Finally, Liverpool managed to get a win during their midwek Champions League outing. And a big one at that.
The Reds demolished Slovenian champions Maribor 7-0 away from home to score the second-biggest win (by margin) in their rich European history. It was the also Reds’ first victory for almost a month.
During that time, they have held more possession and taken more shots at goal against Spartak Moscow, Newcastle United and arch-rivals Manchester United – but still couldn’t get a win. The poor finishing had seen the pressure and frustration pile on their manager Jürgen Klopp.
On Tuesday though, at the Stadion Ljudski Vrt, sans the injured Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah helped themselves to a brace each, while Philippe Coutinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and deadline day signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck a goal each to complete the tally.
It was an all-round performance that is sure to ease some of the nerves Klopp and his wards would have been experiencing. But now they face a tricky trip to Wembley for their next Premier League match, where they take on third placed Tottenham Hotspur.
While the Reds managed to get a positive result away from home in the Champions League, so did Tottenham. In fact, Spurs opened the scoring in the 28th minute when they took on defending champions Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, courtesy of a Raphael Varane own goal. The London-club played a commendable game, and despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s equalizer, held the Galacticos to a 1-1 draw.
Tottenham too will be fairly confident of their chances on Sunday against Liverpool, especially since they’ve put to bed the ‘Wembley Jinx.’
Since their home ground, White Hart Lane, is under renovation that is expected to take at least a year, Spurs have shifted base temporarily to the legendary Wembley Stadium. Yet since Wembley reopened in 2007, Tottenham has played 10 but won just twice.
Last Saturday, against Bournemouth, Mauricio Pochettino’s team won their first match at home in this season of the Premier League, winning 1-0.
At the same time, Spurs have managed to keep up with the two Manchester clubs at the top of the table, winning five of its eight matches so far this season, drawing twice and losing just once. The tally of 17 points keeps them in third place behind Manchester United.
Liverpool meanwhile have been plagued with defensive worries and have managed only 13 points from eight matches. But they are the only team that Spurs manager Pochettino, who took charge in 2014, has never been able to win against.
Still, the story on Sunday arguably will be the match-up between the two strike forces: Spurs’ inform Harry Kane, versus the trio of Coutinho, Firmino and Salah.