James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum dominate in midfield as Liverpool see of Spurs
The scoreline doesn't tell the story as Liverpool should have won this game by four or five. They were uncharacteristically wasteful in attack but defended well enough to see it through despite a nervy last couple of minutes after Erik Lamela's stoppage-time strike gave the home side some hope.
Liverpool haven't yet gotten anywhere the heights they reached at times last season, but they've won five out of five thanks in no small part to how well they have defended as a team. The Reds' front three can play much better than this, which is a scary thought for the rest of the Premier League.
The wastefulness in attack had Jurgen Klopp in a rage on the touchline. Poor decisions, poor execution and occasional selfishness from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane let Spurs off the hook, as this really ought to have been a drubbing.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Not many coaches will be able to nullify Spurs to the extent that Klopp did. Liverpool stopped the Londoners from doing the things they are good at, and tactically Klopp clearly won the battle of the managers on the day.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 7 -- No risks this time from the Brazilian, who having been caught out overplaying at Leicester two weeks ago, ensured the Spurs forwards were given no encouragement. Made a few routine saves and had no chance with the late goal that was fired past him by Lamela.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- Steady rather than unspectacular. Did his job defensively, used the ball efficiently and didn't need to do a great deal in attack as Liverpool were never chasing a game they controlled throughout.
DF Joe Gomez, 7 -- Cruised through the first half but had a little wobble early in the second. First he was caught in possession and needed to be bailed out by his central defensive partner, and then soon after he was skinned by Lucas Moura who ended up striking the post. Didn't let it affect him, though, and he finished strongly.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 -- Imperious. In this fixture last season Harry Kane ran riot but this time he was a complete non-factor as Van Dijk completely dominated him. Won everything in the air, was composed in possession and defended superbly, not least when he showed great recovery pace to get back in and make a crucial challenge to spare the blushes of Gomez.
DF Andrew Robertson, 8 -- Outstanding as usual. Tenacious in defence, intelligent in his overlapping and showed great energy in his pressing.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 -- Given the nod ahead of Henderson and fully justified his manager's faith. Scored the opener with an excellent header and was a strong presence in midfield throughout. Looks to be a natural in the holding role.
MF James Milner, 9 -- Just phenomenal once again. At times it looks as though there are two of him on the pitch because he seems to be everywhere. Clever in his use of the ball, ferocious in his tackling and relentless in his pressing.
MF Naby Keita, 7 -- Restored to the side after being left out against Leicester. Kept things simple and did an effective job for the team without ever really catching the eye as much as his two fellow midfielders. Wasted a great opportunity to score his first goal for the club when he shot straight at the keeper and was replaced late on by Daniel Sturridge.
FW Mohamed Salah, 6 -- A somewhat subdued performance from the Egyptian. Could have done better with a first-half opportunity and the longer the game went the more desperate he seemed to be to get on the scoresheet. Occasionally that resulted in him ignoring better placed teammates, much to the displeasure of his manager. Not quite at last season's level yet but one game could change all of that.
FW Roberto Firmino, 8 -- Terrific, unselfish performance from the man who makes Liverpool tick. Unbelievable work rate, intelligent link play and got the goal his performance deserved. His afternoon was ended prematurely when a stray finger from Jan Vertonghen caught him in the eye. Liverpool will hope he recovers in time for Tuesday's big Champions League clash with PSG.
FW Sadio Mane, 7 -- Had a couple of nearly moments in the first half but kept plugging away and eventually got his reward when he escaped down the left and created a goal for Firmino. Missed a couple of good chances and made some questionable decisions on counter-attacks, but thankfully they did not prove costly.
MF Jordan Henderson, N/R -- Replaced the injured Firmino and kept things ticking over.
FW Daniel Sturridge, N/R -- Brought on to try and kill Spurs off as chances came but weren't taken. Showed his experience by winning some cheap free kicks to take the sting out of the game.
DF Joel Matip, N/R -- Replaced Alexander-Arnold for the last few minutes as Klopp wanted to get some extra height in the backline.