Liverpool could count themselves unfortunate not to claim all three points against a Tottenham side who were sluggish for large parts of the game this afternoon.
James Milner’s penalty just before half time sent Jurgen Klopp’s side on their way to a third victory at White Hart Lane in four years, but a strike from Tottenham left-back Danny Rose levelled proceedings with twenty minutes to go.
It was a day when a number of players for both sides impressed, but others failed to turn up.
Tottenham Hotspur Ratings:
Michel Vorm – 9: The Dutch international knew exactly how to handle the counter-attacking threat of Sadio Mané, rushing out to meet his runs on more than once occasion. Also made a fantastic save from Coutinho in the first half to keep the score level.
Kyle Walker – 6: Didn’t do much wrong in the time he was on the pitch, but lasted less than half an hour before he came off with an injury
Toby Alderweireld – 7: A difficult afternoon for the Belgian defender as both he and Vertonghen struggled with the pacy Liverpool attack. Earns an extra point for a late block in stoppage time.
Jan Vertonghen – 5: The other half of a laboured Spurs defence. Could still be suffering the effects of an injury suffered in the summer, but struggled today.
Danny Rose: – 7.5: Lively. Very lively. He had to be with Mané against him. Took his equaliser very well.
Eric Dier – 7: Moved to right-back after Walker’s injury, and handled his new position very well. Had a hand in the goal but his presence in midfield was missed.
Victor Wanyama – 7: Generally solid. His job is not spectacular but it is necessary. Recovered very well in the second half after looking somewhat lost in the first. Offers something different to Moussa Dembélé, whether that is a good or bad thing depends on the opposition.
Dele Alli – 6: Things might have been different had Alli been able to remain in attacking midfield, but fell victim to the reshuffle after Walker’s injury. The lack of understanding between Alli and Wanyama was notable in the first half but, like the Kenyan, settled well in the second.
Érik Lamela – 5: Clumsy foul on Roberto Firmino for the penalty. Lamela could be the big casualty should Pochettino decide to start Vincent Janssen more often, and although his form has improved massively of late, afternoons like this will do little to help his cause. Did force a good save from Simon Mignolet, however.
Christian Eriksen – 5: By his own standards, very poor. Did very little in the first half and wasn’t a whole lot better in the second. Missed a decent chance and was lucky not to substituted much earlier than the 90th minute.
Harry Kane – 6: Began the match up front but had to move back to the number ten role after Walker’s injury. Struggled in that role, and Pochettino is going to have to work out a way of starting both he and Janssen in attack without blunting one (if not both) of them.
Vincent Janssen (Kyle Walker, 28 mins) – 6: Came on for Walker before the half-hour mark, but did little to justify Pochettino reshuffling the entire spine of the team to accommodate him. Both he and Kane will have to work on their partnership.
Josh Onomah (Harry Kane, 82 mins): Did not have time to make a significant contribution.
Harry Winks (Christian Eriksen, 90 mins): See above
Simon Mignolet – 7: Good saves from Alderweireld and Lamela, but could perhaps have done a bit better for Rose’s equaliser.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6: Completely lost Rose for the equaliser. Has provided two assists so far this season – two more than last year – but his passing was wayward today.
Joel Matip – 8: A very composed Premier League debut for the defender. Grew into the game as it wore on and there are signs of forming a very effective partnership with Dejan Lovren.
Dejan Lovren – 7: Sky Sports’ man of the match but didn’t play as well as his defensive partner. That’s not to say his performance was any way bad, as Lovren was every bit as composed as confident at times.
James Milner – 7: A decent shift, gets an extra point for the well-taken penalty. Still not 100% comfortable as a midfielder playing at left-back, but Klopp’s comments afterwards suggest that Milner is in this for the duration.
Jordan Henderson – 7: Not a holding midfielder by default, but Klopp’s words of encouragement for his captain appear to have paid dividends. Held his own today far better than he has been recently, but still not quite there yet.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Playing further back than he would like to be – and it’s showing – but Wijnaldum is at least showing signs of adapting to this team. Given his much better stats in home games last season, his Anfield debut in a fortnight will be very interesting.
Adam Lallana – 6.5: Another who has had to adapt to a more withdrawn role. Although today was not his best game, this new position could yet be the making of him. Was unlucky to be blown offside for Mané’s disallowed goal in the second half.
Sadio Mané – 7.5: Electrifying chaos personified. Mané’s pace causes constant danger, and although Vorm was equal to it at times, other goalkeepers will not be as prepared. Lucky not to see red for a second yellow in the first half, equally as unlucky not to see his second half goal allowed to stand.
Philippe Coutinho – 6.5: Suffering with a hamstring strain, and it showed. Should have scored in the first half, and while he did just about enough to justify his inclusion, it seems almost certain if the opposition weren’t so formidable then Klopp would not have risked the Brazilian.
Roberto Firmino – 8: Has been overshadowed by his compatriot Coutinho so far this season, but of the two today it was Firmino who was much brighter. Worried the Tottenham defence on more than one occasion, and won the penalty from a foul by Lamela.
Divock Origi (Coutinho, 69 mins) – 5: Looked completely off the pace. Pulled up with cramp against Burton in midweek, and perhaps should have had no involvement today. Nothing went right for the Belgian international.
Daniel Sturridge (Sadio Mané, 88 mins): Did not have enough time to make a significant contribution, and that in itself is a story. Looked disgusted that Origi came on before him, and given his comments in midweek, there may be trouble ahead.
Kevin Stewart (Adam Lallana): As with Sturridge, came on far too late to have an impact
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