It was Lazar Markovic’s first goal at Anfiled last night and Balotelli’s first in the Premier League for Liverpool, but there was much more to Liverpool’s game against Tottenham than that. Liverpool’s defense had conceded as little as possible in the past few fixtures, but they didn’t have much to do prior to last night’s game. Stopping Harry Kane from scoring was never going to happen particularly with his current form but Brendan Rodgers needed the win more than anything else.
Mauricio Pochettino started with Hugo Lloris as captain, keeping the same back four that faced Arsenal in front of him: Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen. They are the fastest defenders that Spurs have, they’re young and energetic, but then again Tottenham’s whole squad boasts a fairly young age considering benchwarmer Emmanuel Adebayor is the only player on the team over 30.
The midfield seems to be taking shape with a trio of Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Moussa Dembele being favored over Andros Townsend, the Englishmen failed to live up to the hype, he certainly has the skill but the three players who started last night have proved that they are able to adapt their style for the sake of the team.
Had it been any previous season, then Spurs would have went into the game looking to grab a point, this season things are quite different. Tottenham’s youngsters are surprising and determined. They went to Anfield for a win and nothing less despite facing the only side who’s on a better form than them, Liverpool grabbed 14 out of a possible 18 in their past six games compared to Tottenham’s 13.
Tottenham went down early in the first half, but they remained calm and pushed for an equalizer through no one other than Harry Kane. It seemed like Tottenham were on the verge of mounting a challenge to grab all three points but the home side had a different say. The Reds won a penalty in the second half and it was converted by Captain Steven Gerrard who succeeded for the fifth time from the spot this season. Spurs didn’t lose hope, they pushed on and earned a set-piece that ended up in Liverpool’s net despite some controversy in the play. At the end, it was Mario Balotelli’s first Premier League goal for Liverpool that decided the outcome of the game. Liverpool 3 – 2 Tottenham.
After a tough start to the season, the Reds are finally back on track while Tottenham are relying on an inexperienced side yet an energetic and cohesive one. Liverpool’s win keeps them in the seventh spot but they’ve cut the gap between them and rivals to the point where any loss for one of Southampton, Arsenal, Manchester United or Tottenham will have serious consequences on the rankings. Liverpool might just penetrate into the top four.