By 90Min
September 16, 2018

Saturday afternoon's clash between Spurs and Liverpool was billed as a real opportunity to see how the challengers to Manchester City's crown have progressed this season, and it was the latter who really impressed as they powered to a 2-1 win.

While Mauricio Pochettino's side comprehensively dominated possession, they were unable to cause Liverpool any problems until late on in the match - with Harry Kane again looking like he'd recently woken up with a raging hangover. Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino provided the goals for the Reds, with Erik Lamela's late effort serving only as a consolation.


Liverpool literally couldn't have started their season any better, and are sitting pretty in second place - behind Chelsea only on goal difference - after winning their opening five matches on the trot. Perhaps most interestingly, the Reds appeared to have solved their leaky defence issues, and are no longer a side who can be mocked for lacking the composure to shut up shop.

At times last season, Jürgen Klopp was rightfully criticised for setting his sides up only to attack, and completely neglecting the art of defence. While Liverpool were a joy to behold in their galant progress up the field, their inability to grind out results would have exasperated even the most ardent of Reds fan, as points were repeatedly thrown away with heart over head football.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Many questioned Klopp's mass purchase of midfielders in the summer, with no investment made in a top quality centre-back, but Joe Gomez has looked solid in the position so far, and is forging a formidable partnership with Dutch powerhouse Virgil van Dijk. Furthermore, even without Mohamed Salah on form, the Reds have still looked as potent as ever when attacking.

Having spent big bucks over the summer, Liverpool can now rotate their squad where necessary across all competitions. The Premier League will undoubtably be Klopp's top target, and the charismatic manager is likely to rest his star players when necessary. If Liverpool can keep on at this relentless pace, there's no reason why they can't challenge for the league title.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Conversely, Spurs fans would be forgiven for starting to feel just a little bit panicky, following back to back 2-1 defeats in the league, and staring down the barrel of a midweek Champions League against Inter in the San Siro, before a trip to Brighton next Saturday evening. However, let's not forget that this Spurs team thrashed Man Utd not long ago in rampant fashion.

All the talk over the summer was over why Pochettino chose not to sign any new players, given the mega-spending of their Premier League rivals. Arguably, Spurs are in real need for a backup to Harry Kane, who looks a yard or two off the pace after the excursions of England's World Cup campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool FC - Premier League

It is worth noting that Spurs are not in a settled place at the moment. With plans to move into the new stadium facing delay after delay, to the extent that the club might not even move in this season, the unrest off the pitch is bound to affect the players. Spurs have learned to play well at Wembley, but the feeling of being in limbo just isn't conducive to their progress as a club.

Now, there's no reason for Spurs fans to panic. Heck, they're level on points with both Manchester United and Arsenal, and perhaps most importantly, we're only five games into the season. The north Londoners will be a stronger side with Son Heung-min back from the Asian Games, and will surely go from strength to strength as the season wears on.

While Spurs' fierce rivals Chelsea may be basking in the collective praise of the football media at present, it is worth noting that Maurizio Sarri's side are yet to really be tested, and there's more than enough time for Pochettino's side to overtake them. However, Spurs don't look quite as strong as the likes of Liverpool or Man City, and may have to settle for a third/fourth place finish.

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