Three things learned: Spurs v. Liverpool

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LONDON — Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in north London on Saturday, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side rode their luck but edged past a gutsy Spurs to move further clear at the top of the Premier League table and set plenty of records on the way.

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Roberto Firmino’s first half goal was enough to win it for the reigning European and World champions, as Spurs wasted several glorious chances to equalize in the second half.

The victory means Liverpool are now on their longest unbeaten league run in club history (38 games) and they’ve had the best-ever start to a Premier League season through 21 games (20 wins and a draw) and the best start of any team in Europe’s top five leagues at this point of a campaign.

Here’s what we learned as Klopp got one over on Jose Mourinho once again.


LIVERPOOL ROLL ON

They did what they had to do, once again, and they are now 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. This is Liverpool’s Premier League title but their ninth one-goal win of the season was perhaps their most difficult to date. They just know how to grind it out now. With 20 wins from their opening 21 games, the Reds are so confident during games, even when they are suffering defensively. Klopp’s side are ruthless and have set so many amazing records already this season, as Firmino’s incredible touches, his goal and his overall play underlined how at ease they are with every challenge which comes their way. With only away trips to Man City, Wolves and Arsenal left which look tricky, they are now edging towards going the entire season unbeaten. That noise will get louder and it is because Liverpool efficiently and ruthlessly go about their business.


SPURS SHOW FIGHT, LACK CUTTING EDGE

Tottenham dug deep and didn’t disgrace themselves and on another day they may have won this game, or at the very least grabbed a draw. Son and Lo Celso spurned big chances in the second half as Tottenham huffed and puffed but lacked a cutting edge. Youngster Japhet Tanganga stepped in and played well on his debut, while defensively Spurs were much better. Christian Eriksen was jeered off the pitch when he was subbed out as he put in a terrible display and going forward Tottenham look so hurried. With Harry Kane out injured, who will score the goals to get the back in the top four race, if that is even possible?


MOURINHO GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH KLOPP

Tottenham didn’t sit back as Eriksen, Alli, Son and Moura all started in the same team and at times Spurs ripped open Liverpool’s defense. Mourinho’s direct tactics worked well and the pace of Son and Moura caused huge problems. Usually Mourinho will ask his team to sit back and defend against a Klopp side but he knew his defensive unit wasn’t good enough to do that this time around. So Spurs went for it, especially in the second half, and it almost worked. For once Mourinho matched Klopp punch for punch and it went a lot better than the Portuguese coach could have hoped for.