Football Features

“Bobby Dazzler’s back in the saddle!” – Player ratings as Liverpool end their scoreless streak by smashing Spurs in North London

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:23, 28 January 2021

In an open and absorbing night of football, Liverpool smashed Spurs 1-3 at Tottenham Stadium.

The Reds scored their first league goal for nearly 8 hours as they completed their third consecutive Premier League double over Spurs.

Here’s how the players rated at Tottenham Stadium:

Spurs

Hugo Lloris – 4 – So poor on both the first two Liverpool goals. Didn’t come out to claim the cross on the first and was so weak getting rid of the ball on the second that he just knocked it back into danger. “World-class? Think you’re doing him a favour,” said Rio Ferdinand post-match, when the subject of Lloris’ quality came up. And he’s not wrong.

Serge Aurier – 4 – Thoroughly ineffective and completely lost track of Mané for the Liverpool goal. Hauled off at half-time.

Joe Rodon – 4 – Actually played really well for the most part. Had team-highs in tackles and clearances as he held the fort in defence under numerous waves of Liverpool pressure. Completely ruined his and Spurs’ night in the second-half, however, when he tried to chest an Alexander-Arnold cross down instead of stepping into and clearing it. His baffling decision let the ball run through to Mané who buried Liverpool’s third goal of the game and ended things as a contest.

Eric Dier – 5 – Wasn’t great and had to be bailed out on more than one occasion by Rodon. Was very passive for the Firmino goal.

Ben Davies – 6 – Got stuck into it as both a left-centre-back and then a left-back. Not great, but decent.

Matt Doherty – 5 – Anonymous as a left-wing-back and then alright as a right-back. Nowhere near his dynamic Wolves form, though.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 8 – An animal in the middle of the park. The only Spurs player to really leave with his head held-high. Won possession back a staggering 13 times and scored an absolute thunderbolt to give Spurs a chance.

Tanguy Ndombele – 5 – Didn’t really do much. Lost in the shuffle.

Steven Bergwijn – 6 – Spurs’ most lively attacking threat. Full of movement and invention. Assisted Hojbjerg and looked dangerous.

Heung-min Son – 5 – Scored a lovely goal in the first couple minutes that was disallowed for a nonsense precision offside, but never got anywhere near that level afterwards. Spurs had just three shots the whole game long and that he wasn’t able to at least get some potshots off, especially when playing up-front against an unproven kid and a central midfielder, you can only feel disappointed by him.

Harry Kane – 5 – Underwhelming but also injured after a couple of knocks to his ankles. Subbed off at half-time and Spurs got worse without him. If he’s out for any period of time they’re in trouble.

Substitutes:

Harry Winks (for Aurier 46′) – 5 – Tried, but didn’t do much.

Erik Lamela (for Kane 46′) – 5 – Came on at half-time but honestly did nothing.

Gareth Bale (for Bergwijn 81′) – n/a – Offered nothing.


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Liverpool

Alisson – 6 – Had almost nothing to do. No chance with the Hojbjerg strike.

Alexander-Arnold – 8 – Not his best performance but managed to be decisive in a way he hasn’t all season. A superbly taken strike doubled Liverpool’s lead and his booming cross ended up being an assist for Mané’s strike to kill the game.

Joel Matip – 7 – Solid at the back but had to go off injured.

Jordan Henderson – 8 – A commanding presence in defence. Made more clearances than any other Liverpool man and played a stunning ball out of the back to “create” the opening goal for the Reds. Could this be the start of a second career at centre-back? Don’t bet on it, but Henderson showed that he could definitely “do a Mascherano” and reinvent himself.

Andrew Robertson – 7 – Relentless as ever.

Thiago – 8 – A brilliant display from the Spaniard, running the show with consummate ease. Involved in the press, pass and used his own gravity to feed team-mates into key positions.

James Milner – 7 – Created the most chances (4) in the match. A hard-working and efficient display.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7 – A good performance. Won the ball back plenty of times.

Mohamed Salah – 7 – Denied a goal by a VAR call on a handball, but played well and looked sharp. Some of his play linking with his team-mates was superb.

Sadio Mané – 8 – After a staggeringly poor start where he missed some massive chances, Mané really grew into the game. A nice run and cross led to Liverpool’s first goal and he settled the game with a stunning second-half strike as well. If he gets back into form, there’s no telling what Liverpool could accomplish.

Roberto Firmino – 8 – The best player on the park, Firmino was liquid from the start with his phenomenally perceptive passing cutting Spurs open almost at will. Created 3 chances, made 1 interception but most importantly opened the scoring with Liverpool’s first Premier League goal for seven (7!) hours and fifty seven (57!) minutes. Firmino has been Liverpool’s best player over the last couple of games and it’s not a surprise that those are the games where Liverpool finally scored. Bobby Dazzler’s back in the saddle and that means just one thing: Liverpool ride again!

Substitutes:

Nat Phillips (for Matip 46′) – 7 – Came on and was a solid presence at the back. One clearance against Heung-min Son was colossal.

Curtis Jones (for Thiago 78′) – 5 – Had no impact.

Divock Origi (for Firmino 87′) – n/a – Came on late.