Liverpool 4-0 Tottenham: Outstanding Reds brush woeful Spurs aside to go top
In an enthralling bout of musical chairs, Liverpool affirmed their control over the Premier League. Arsenal had led, Chelsea had sat proudly at the Premier League summit and now Brendan Rodgers's outstanding Liverpool side led the way on the home strait.
The Reds were as energetic as Spurs were sluggish, as creative as Spurs were dull and as motivated as Spurs were apathetic. Luis Suarez tore the history books to shreds, overtaking former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler in scoring the most Premier League goals in a season. His 29th was preceded by Younes Kaboul's clumsy own goal and brilliant strikes from Coutinho and Henderson.
The Uruguayan was constantly on the move, relentlessly bewildering this horribly unorganised Tottenham defence. Coutinho was excellent, always looking to run beyond opponents and create opportunities. Sterling was a menace on the right hand-side, tying Danny Rose into tight knots. Gerrard and Henderson were, as usual, superb in the midfield core.
While the attacking talents ahead of them may steal the headlines, the back four of Johnson, Agger, Skrtel and Flanagan were wonderful throughout. Johnson and Flanagan posed genuine threats on the counter-attack as Skrtel and Agger produced a defensively rock-solid display.
With their eight successive victory, all that is required from Liverpool is to secure victory in their remaining six games for their first league triumph since 1990. "We're going to win the league" chanted Anfield as referee Phil Dowd signalled for the end of the match. They have given themselves an amazing opportunity to do so.
Tottenham were extremely poor, dearth of any attacking inspiration. They retained their unfashionable propensity to lose comprehensively to sides in the top four and self destruct. As Daniel Levy looked on in a critical manner, Sherwood's future at White Hart Lane is in serious doubt with Louis Van Gaal dangerously lurking.
Party mood besieged Anfield prior to kick-off. Similarly to Wednesday evening against Sunderland, the expectant home crowd belted out a fantastic rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone". And their joy was enhanced after only a minute.
Tottenham were once again made to rue their error-prone traits. Johnson, with utter ease, drifted past Eriksen and fizzed the ball unto the box, where Kaboul stood unaware to inadvertently back-heel into his own net. Eriksen's tracking-back was languid, but so too was Kaboul's following clumsy antics.
As Liverpool asserted dominance, Spurs were unable to deal with the delightful vivacity of Rodgers's men, Suarez in particular. The Uruguayan crept in-behind Naughton and instinctively looked for Sturridge, who, despite stretching every sinew in his neck, was unable to make sufficient contact with the ball.
Coutinho was wreaking havoc with his nimble creativity. First, he attempted to pick out Henderson with a superb long-range delivery before being on the end of Suarez's clever assist only to volley wide.
Suarez searched for his record-breaking goal. It almost through with his undoubted quality as Liverpool's No.7, posed similarly to Cristiano Ronalo, curled his free-kick over the bar. His significant goal would arrive as a result of a combination of quality and fortune.
Dawson, with his first touch after replacing Vertonghen, was disinclined in his decision-making. Opting to help the ball into Kaboul, Suarez pounced onto the ball and hurtled forward, stroking the ball beyond the despaired clutches of Lloris. Dawson desperately chased back in vain, but Suarez was already wheeling away in joyful celebration.
The 26 year-old, much to the delight of the home faithful, bewildered Naughton with wonderful trickery, his shirt stained in sweat and grass after only 28 minutes. His unstinting appetite, wrongly at times, is what is driving Liverpool deservedly to the title.
Spurs were insipid as Soldado's chipped strike, easily pushed away by Mignolet, represented the visitors's only noteworthy venture forward during the first forty-five minutes.
Soldado concerned the hosts again. From a long pass, the Spaniard beat Agger for pace but the Dane managed to ensure a goal-kick and stifle any present danger.
Flanagan strode sanguinely forward, slipped in Coutinho who finished emphatically, beautifully placing his shot into the bottom right corner.
Henderson's free-kick made a comprehensive victory a drubbing. Sailing through a body of players, Suarez confirmed the goal scorer, pointing at Henderson and advising his colleagues to celebrate with the England midfielder.
Liverpool are gaining momentum. Win their remaining six fixtures and they, for the first time in 24 years, are league champions. What an incentive.
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