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Tottenham 1 Liverpool 2: Reds continue 100 per cent start to the season

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WHAT a difference a year makes.

Tottenham 1 Liverpool 2: Reds continue 100 per cent start to the season

GETTY

Tottenham 1 Liverpool 2: Georginio Wijnaldum is mobbed by his team-mates
(Pic: GETTY)

When these two teams met at Wembley last October, Spurs were 4-1 winners and Liverpool were a defensive shambles.

That was the catalyst for change by Kop boss Jurgen Klopp, who has since bolstered his defence with the key signings of centre-back Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson.

Yesterday, Liverpool were solid at the back as they outplayed Spurs to continue their perfect start to the season.

Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum – his first away from home in the Premier League – and Roberto Firmino made it five wins out of five for Klopp’s side.

Only twice before have they won their first five matches of the season in the top flight.

And this was largely comfortable, although substitute Erik Lamela made the final few minutes tense for Liverpool.

He controlled a corner, before pulling back a goal in the second minute of added time with a left-foot volley.

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But it was too little too late for a disappointing Tottenham.

It was not a day for sleepy players, as both managers issued wake-up call messages going into a genuinely big match.

Mauricio Pochettino issued his on the back of Spurs’ 2-1 defeat in their last match at Watford.

Klopp, meanwhile, was referring to Liverpool’s 4-1 hiding in that corresponding fixture at Wembley last season.

But Spurs appeared to be caught napping in the first minute when Liverpool had the ball in the net.

James Milner’s cross from the right was delicately touched home by Firmino.

But the disallowing of the goal was correct, although it was a tight offside call against Sadio Mane. Liverpool were lively from the start, but Tottenham eventually got their neat passing game going.

It was a long ball, though, from Kieran Trippier that created Spurs’ first chance.

Christian Eriksen’s made a fine run and appealed for a penalty when he tumbled to the ground after being challenged by Joe Gomez.

But no spot-kick was awarded – once again the right decision.

Eriksen later had a free-kick from the edge of the box well held by Liverpool keeper Alisson.

But the Reds had the best chance of the opening half-hour in when a misplaced back pass by Eric Dier sent Mo Salah clear.

The Anfield goal machine looked certain to score but his left-foot strike was knocked up into the air and then gathered by keeper Michel Vorm, who came to Spurs’ rescue as stand-in for the injured Hugo Lloris.

But Vorm was at fault as Liverpool took the lead in the 39th minute. The Dutch keeper flapped at an inswinging corner from the left by Milner and Wijnaldum’s header hit the underside of the bar and dropped over the line.

Vorm was under pressure from fellow countryman Van Dijk but did not appear to be fouled.

Pochettino switched his system at half-time to three at the back, with Dier moving into defence from midfield.

But they continued to be sloppy at times and Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson was given too much time and space to get in a cross which bounced off the bar.

Then, almost immediately, Liverpool’s next attack saw Mane denied by Vorm.

Spurs almost equalised in the 51st minute, when the busy Lucas Moura cut in from the left and hit the outside of the post with Alisson beaten.

But Liverpool increased their lead three minutes later, following a Mane cross. Jan Vertonghen, in attempting to clear, hit his own post and when Vorm failed to gather the ball, Firmino scored from almost on the line.

It should have been 3-0 in the 63rd minute but a Liverpool break saw Naby Keita’s shot turned over by Vorm.

The Spurs keeper also denied Salah, before Lamela’s late consolation for Tottenham.

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