for the host’s to take the lead after a dazzling few opening minutes.
Tottenham’s nervy start was punished as Mane opened the scoring when Coutinho won the ball back in midfield and Wijnaldum played a perfect through ball for Mane to chase, and the striker showed a cool head to lift his shot over Lloris despite being off balance after a slight tussle with Tottenham left-back Ben Davies.
Mane’s absence was sorely felt as the Senegalese international was on duty with his country at the AFCON and his club side felt the dip in form as he missed seven matches, however after just 138 seconds after he scored his first, the former Southampton man grabbed his second goal of the game.
After catching Eric Dier napping on the ball, the high pressure was put in play and was extremely effective and Mane who won possession this time, pounced on a loose ball from close range after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris denied Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.
Mane should have grabbed his first Liverpool hat-trick by the half hour mark but was denied twice once by the side netting and then by Lloris.
Second placed Tottenham then finally began to muster a few passes together but still barely managed to threaten the Liverpool goal.
The visitors’ best chance of the match fell to attacker Son Heung-min, who fired in a fierce shot from a tight angle but the shot was blocked by Reds keeper Simon Mignolet shortly after Mane’s second.
Harry Kane was isolated up front and Lucas did a job on the English striker, not allowing him a sniff in the game, while the attacking midfield duo of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen were virtually anonymous in terms of posing a threat in their opponents half.
After the defeat to Liverpool,Spurs remain nine points behind leaders Chelsea ahead of the Blues’ trip to Burnley on Sunday while Liverpool climb back into 4th with their first win in five matches.