LIVERPOOL: The sudden upturn in Liverpool’s fortunes was maintained with a 3-2 win over Tottenham at Anfield in the Premier League.
Spurs, tiring after Thursday’s 3-0 dismissal of Internazionale in the Europa League, paid the penalty for poor second-half defending. Consolation was that they remained third in the table.
As for Liverpool, with nine games left of the League campaign,their goal return is better than in any season since 1995-96 when Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman were at their peak.
Their 56 goals in 29 league games are already more than in the entirely of last term with Luis Suarez emerging not only as favourite to win the Footballer of the Year vote but also step up as the Premier League’s top scorer
The January signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have proved highly effective as they proved in the opening minutes against Spurs.
Keeper Hugo Lloris had more to do in the first five minutes than did Brad Friedel in the entire match against Inter. Hence Liverpool gained their due reward after 21 minutes when Coutinho and Jose Enrique set up Suarez’s 15th goal in his last 15 games.
Tottenham hit back then went ahead either side of half-time through Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen.
Gareth Bale played a key role in creating both goals but for the first time in six league games he failed to find the net himself and Spurs duly succumbed to their first league defeat since they lost to Everton – across StanleyPark– in early December.
First an awful backpass from Kyle Walker gifted an equaliser to Stewart Downing then Benoit Assou-Ekotto brought down Suarez and skipper Steven Gerrard shot Liverpool’s winner from the penalty spot.
Suarez’s contributions may not only have set up Liverpool’s victory but also edged him ahead of Bale in the running for Footballer of the Year.
# # # # #