In their 3-1 victory over Tottenham, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp felt his side showed their true self as they ended their five-game winless streak by seeing off Jose Mourinho’s Spurs in north London. For defender Joel Matip, however, the evening was overshadowed by an ankle ligament injury.
Coming into the match with only one victory in all competitions in their last seven and just two goals scored in five top-flight games after a 7-0 pre-Christmas thrashing away from Crystal Palace, Liverpool was dealt another blow after Fabinho missed out because of a minor muscle injury.
But in first-half stoppage time, the visitors took a timely lead through Roberto Firmino only to suffer another fitness-related setback after Matip was forced off with a knock at the break, later to reveal that it was a troubling ankle injury.
After the interval, the reigning Premier League champions replied as Trent Alexander-Arnold made it 2-0 early in the second half before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg responded to halve the deficit only two minutes later.
Sadio Mane took advantage of a Spurs defensive mistake after Mohamed Salah saw a goal ruled out due to a Firmino handball in the build-up to make it 3-1 and kill the match as a competition.
The win helps Liverpool to return to fourth in the Premier League table and four points off Manchester City’s leaders, while they have played one game more than the table-topers of Pep Guardiola.
And Klopp thought he had seen the “real” Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday evening after a miserable run of performances and results.
“What I saw today was that it’s not about shape or form, who we are, and that’s us. Today, particularly the second half – that was us. It was a big battle, and on top of that, obviously, football.”