Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur – BBC News

Sadio Mane scores Liverpool's scored

Mane has been involved in 15 league goals for Liverpool this season (11 goals, four assists), more than any of his team-mates

Sadio Mane lifted Liverpool’s recent gloom by scoring twice in two first-half minutes to see off top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.

The forward put the Reds ahead when he ran onto Georginio Wijnaldum’s pass, holding off Ben Davies to fire in.

He doubled the lead 138 seconds later, pouncing on a loose ball from close range after keeper Hugo Lloris denied Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.

Second-placed Spurs rarely threatened as Liverpool moved within a point.

The visitors’ best chance fell to forward Son Heung-min, whose fierce, angled shot was blocked by Reds keeper Simon Mignolet shortly after Mane’s second.

Spurs remain nine points behind leaders Chelsea ahead of the Blues’ trip to Burnley on Sunday.

Liverpool, who had not won in their five previous matches, move back up to fourth.

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My Sunday will be perfect after win – Klopp

Liverpool boosted by the Mane man

Liverpool’s downturn in form since New Year coincided with the absence of Senegal forward Mane, who missed seven matches when he represented his country at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Reds managed just one win in his absence, slipping from Chelsea’s nearest title challengers to fifth place and going out of both domestic cup competitions.

Here Mane, who failed to shine in last weekend’s defeat at Hull City, showed just why Liverpool lamented his loss.

Mane impressed in the first half of the season following his £34m arrival from Southampton – his pace, energy and clinical finishing contributing heavily to Liverpool’s success.

Without him, they struggled to break down opponents. With him, they tore apart Tottenham in the opening quarter.

Spurs could not handle the speed of thought, or the speed of movement, of the home side.

Mane – who scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in two minutes and 56 seconds in May 2015 – almost came close to another quickfire treble, only to be denied again by the over-exposed Lloris.

While Spurs stemmed the tide after the break, the damage was already done.

Sadio Mane<!–

Mane’s influence in the opening 25 minutes is illustrated by this graphic showing that 50% of Liverpool’s attacks came down his right flank

Analysis – ‘Mane is phenomenal’

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright on Match of the Day

“They couldn’t win without him. Mane is the one with that bit of pace to get in behind and I didn’t think they were doing that recently and that’s because he wasn’t there.

“He is phenomenal. He senses the danger. Spurs couldn’t deal with him.”

Spurs’ struggles continue away from the Lane

While Liverpool had not won in five games, Tottenham were playing with confidence and fluency in a 15-match streak which had seen them beaten just once.

The formbook was torn up at Anfield.

Spurs had conceded just twice in their previous five league games, but were uncharacteristically porous without injured pair Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen.

Harry Kane was isolated up front, while midfielders Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen were virtually anonymous in the opposition half.

Spurs managed just two shots on target as Reds keeper Simon Mignolet was largely untroubled, their frustration becoming evident after the break as four players picked up yellow cards.

Worryingly for boss Mauricio Pochettino, his side failed to turn up again in a potentially-pivotal trip to one of their top four rivals.

Spurs have won just twice on the road since 24 September, including defeats at Chelsea and Manchester United in addition to draws at Arsenal and Manchester City.

We were poor. They were better. No complaints,” said Pochettino.

Man of the match – Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Ben Davies<!–

Who else? Liverpool’s two-goal hero Mane was a constant threat to the Spurs defence, giving left-back Ben Davies a particularly torrid time

Post-match reaction

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp:

“It was how we have to play against Tottenham. We had to show a reaction and it was perfect. It was an outstanding performance offensively in the first half, and defensively in the second half.

“We could have scored again. It was difficult to defend against us in the first half, we had four or five players in the area, it was like the early part of the season.”

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‘Very poor’ first half frustrates Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino:

“We started the game very sloppy. It is difficult to understand, I am very disappointed in our first-half display. Second half we reached their level but it is really late.

“We are in a position that is up to us. But if you show like today that you cannot cope with the pressure to play to win the league than it is difficult to challenge and fight for the Premier League.

“In the first 45 minutes you saw a team that is not ready to fight for the Premier League.”

Liverpool love playing Spurs at Anfield…

  • Liverpool have won more Premier League games at Anfield against Tottenham than any other current top-flight side they have faced (16 wins)
  • The Reds are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League encounters with Spurs, winning six and drawing three
  • Tottenham have conceded eight goals from open play in their last 13 Premier League games after conceding just one in their opening 12 matches of the season
  • Spurs conceded eight shots on target; their most in a first half since 2003-04
  • Spurs have failed to score in successive Premier League away games for the first time since April 2015
  • Toby Alderweireld received his first Premier League yellow card since March 2016, after a run of 26 games without a booking

What’s next?

A two-week break from the Premier League for Tottenham. Pochettino’s side turn their attentions back to the Europa League when they face Belgian side Gent in a two-legged tie either side of a FA Cup fifth-round trip to Fulham on Sunday, 19 February.

They return to top-flight action when Stoke City visit on Sunday, 26 February (13:30 GMT), while Liverpool have a 16-day break before they visit champions Leicester City on Monday, 27 February (20:00).

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 2, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

Attempt missed. Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution, Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold replaces Sadio Mané.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Adam Lallana (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) left footed shot from more than 40 yards on the left wing misses to the right.

Hand ball by Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).

Attempt blocked. James Milner (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur).

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Vincent Janssen replaces Son Heung-Min.

Substitution, Liverpool. Ragnar Klavan replaces Lucas Leiva because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur).

Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Liverpool. Emre Can replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Moussa Sissoko replaces Mousa Dembélé.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Adam Lallana (Liverpool) because of an injury.

Foul by Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur).

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

Foul by Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool).

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Joel Matip (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur).

James Milner (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Son Heung-Min with a cross.

James Milner (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Winks replaces Christian Eriksen.

Hand ball by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

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