Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Resilient Reds fightback against Lilywhites to restore six-point lead at Premier League summit

It almost seems impossible for a Liverpool vs Tottenham affair to be anything from a Hollywood blockbuster for the neutrals following the latest chapter from the two Premier League juggernauts.

Let's face it, the first match following that Champions League final in Madrid back in June was going always going to bring the heat. The narrative before the match focussed on the change of fortune between the two times following the Red's sixth European triumph at the expense of Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs.

In truth, these two clubs have only gone in opposite directions since that wondrous night in Madrid less than five months ago. Liverpool, spurred on by their status as European champions, have sailed to the top of the Premier League without defeat, winning eight of their first nine games to open up a lengthy advantage on champions Manchester City.

The endless chants of "we are the champions, champions of Europe" from Liverpool supporters inevitably added salt to the wounds of Madrid that will still not have healed almost six months on.

However, Liverpool were made to work to their physical limits to deliver their 12th successive league win at Anfield and secure that six-point cushion at the Premier League summit.

This was a win of guts and steel, holding their nerve epitomised by the standout performer Fabinho who was the hallmark of everything good from the league leaders. Liverpool's lighthouse showed the way, their very own 'Inspector Gadget' leading them on their pursuit of the Holy Grail - a first league title in 30 years.

Yet again, Anfield was treated to a late penalty with Sadio Mane - similarly to Leicester City - the man to strife panic into the hearts of opponents and force a foul in the Tottenham box.

The Senegalese ace struck instant fear into Spurs' defender Serge Aurier forcing him into a clumsy tackle late in the second-half gifting Mohamed Salah the perfect opportunity to yet again shatter Tottenham hearts from the penalty spot.

The Liverpool comeback astonishingly began just after 47 seconds after Harry Kane tucked home the opener following a deflected effort from Son Heung-Min completely turning game on its head.

Jordan Henderson inspired the Red's comeback early in the second-half following a fine left-footed half-volley before Anfield was sent into raptures following Salah's conviction from the spot.

The result meant that Liverpool's unbeaten record at home was extended to 45 matches after Kane had threatened to upset the Anfield script.

The story of the match

Liverpool made three changes following their 4-1 victory in Genk, Trent Alexander-Arnold recovered from illness to replace James Milner, whilst Klopp opted for more defensive stability in his midfield three with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum coming in for Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Joel Matip was unable to recover from a reoccurring knee problem and failed to make the matchday squad. Dejan Lovren retained his place at centre-back ahead of Joe Gomez.

Meanwhile, Christain Erikson returned for the Lilywhites with Jan Vertonghan and Tanguy Ndombele left on the bench. Erik Lamela picked up a thigh injury in training and failed a late doctor's test leaving the Argentine out of the squad altogether.

Similarly to the final in Madrid, any kind of tactical plans or preparation were completely blown out of the water with yet another major incident occurring inside the first minute.

Heung-Min - making his 200th Spurs appearance - picked up the ball on the right-hand side then nonchalantly rolled the ball beyond the returning Alexander-Arnold and then eluded Henderson before curling a right-footed shot that deflected onto the woodwork before Kane in predatory-like-fashion was lurking to bundle in the rebound on the stroke of 47 seconds.

What followed from that point can only be described as a Liverpool onslaught. After a harrowing and tame performance at Old Trafford last weekend, the early goal forced the hosts into conjuring up a performance of guile and significant intensity.

Andy Robertson looked to expose the space on the left-hand side forcing Christian Erikson into an unfamiliar role of tracking the left flank.

The Scotland captain was a constant menace and forced Liverpool's first real attempt after a one-two with Mane followed with a low cross that was gobbled up by Gazzaniga

The Red's continued to force their heels on the throats of Tottenham and a Salah volley was again saved by the seemingly impenetrable Gazzaniga.

Spurs despite being on the end of a Liverpool typhoon still looked to threaten on the break. Dele Alli and Kane were spraying passes around the Liverpool box before the ball fell to Erikson who - lurking in the famous Eider Gudjohnsen position - struck his half-volley wide of Alisson's post.

The Liverpool massacre continued but Tottenham rallied the punches to perfection like a world champion heavyweight boxer. Gazzaniga typified Spurs' resilience with an astounding double save to deny Salah with a fine effort on the edge of the box and then Roberto Firmino on the follow-up.

Virgil van Dijk came close after the Dutch captain was left unmarked following an Alexander-Arnold set-piece but his header flew over.

The second half began as the first had finished with the hosts relentlessly hounding the visitors with Firmino and Salah continuing to link up to devastating effect.

However, the first major chance fell to the Lilywhites who could have snatched a first Anfield win since 2011 but Son was denied by the woodwork after shattering an effort after rounding Alisson and eluding Lovren.

Salah had numerous chances to claw the Reds back to level terms with a couple of efforts that failed to really trouble Gazzaniga - who was by far Spurs' outstanding player on the day.

An equaliser only seemed inevitable and Anfield erupted when the ball finally found the net after Henderson thundered home a left-footed volley to finally breach the wall that was Gazzaniga.

The Red's skipper loves a celebration and the 29-year-old's passion was personified after punching the air in sheer jubilation following his first Anfield strike in the league since Klopp's debut season.

The ongoing Liverpool storm only gathered further momentum following the equaliser and Tottenham could sense it. It was no wonder that Aurier's initial instinct at the sight of Mane in the box forced the Frenchman into taking action.

There was to be no VAR intervention after the former PSG defender hacked down Mane before Salah - similarly in Madrid - thwarted Spurs from the spot.

The Egyptian king cooly dispatched his fifth league strike of the season before being mobbed by his teammates in front of the bouncing Kop. Salah was brought off before the end after it appeared his reoccurring ankle problems were taking their toll on the Liverpool winger despite Klopp confirming the injury was not serious in his post-match press conference.

Kane had the ball yet again in the back of the Liverpool net, but on the second occasion was denied due to being offside before Liverpool held out to take their points tally to 28 points after 10 games - only the fourth team in Premier League history to achieve the feat.

In terms of performances, this was as close as the most complete display this season and the Reds deservedly had the result to match it.

“It was a super game,” Klopp said. “That’s how football should look.”

Takeaway's from the match

Fabinho bosses midfield

It was another almost perfect display from Liverpool's impenetrable Brazilian. Solidified as the Red's ever-present midfielder, Fabinho utterly dominated the middle of the park.

Klopp opted for his trusted trident that provides the defensive stability Klopp craves and Fabinho typified the energy and intensity Klopp demands from his midfield. Covering almost every blade of grass, the former Monaco man was a constant nuisance for Spurs and was the man to ignite most of Liverpool's attacks sweeping up everything in midfield.

The Anfield fortress holds firm

Make that 45 matches since the resilient Reds tasted defeat in the league on home soil. The record stretches all the way back to April 2017 when Crystal Palace proved to be the last team in recent times to leave the Liverpool fortress with all the spoils.

Kane did threaten to upset the famous record after becoming the first player this century to score at Anfield in the Premier League inside one minute.

The Liverpool comeback meant that Liverpool have now won their previous four matches against the Lilywhites.

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