Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold master-class downs sorry Spurs as Kane subbed off injured 
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates with Andrew Robertson of Liverpool and team mates after he scores his sides 3rd goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 28, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

After being the subject of stick from his critics recently, Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered a man of the match performance for Liverpool, against a Tottenham side who lost their talisman Harry Kane to what looked like an ankle injury.

Spurs' familiar foe Roberto Firmino tapped home on the stroke of half-time after Heung-Min Son had his opener ruled out inside the first five minutes, before Alexander-Arnold saw his shot fly past Hugo Lloris not long after the restart.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's screamer did claw Spurs back into the game, but all doubts were put to bed by Sadio Mane after a delicious cross from deep by Alexander-Arnold.

Story of the match

The game was always expected to have a fast pace and high tempo, but not many would have predicted how the game took off in the pace that it did.

Sadio Mane's one-two with Mohamed Salah presented the Senegalese attacker with a glorious chance to open the scoring in the second minute after getting past Serge Aurier, but his strike was well wide of the target.

Just seconds later, Heung-Min Son put the ball in the net, after Tanguy Ndombele found the Korean before he played a one-two with Harry Kane and raced away, slotting home at the near post - but VAR found him offside when Ndombele initially passed the ball to him.

As Liverpool began to turn on the pressure, Spurs looked to hit them on the counter with Son on multiple occasions and nearly got their goal twice more through him as he raced away behind the defence, the first chance well defended by Joel Matip and the second saved comfortably by Alisson.

With ten minutes to go before half-time, both Eric Dier and Kane were left on the floor with injuries - but while Dier got up without too much help required, all eyes were on Kane who was receiving treatment on that same ankle that has been seriously injured a number of times in the last few years.

Liverpool continued to probe, and Roberto Firmino, Mane and Salah all had chances, but it wasn't until the final minute of added time in the first half that they got their goal, as Mane played a teasing cross which Dier and Lloris both failed to clear - allowing Firmino a simple tap-in.

As Kane had to be substituted at half-time, alongside Aurier, substitutions Harry Winks and Erik Lamela could not prevent Liverpool from flying out of the blocks like they did in the first half, as Salah fired wide no more than thirty seconds after the restart.

The visitors did get the second goal straight after, as Lloris again was left to rue his own errors after parrying Mane's shot straight to Trent Alexander-Arnold who arrowed his shot past the Spurs captain.

Jose Mourinho's team did pull one back with an instant reply, however, as Steven Bergwijn's perfect lay-off for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg allowed the Dane to cut across the ball and direct his shot into the far corner, giving Alisson no chance.

All of a sudden, Spurs looked a different side as they were passing the ball around with confidence, but Liverpool caught them out in the 56th minute when Mane squared for Salah to tap home - only for VAR to temporarily save Spurs as Firmino controlled the ball with his arm in the build-up.

Mane did grab the third just eight minutes later though, after Alexander-Arnold's teasing cross caused a headache for Joe Rodon, who failed to clear and actually touched the ball with his arm - but that didn't matter as Mane was there to follow his mistake up and slam the ball past Lloris.

Liverpool controlled the tempo with ease from then on with Spurs looking desperate - but Georginio Wijnaldum's misplaced pass in his own half gave Hojbjerg the chance to find Son in plenty of space with just Alisson to beat - but the Spurs scorer's ball was poor and the chance was squandered.

From then on, it was all about managing the game from Jurgen Klopp's perspective, and despite Gareth Bale appearing off the bench, Spurs lacked any real intensity in attack - leaving Liverpool to comfortably take all three points back to Merseyside.

Man of the match - Trent Alexander-Arnold

It has been a truly barren run of form from Liverpool's perspective, as they have had to watch Manchester City take the lead in the title race and put some space between them and the chasing pack in the process.

One player who has been the target of criticism in recent weeks has been England right-back Alexander-Arnold, but tonight he answered those critics with a trademark performance from the 22-year-old.

Delivering a number of crosses which caused chaos in the Spurs penalty area, with Mane capitalising on one to put the game beyond all reasonable doubt, after the Englishman's goal in the 47th minute put Liverpool in a commanding position - Alexander-Arnold showed exactly why he is one of the world's best right-backs, if not the best.