Liverpool was pretty good last year, if you’ll recall. Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the Champions League final and only Manchester City had fewer losses in Premier League play.
This year, the Reds look even better.
Buoyed by signings like Alisson and Naby Keita, Liverpool has started the season with five straight victories in the Premier League, the historic club’s best start since 1990 and a feat only matched one other time (1978). On Saturday, Liverpool traveled to London to take down Tottenham 2-1. Though it got a little nervy late, the visitors felt in control at Wembley Stadium for most of the match.
Through five matches, Liverpool has scored 11 goals and, more impressively, conceded two — one of those coming on a dumb mistake from Alisson. From front to back, the Reds are looking like one of the best teams in Europe, something that hasn’t been said in some time.
Liverpool’s defense is looking as stout as anyone’s in the Prem with van Dijk and Joe Gomez flanked by two quality backs in Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. The midfield has as much energy and range as any team has outside of whoever N’Golo Kanté is playing for. And that forward line is still the most feared in the league.
Even with a match against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Reds came out firing on Saturday.
Liverpool thought it went ahead within the first minute but for a (correct) offside call, but it was just a harbinger of things to come. The goal arrived until the 39th minute when Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first ever road goal.
With the aid of goal-line technology, Wijnaldum headed in a corner backup goalkeeper Michel Vorm failed to deal with and failed to reach before it crossed the goal line. Had the goal not been allowed, Liverpool probably should have been given a penalty for Jan Vertonghen’s wrap-up of Virgil van Dijk.
About 10 minutes into the second half, a great run from Sadio Mané created chaos in the box, which Bobby Firmino took advantage of to score one of the easiest goals of his career.
After going behind 2-0, Tottenham struggled to strike back and Liverpool looked more likely to score. Indeed, the Reds probably would have scored a couple more had Mohamed Salah, who hasn’t yet lived up to last year’s immense season, not been so selfish, looking for goal himself when a pass would have been more productive.
Spurs finally found a breakthrough in the 93rd minute through a fine volley from Erik Lamela, but it was too late to spark a full comeback.
— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) September 15, 2018
Tottenham did have a claim for a late, late penalty kick (VAR probably would have awarded it), but few would doubt Liverpool deserved the full three points.
The loss was Spurs’ second of the year. Perhaps most shocking of all, for once, Steph Curry was unable to get three points for his team.
But the focus of Saturday’s early match must be on Liverpool, which has been on fire to start the season. Even after the international break, the Reds looked fluid in attack, creating 17 shots, 10 of which were on target. In comparison, Tottenham, despite having 60 percent possession, put three shots on target (11 total).
It will get tougher for Liverpool. Champions League matches against PSG and Napoli, plus domestic matches with Chelsea (twice) and Manchester City in the next six fixtures, we’ll soon find out just how good these Reds are as they seek their first league title since 1990.