Salah stars but controversy, second-half struggles thwart Liverpool

The officiating was contentious and Liverpool can feel aggrieved at the manner of the result, but Spurs were worth a point, irrespective of how they achieved it. Liverpool should have been more clinical with counter-attacking opportunities but, for long periods, the visitors were dominant even if they did not create too much.


Mohamed Salah continued his blistering scoring run; his second goal alone was worth the entrance fee. What a player.


Liverpool were poor in the second half. Spurs dominated possession and although the home side defended well for the most part, they were wasteful with attacking opportunities that came their way. If the plan was to soak up pressure and hit Spurs on the break, it didn't really work.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Presumably Liverpool were sitting back on their manager's orders but it doesn't suit them; they're more effective when playing on the front foot. They started well and the tactic of putting the ball into space behind Spurs' high defensive line worked, but thigs got worse after the break and, if anything, deteriorated further after Jurgen Klopp's substitutions.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 7 -- More good than bad. He made a decent save in the first half and a very good one to deny Son Heung-Min in the second. Karius was unfortunate that a punched clearance went straight to Victor Wanyama, bad fortune that was compounded when the midfielder produced a once-in-a-lifetime hit to smash the ball in from 30 yards. Liverpool's goalkeeper then conceded a penalty -- even though he did not initiate any contact with Harry Kane -- then saved it, but couldn't repeat the trick later when Kane made amends.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 8 -- Defended well and was impressive in possession. He produced a superb cross that should have led to a goal for Roberto Firmino and played several incisive passes into space behind Spurs left-back Ben Davies. Alexander-Arnold was booked for a mistimed challenge in the first half but played with maturity to avoid further problems.

DF Dejan Lovren, 7 -- For almost the whole game he was excellent, but one missed clearance led to Spurs' first penalty. Kane might have been ruled offside, the penalty itself was dubious and ultimately was saved, but it is the kind of mistake that follows Lovren around even when he is playing well.

DF Virgil Van Dijk, 7 -- Looked a threat any time he went forward for set pieces and had been assured in his defensive duties until he was adjudged to have fouled Erik Lamela in the box with only seconds remaining. The decision was contentious, but the Dutch defender has to do better in that situation.

DF Andrew Robertson, 7 -- Very good defensively but let himself down in the attacking third with some poor deliveries.

MF Jordan Henderson, 8 -- Excellent for an hour before he was withdrawn. Klopp needs to be careful as his skipper comes back from injury but Liverpool had more control with him on the field than after he went off. Henderson passed the ball incisively and with purpose, did a good job picking up second balls and showed great energy before understandably beginning to tire.

MF Emre Can, 6 -- Worked hard and seemed to relish a physical tussle with the equally powerful Moussa Dembele. Can was neat and tidy in possession but didn't get forward as much as usual.

MF James Milner, 7 -- Surprisingly preferred to Georginio Wijnaldum, Milner responded with a fine first-half display that saw him tactically excellent in defence and attack. Eventually he began to look leggy and was booked for a late challenge on Kieran Tripper, following which he was replaced as Klopp made a formation change to get an extra defender on.

FW Mohamed Salah, 9 -- Opened the scoring with a cool finish and was a constant threat to the Spurs backline, even though his final ball frequently let him down. His stunning solo effort in second-half stoppage time should have been the winning goal; it's a shame that it's almost being overlooked because of the game's controversial ending.

FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- He's had better games with the ball, but the closing down and pressuring of defenders was Ian Rush-like at times. Understandably, Firmino began to look tired in the closing stages and, had Klopp not used all three subs, he may well have sent on Danny Ings to provide more energy.

FW Sadio Mane, 5 -- He never hides but it's just not happening for him. He seems to be overthinking at times when he gets into the final third and, on several occasions vs. Spurs, took too long to make a decision as opposed to playing instinctively. It was no surprise when he was taken off, but the man who replaced him was considerably worse.


MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 4 -- Replaced Mane but never got to grips with the pace of the game. Very poor.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 5 -- Unlucky not to start -- this is the type of game in which he usually thrives -- but he was quiet when he did eventually get on and unable to prevent Spurs dominating possession.

DF Joel Matip, NR -- Brought on to help see the game out, after which Liverpool conceded twice, although the blame for either goal could not be attributed to him.