Anfield, Liverpool, England
Tottenham Hotspur failed to close the gap on leaders Chelsea in the Premier League as they were defeated 2-0 against Liverpool at Anfield.
A quick-fire brace in the first-half from Sadio Mané sealed the victory for the Reds and brought Spurs’ 11-game unbeaten run to an end.
The Reds started brightly and went ahead when Georginio Wijnaldum did well to find Mané, who latched onto the pass and beat Ben Davies before firing home past Hugo Lloris.
The Reds got a quick-fire-second two minutes later when Eric Dier was dispossessed allowing Mané to surge forward before squaring the ball to Adam Lallana, whose powerful effort was parried by Lloris into the path of Roberto Firmino, whose rebound was smothered by the keeper again but the loose ball fell to Mané, who fired home the follow-up.
Mané had a good chance to complete his hat-trick three minutes later when the winger got the better of Davies, he had just Lloris to beat but the keeper managed to smother the effort just wide into the side-netting. From the resulting-corner the Senegalese went close again when his ferocious strike forced Lloris into tipping the ball behind at his near-post.
Four minutes later the visitors had a good chance when Davies found Heung-min Son, who had just Simon Mignolet to beat but the keeper smothered the effort. Moments later they went close again when Dele Alli met a Davies cross to head an effort at-goal that was headed over his own bar by Lucas Leiva.
Three minutes later Mané had another good chance to complete his treble but just as he looked set to pull the trigger, Dier made a vital challenge to deny a certain goal.
In the 31st minute the Reds had a good chance to make it three when Tottenham lost the ball deep in their own-half, allowing Firmino to find Philippe Coutinho, who surged forward before firing a tame effort that Lloris saved well.
Three minutes later Spurs went close when Christian Eriksen curled a freekick just over the bar. A minute later the visitors had another good chance when Toby Alderweireld wonderfully picked-out Son, but the midfielder miscued his effort with Mignolet making an easy save.
A minute later the hosts went close to a third when Coutinho found Nathaniel Clyne, but his powerful effort produced a comfortable save from Lloris.
In the 41st minute the Reds had a good chance when a Liverpool corner was met by Leiva, but he headed the ball over the bar.
Ten minutes into the second-half the visitors very nearly pulled a goal back when Eriksen’s delivery from a freekick was met by Harry Kane, whose cushioned-volley hit the post, although the flag was already up for offside.
In the 70th minute the hosts had a good chance to make it three when a James Milner delivery from a freekick was met by Joël Matip with a header but his effort was saved well by Lloris.
Three minutes later Liverpool went close to extending their lead when Lallana found Coutinho, but he dragged his effort just wide.
Tottenham’s last chance of grabbing a consolation fell to Alderweireld, who surged forward before firing wide on the volley.
The result meant that Liverpool climbed up to fourth on 49 points whilst Tottenham remained in second on 50 points, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, who can extend their lead at the top to 12 points tomorrow against Burnley. The defeat also brought an end to Tottenham’s 11-game unbeaten run.