Liverpool won an entertaining Premier League encounter 3-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to climb to fourth in the table and end a run of five league games without a win. Perhaps more pleasing for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, though, was that his team found the scoresheet. Roberto Firmino's goal, Liverpool's first of the night and first of 2021 for the defending champions, put to an end a concerning scoreless streak that had lasted nearly 482 minutes.
There will have been less to be pleased about in Jose Mourinho's dugout, however, as some sloppy goalkeeping by Hugo Lloris and some equally sloppy defending in front him ensured his poor record against Klopp -- winning only twice in 12 tries -- continued.
Spurs started on the front foot and Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min combined well before the England striker was forced off through injury. Jose Mourinho will have been pleased how his side responded to going two down and getting themselves back into the game.
Individual errors cost Tottenham. Lloris should have dealt with the ball that led to Liverpool's first goal, and Lloris again should have done better with a shot he palmed across the face of goal, when Trent Alexander-Arnold scored his first of the season. Joe Rodon's failure to clear Alexander-Arnold's cross was responsible for the third.
Manager rating out of 10:
5 - Mourinho did well to change his side's shape in the second half. In the first 45 minutes, his central midfield duo was outnumbered by Liverpool's midfield three. In response, he matched them, and looked stronger for it. However, his substitutions were questionable, and ineffectual.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10 = best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 5 -- The Frenchman made two fantastic saves to deny Sadio Mane, but he should have done better with the first two Liverpool goals. After twice having foiled the Senegalese striker, first when Mane was put through by Mohamed Salah, and again when he dived to his right to deny a well-struck shot, he saw the ball find his net twice. Both he and Eric Dier watched on as the ball went through them to Firmino, who tapped home, and then he palmed Mane's tame effort to Trent-Alexander Arnold, who scored with the rebound.
DF Ben Davies, 5 -- The Welshman made a decisive challenge to deny Mane in the first half just as he was about to pull the trigger. However, he struggled against Liverpool's attacking trident for most of the evening.
DF Joe Rodon, 5 -- Rodon was probably the pick of Tottenham's defenders but even he was at fault for Liverpool's third goal when, after Alexander Arnold had crossed into the box, he failed to clear, and Mane made the game safe.
DF Eric Dier, 5 -- Gave Firmino too much time and space early on, but tried to get closer to him as the first half went on. However, he lost him when it mattered most, and he couldn't stop the Brazilian giving Liverpool the lead on the stroke of half-time.
DF Matt Doherty, 4 -- Returned to the side in the absence of Serge Reguilon and though he managed to get forward, and at times combine well with Steven Bergwijn and Son, but he wasn't quite able to match the Spaniard's pinpoint deliveries. He also struggled defensively.
MF Serge Aurier, 5 -- Was unlucky to get substituted. He wasn't able to get forward as often as he likes, but he looked solid if not unspectacular overall..
MF Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, 7 -- Tottenham's best performer on a disappointing night for the home side. He worked tirelessly to close down Thiago and and even scored his first goal in nearly two years with a brilliant shot from 25 yards.
MF Tanguy Ndombele, 6 -- Played well, but was let down by his teammates. Both he and Hojbjerg played well individually but together they were overrun by Liverpool's midfield three.
MF Steven Bergwijn, 4 -- The Belgian wide man was substituted before the end and Spurs may wonder why Mourinho waited so long to replace him. He was largely ineffective for much of the game, though showed a nice turn of pace on occasion.
MF Harry Kane, 6 -- Combined with Son early on and played a defence-splitting pass before his teammate's effort was disallowed after a review. Took a knock to the ankle, which ultimately ended his evening at half-time.
FW Son Heung-Min, 6 -- Thought he'd scored his 17th of the season in the opening minutes, but his back heel was offside. He enjoyed space on the left-hand side on numerous occasions, but lost his edge when Kane went off.
DF Harry Winks (Aurier, 45), 5 -- Came on at the break and was wasteful in possession. Moreover, his addition seemed to dull the impact of Ndombele in the middle, as Winks took up the deeper the Frenchman had enjoyed.
FW Erik Lamela (Kane, 45), 5 -- Lamela struggled when he came on, and Tottenham's attacking threat was diluted without Kane's presence. The Argentine was guilty of losing the ball too often and running into red shirts.
FW Gareth Bale (Bergwijn, 81), N/A - The Welshman is in poor form and lacking in confidence, and he certainly looked devoid of both when he came on in the second half.