Liverpool dent Tottenham's top-four hopes with big win

Liverpool beat Tottenham 4-2 at Anfield to condemn the visitors to a fourth consecutive loss which leaves their hopes of Champions League qualification hanging by a thread.

The Reds were rampant for the opening hour, with Mohamed Salah, back in the side following his touchline spat with Jurgen Klopp against West Ham, heading them in front early on before Andrew Robertson added a second on the stroke of half-time.

Cody Gakpo then nodded Liverpool’s third after the break before Harvey Elliott punished more poor Tottenham defending with a stunning fourth from long range soon afterwards.

Ange Postecoglou’s side rallied to halve the deficit thanks to goals from substitute Richarlison and Heung-Min Son.

But in the end it was another painful afternoon for Spurs, who have lost four Premier League games in a row for the first time in 20 years and remain seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with only three games left to play.

For Liverpool, out of the title-race picture in third place, the result at least raised hopes of a positive finish to Klopp’s final campaign in charge.

How Liverpool overpowered poor Spurs

Salah’s return to the Liverpool team was the dominant talking point ahead of kick-off and the Egyptian was in the thick of the action from the start, hitting the bar with a cross-shot and seeing a low effort repelled by Guglielmo Vicario before he scored the opener.

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Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s opening goal

His header, from Cody Gakpo’s cross, was well-taken at the far post but it was poor from Tottenham’s perspective, with makeshift left-back Emerson Royal leaving him unmarked.

Team news: Salah return

  • Mohamed Salah started for Liverpool following his touchline spat with Jurgen Klopp in the draw with West Ham.
  • Richarlison was dropped by Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou, with Rodrigo Bentancur starting.

Liverpool continued to target the Brazilian, with Salah receiving plenty of support from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Elliott. Their second goal, after Spurs had survived a succession of other Liverpool chances, came from another attack down that side.

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Andrew Robertson followed up on Salah’s parried shot for the second

Robertson cleverly directed Alexander-Arnold’s cross into the path of Salah initially, and when the winger’s low, first-time effort was parried by Vicario, the left-back was on hand to convert the rebound, with the hapless Emerson playing him onside.

Tottenham defenders Emerson and Cristian Romero had to be separated by Vicario as tensions threatened to boil over as they walked off at the interval, and Spurs continued to collapse in the second half.

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Cody Gakpo got on the end of Harvey Elliott’s probing cross for the third

Emerson was partly at fault again as the excellent Elliot curled a stunning long-range effort into the top corner from 25 yards out soon after crossing for Gakpo to head the third.

It looked like a miserable afternoon could get even worse for Tottenham at that point as Liverpool continued to enjoy Klopp’s penultimate home game as manager, but the visitors made the scoreline respectable with two goals in the space of five minutes.

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Harvey Elliott struck a brilliant fourth goal

Richarlison scored the first, converting from Brennan Johnson’s low cross, before teeing up Heung-in Son to mark his 300th Premier League appearance with a goal in a fifth consecutive Premier League game against Liverpool.

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Richarlison converted from close range to score Tottenham’s first

Those strikes added intrigue to the closing stages. Liverpool were indebted to substitute Joe Gomez for making a crucial, goal-line clearance to prevent Johnson from adding a Spurs third, but, that incident aside, the hosts looked the more likely scorers.

Salah had a goal chalked off for offside, substitutes Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai spurned good chances, and Alexander-Arnold saw an audacious long-range effort drop just over the bar, but four goals were more than enough in the end.

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Heung-Min Son scored Spurs’ second

Liverpool move to 78 points in third, four behind second-placed Manchester City, while Tottenham are now looking over their shoulders, only four points ahead of sixth-placed Newcastle with three games still to play.

What’s next?

Liverpool feature on Monday Night Football at Aston Villa on May 13, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm. Jurgen Klopp’s final match in charge comes at Anfield against Wolves on Sunday May 19, kick-off 4pm.

Tottenham have three matches left to confirm European football for next season. They host Burnley on Saturday May 11 at 3pm before title-chasing Manchester City visit on Tuesday May 14, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm. Spurs finish the season at Sheffield United on May 19, kick-off 4pm.

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