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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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With four wins from four, and their best start to a league campaign since 1990, the international break couldn’t have come at a worse time for Liverpool.

The Premier League resumes this afternoon with a true test of their credentials as title contenders, as Jurgen Klopp takes his side to face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley — a fixture which they lost 4-1 last October.

For Spurs, after their shock defeat against Watford a fortnight ago, they will know that they cannot afford to drop more points at such an early stage in the new season.

Kick-off is at 12.30pm.

TEAM NEWS: Three changes to the Spurs side from that defeat against Watford –Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Harry Winks all start. Both Hugh Lloris and Dele Alli are injured, remember.

Tottenham: Vorm, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Winks, Eriksen, Lucas, Kane.

TEAM NEWS: Just the one change for Liverpool as Klopp reverts to the same XI that started the first three games of the campaign. That means Keita is back in midfield in place of Henderson.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mané.

We’ll keep a close eye on how Spurs line out, but it looks like it could be a back three with Eric Dier joining Alderweireld and Vertonghen.

1Mins

KICK OFF: We’re underway at Wembley.

1Mins

GOOO… NO! Liverpool have the ball in the net after just 45 seconds but it’s offside! Milner crossed it in from the right, Firmino got a touch but when Mané poked it home past Vorm, he was a yard off.

4Mins

We’ve had a couple of looks at the replay of that disallowed goal and it looks like Mané didn’t touch the ball. He made a clear and obvious attempt to play it though, and that’s certainly sufficient to consider him active in the move. Good call by the officials.

5Mins

Alexander-Arnold stands over a free about 25 yards out. He curls it up and over the wall, but it’s straight down the throat of Vorm, who saves without too much trouble.

6Mins

Penalty shout from the home fans as Eriksen gets in behind Gomez chasing a long ball and then goes to ground. There was contact, but it was incidental at best. Play on — much to the annoyance of the home fans. 

8Mins

Liverpool have definitely started the better here in these opening few minutes. After starting with that back three of Vertonghen-Dier-Alderweireld, Pochettino has now pushed Dier into midfield and gone with a more traditional four at the back.

9Mins

Trippier whips in a free-kick from the right and Alderweireld has first-mover advantage, getting in behind the Liverpool line, but can’t direct his diving header on target. He was offside, too, so it wouldn’t have counted anyway.

11Mins

Long ball over the top as Spurs look to release Kane, but van Dijk quickly covers across and nods it away from the danger area.

15Mins

Alisson comes to mop a loose ball but under pressure, he scrambles it out over the line instead of trying anything a bit more elaborate. Lesson learned after that goal conceded against Leicester, it seems.

18Mins

Both Rose and Trippier get forward from the back on opposite flanks. Rose’s cross floats all the way towards the back post but Mané gets up to win the header against Trippier, and then wins a free for a nudge in the back.

21Mins

CHANCE! Spurs slip up and Liverpool very nearly punish them. Dier’s backpass is sloppy and loose, and Salah pounces. He’s one-on-one with Vorm but can’t put his shot either side of the Spurs keeper, and Vorm saves before gathering at the second attempt.

24Mins

Much brighter from Liverpool in the last few minutes. Firmino tries to engineer some space in the box by sticking the ball through Alderweireld’s leg but the defender nicks it away from him.

26Mins

Lovely move by Spurs — and an important intervention by Keita to force the corner. Trippier played a lovely cushioned volley into the path of Eriksen, who catches Keita off-guard running off his shoulder. The midfielder gets back and slides in to cut out Eriksen’s pass just in time.

27Mins

Free-kick for Spurs in a very dangerous position, edge of the box…

28Mins

Saved! Eriksen decides to go across goal with his shot, and Alisson gets down with both hands behind the ball to make the stop.

33Mins

Van Dijk snuffs out another Spurs attack, whipping the ball away from Lucas Moura and clearing.

36Mins

Quick counter from Liverpool as they poach possession in midfield. Firmino slides a pass through to Mané but Alderweireld does enough to push him wide and Mané’s shot is eventually a tame one.

37Mins

Vertonghen has a go at goal from way, way out. He shouldn’t have.

Flag 38Mins

GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Liverpool (Wijnaldum, 38′)

Liverpool lead — and it’s a bit of a horror show for Michel Vorm which allows Wijnaldum to score. The Spurs keeper flaps at Milner’s corner initially, with Dier half-heading it clear, and when Wijnaldum returns it towards goal, it has already crossed the line before Vorm palms it back out. It was clearly over the line, but the goal-line technology confirms the decision anyway.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League - Wembley Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

39Mins

That goal is Wijnaldum’s first away from home in the Premier League.

43Mins

Should be two! Wijnaldum breaks down the right and, if he gets his head up, he’ll see both Firmino and then Mané arriving into the box and begging for the ball to be pulled back. But he doesn’t, and instead, drags a weak shot from a bad angle across the face of goal and wide.

Flag 45Mins

HALF TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Liverpool

Back in five.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League - Wembley Stadium Source: Adam Davy

46Mins

SECOND HALF: Back underway at Wembley.

48Mins

Liverpool press and probe. Robertson’s cross comes back off the top of the crossbar, and stays in play, and then Alexander-Arnold keeps the ball alive, forcing Spurs to turn it behind for a corner.

49Mins

Falling backwards, Keita tries his luck from 30 yards but Vorm saves comfortably.

51Mins

BIG SAVE! Spurs lose the ball in midfield, Liverpool break in number – and Vorm makes a key stop to deny Mané as he swivels and shoots. That almost makes up for his earlier flap.

51Mins

POST! SPURS NEARLY EQUALISE! Lucas Moura cuts in from the left and shoots, but his shot clips the outside of the post. Alisson looked to be beaten.

Flag 54Mins

GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Liverpool (Firmino, 54′)

Two-nil! The sides could have been level just moments ago, but instead, Liverpool are firmly in the driving seat. Mané cuts in from the left and crosses; Vertonghen slides in to try to cut the ball out but plays it onto the post, and then it squirms through Vorm’s despairing grasp, bobbling onto the line where Firmino is on hand to gratefully slam it in.

59Mins

Spurs sub: Lamela on in place of Demebele as Pochettino tries to jolt his team into some sort of response.

62Mins

SHOULD BE 3-0! Liverpool have horrifically overplayed a 3v2 and wasted a glorious chance to put this game to bed with a half-hour to play. Mané has Keita to his left and Salah to his right, and opts for the former. Keita shoots straight at Vorm, allowing him to tip it over the bar. Big let-off for Spurs.

66Mins

Kane gets a flick on Eriksen’s shot as it zips across the box. It could go anywhere but, unfortunately for Spurs, it doesn’t go into the Liverpool net.

70Mins

Firmino is on Vertonghen’s shoulder, putting him under a bit of pressure, and he gets caught by a flailing hand. It actually looks like Vertonghen might have accidentally drawn blood. The game stops so that Firmino can be treated.

72Mins

Spurs sub: Arriving back to huge reception, Son comes on to replace Winks.

74Mins

Liverpool sub: It looks like a fingernail to the eye, rather than a scratch, for Firmino. Jordan Henderson comes on to replace him and Naby Keita, who was due to come off for Henderson, keeps his place for now.

79Mins

This game has slowed to a pretty pedestrian pace in the last few minutes. Not that it will bother Liverpool or their fans, mind you.

81Mins

Two chances in quick succession for Liverpool, but they can’t find the third goal that would definitively kill the game off. First Vorm saves from Salah, and then he deals with a much tamer effort from Sadio Mané.

82Mins

Liverpool sub: Daniel Sturridge is on to replace Naby Keita.

83Mins

Salah jinks and weaves his way into the box, but then jinks and weaves his way into traffic, and Alderweireld is happy to clear.

83Mins

Salah tries to go it alone again and this time earns an obvious and stinging rebuke from his manager. He should have pulled it back to Sturridge, who was in a better position.

85Mins

Oooooh. Lamela flashes a shot just wide of the Liverpool post. If Spurs score here, it will be a very nervy finish for the visitors in a game they should have wrapped up long ago.

88Mins

James Milner is named the Sky Sports man of the match by Gary Neville as the clock ticks towards 90. A toss-up between him and van Dijk, for my money.

90Mins

Again, a Liverpool player chooses to go it alone instead of passing to a team-mate in a better position. This time it’s Mané who lashes the ball high and wide when a pass would have been the better option.

90Mins

We’re into the first of five additional minutes.

Flag 90Mins

GOAL FOR SPURS! Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool (Lamela, 90+3′)

This has felt a little bit inevitable for the last 20 minutes or so — and now we’ll see Liverpool’s resolve tested in a game they should have comfortably wrapped up. The ball falls to Lamela at the back post and he lashes it across Alisson and into the far corner.

Spurs will have two minutes to find an equaliser…

90Mins

SON! Just couldn’t get the ball out from underneath his feet. Skews it wide.

90Mins

That’s it! Liverpool survive that late scare and they continue their 100% start to the season — five wins from five and crucially, a big away win against another of the would-be title contenders.

More than a suspicion of a late penalty shout for Spurs there as Mané tackled Son as he tried to get that final shot away – but it won’t bother Liverpool too much at this stage.

Where now for Pochettino and Spurs? Five games into the season, and they’ve already dropped six points. It goes without saying that they’ll be a totally different animal once Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli return, but giving Harry Kane a break — or whatever it takes to help him return to his lethal best — must now be a priority.

That’s all for now, but we’ll have lots more reaction and analysis over the course of the afternoon, as well as full coverage of the 3pm kick-offs which are just around the corner. Thanks for reading.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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