Here are five things we learned as Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. The Reds gave a reminder that they’re still the champions – despite the injuries.
We covered this one at half-time in the game and it’s the first thing we learned here. Jurgen Klopp trusts Rhys Williams.
The boss could have put in the marginally more experienced Nat Phillips, who played well on his previous outing against Brighton.
Instead, Klopp went with Williams against two of the most dangerous attackers around.
Coming of age
This was the biggest game of Curtis Jones’s career. If it was a test of how ‘ready’ he is, he passed it with flying colours.
The 19-year-old plays with maturity, confidence and appears at home even in a game as big as this. For a player with under 10 Premier League starts, that’s quite incredible.
Jones is undoubtedly a first-XI standard player now – even in the biggest games.
Liverpool should have won this game by a very comfortable margin. It should have been over by half-time. They didn’t just dominate possession but created chance after chance.
And they fell to the right players, too. But every time one of the forwards found the chance to score, they fired it straight at Hugo Lloris.
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Curtis Jones were all guilty of it. This would have been a routine win if they’d had their shooting boots on.
Hopefully, they find them soon. Mane is struggling for goals these days – this was just the latest example.
It’s telling that while chasing a goal in a huge game, Klopp didn’t turn to his bench. There simply wasn’t anyone on it who is ready to change a game like this.
Now, Naby Keita and, especially, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are coming back from injuries. You can understand if Klopp didn’t want them in this fight.
But for the likes of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, this isn’t a good sign. Klopp just doesn’t appear to trust them.
Make no mistake – this was enormous. Liverpool, crippled by injuries and with a defensive midfield and teenager at centre-half, beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield.
They are the top dogs. They remain the ones to beat. And right now, even the league’s most-threatening team couldn’t stop them.
This was a message to everyone else that even a wounded Reds are favourites to win this title.
And quite honestly, they’re only going to get better.