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Five Things We Learned As Liverpool See Off Spurs At Wembley

Liverpool defeated Tottenham by 1-2 at Wembley in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

Klopp’s side took the lead in the first half after a header from Georginio Wijnaldum was adjudged to have crossed the Tottenham goal line, before Roberto Firmino grabbed a second just after the break to put Liverpool in cruise control.

Spurs did manage to get one back through an excellent finish from Erik Lamela but it was too little too late as Pochettino’s side fell to their second defeat in as many games.

Let’s take a look at five things we learned following Liverpool’s impressive victory away to Spurs.

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1) The First Serious Test Passed For Liverpool

Liverpool have unquestionably looked strong so far this season but before the Spurs game, they had yet to come up against any team close to a top-four standard, with Brighton and Leicester being their toughest games to date.

At Wembley, however, Liverpool made a big statement, their front three as potent as ever and their new centre-back partnership of Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez looking solid, save for Erik Lamela’s late volley.

There were times in the game where Klopp’s men were seemingly on the back foot as Spurs applied pressure looking to make the breakthrough, but Liverpool soaked up everything thrown at them outstandingly and when the chances presented themselves they took them clinically.

This was the first in a number of tough games coming up for the Merseyside club with both Manchester City and Chelsea on their radar in the next few weeks.

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2) James Milner Continues To Shine

When James Milner retires, he will unquestionably go down as one of the most underrated English players of his generation.

The 33-year-old ran the game in the Liverpool midfield and continues to be a key cog in a Liverpool team that is looking much more balanced than the side of old. He almost literally covered every blade of grass (he ran 12.9km) on the Wembley pitch and one could make a case for him being the best midfielder in the league so far this season.

He deservedly picked up the man of the match award and the fact that £50 million signing Fabinho cannot dislodge him is a testament to the terrific performances he has put in in the Liverpool engine room.

Consistency at its finest, and a man who will continue to be key to Liverpool’s apparent title charge.

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3) Spurs’ Squad Look Like They Are Feeling The World Cup Aftermath

For the second game in a row, Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs looked uncharacteristically fatigued as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

Usually, a team so full of energy, endeavour and desire, the Spurs of recent weeks has looked the antithesis of everything Poch has come to expect from his team.

It could be down to the fact that seven of his starting eleven against Liverpool reached the World Cup semi-finals and suffered what was a gruelling summer. Contrast that with Klopp’s side who only had Trent Alexander-Armstrong in the World Cup’s last four.

They also failed to make any additions during the transfer window and despite having seemingly good squad depth, it’s entirely possible that a lot of their players simply need a rest.

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4) Hugo Lloris Was A Huge Miss In The Spurs Goal

All eyes were on Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson ahead of this game, as the footballing world watched to see if his howler of two weeks ago would affect him under the bright lights of Wembley.

Instead, though it was the Spurs keeper who seemingly lost his nerve, as deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm committed two costly errors which led to Liverpool goals.

His failure to get a strong connection on a corner kick in the first half resulted in the ball falling onto the head of Wijnaldum who, only just, nodded it across the line.

Then in the second half, he struggled to hold a cross from Sadio Mane as the ball fell to Firmino for an easy finish.

Despite his off-field issues during the week Lloris is undoubtedly one of Spurs’ most important players and Pochettino will be hoping that he returns from injury sooner rather than later.

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5) Salah Is Trying Too Hard To Recreate Last Season

The 2017/2018 season that Mo Salah had for Liverpool was unprecedented. Equalling the record for the most amount of goals in a 38 game campaign Salah romped to the PFA Player of the Year award and announced himself as one of the world’s very best.

He was never ever going to be able to repeat that this season.

For Salah, a season just a notch below last would still be excellent by most players standards but it looks as though he is falling victim to wanting to maintain his own untouchable highs.

Although he did not play poorly at Wembley, he was selfish at times, desperate to get his name on the scoresheet when others around him were in better positions for a pass.

It’s only early signs but it’s a trap that the Egyptian must be careful not to fall into.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]