With leaders Chelsea slipping to a shock 1-0 defeat at Selhurst Park and third-placed Manchester City failing to win at Arsenal, Liverpool had the chance to go top of the Premier League going into last night’s clash with Spurs, and they did so in style.
Producing another scintillating display, the Reds dispatched Tim Sherwood’s men comfortably, thoroughly dominating from start to finish.
Liverpool got off to a flying start. Glen Johnson’s low cross into the box was turned in by Younes Kaboul, who failed to sort his feet out, diverting the ball into his own net to hand the hosts the lead inside two minutes.
As is always the case with Liverpool, having taken the early lead, they didn’t look back. Piling on incessant pressure, creating chance after chance and as is always the case with teams visiting Anfield, the pressure finally told.
Luis Suarez pounced on an error from substitute Michael Dawson and ventured into the box before emphatically beating Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal, burying his shot into the bottom corner.
Anfield was rocking, the fans in full voice, urging on attack after attack; the atmosphere was nothing short of electric and Liverpool were in the mood. The third goal duly came, Philippe Coutinho capping another outstanding performance with a sweet strike from distance. Jordan Henderson completed the rout in the 75th minute, seeing his free-kick go all the way through a crowded penalty area and into the Spurs goal.
The significance of this result is plain and simple – Brendan Rodgers’s men will now lead the league with six games to play. More than that, I believe last night’s performance was a tremendous statement of intent on Liverpool’s part.
They showed no signs of anxiety despite the sheer magnitude of the game, comprehensively controlling and seeing out the match; there were no signs of the lack of composure displayed against Sunderland last time out. They also improved defensively, with the back four remaining a lot more compact and organised, pushing up as a whole and closing down quickly when necessary.
The bottom-line is, if Liverpool can perform at this level and intensity both offensively and defensively for the remainder of the season, the title is well within their grasp.