Luis Suarez’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona was inarguably the biggest loss the Premier League suffered during this summer’s transfer window.
The Uruguayan shifted to La Liga after Barcelona paid Liverpool £75million for his services, robbing the Reds and the Premier League a top top footballer who scored 31 goals and swept all the individual awards in English topflight football.
Replacing the fiery Salto-born forward was always going to be a tough job for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. So much so that when the Ulsterman started bringing in players, naysayers drew comparisons with how Tottenham dealt with the loss of Gareth Bale.
The Reds struggled in their season opening match but still beat visiting Southampton 2-1 but the 3-1 loss to Manchester City last Monday raised doubts on whether they will cope.
Against Spurs on Sunday evening though, Liverpool reminded all and sundry that they have lost neither their high pressing game nor their sharpness in front of goal. Here was a highflying Spurs side who had won 8 matches on the trot, had picked apart Queens Park Rangers 4-0 and cruised 3-0 past AEL Limassol in the Europa League playoff.
But Liverpool, boasting a front three that had pacy duo Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge on the flanks sandwiching Mario Balotelli as the center forward showed the hosts no mercy. The Reds were on song and could have been 2-0, 3-0 by half time had Balotelli, making his debut for Liverpool, been a wee bit sharper in front of goal.
However, for all the Italian’s wastefulness, Liverpool went into the break looking pretty comfortable and with a 1-0 lead, Sterling having slotted home early on from a well-engineered move that saw Sturridge feed Jordan Henderson from outside of his boot before the latter found Sterling at far post.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side had the lion share of the possession but the Reds bossed them in all areas of the pitch. The hosts were caught early again in the second half when Eric Dier pulled down Joe Allen in the box and Steven Gerrard stepped up with the skipper not making a mistake from 12 yards.
Alberto Moreno then stormed from his own half after robbing Andros Townsend possession, the manner in which the Spaniard left the equally speedy Englishman reminding Spurs of the days of Gareth Bale, before he thumped in Liverpool’s third at the hour mark.
That wonder goal scaled the game beyond Tottenham’s reach with Moreno atoning for his lapse in concentration that led to City’s first goal last Monday. With the game put to bed, Rodgers allowed Balotelli to take a rest after a promising start to his Reds career.
The likes of Emre Can, Lazar Markovic and Jose Enrique all played a role to see off the game. Philipe Coutinho and Rickie Lambert didn’t play a part and with Adam Lallana not match fit, John Flanagan recovering from injury, Liverpool’s squad depth looks strong enough to muster another strong title run as well as challenge for the UEFA Champions League.
So much was said about Liverpool going the Spurs way after Suarez’s departure but on the account of this display, they made a statement and brushed aside such fears.
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