Jurgen Klopp returned to where it all began for him as Liverpool manager, and everything about the visit was familiar. Upon his appointment as the Reds new manager last October, the German’s first test was against a high flying Tottenham at the White Hart Lane.
A pulsating affair between both sides ended in a goalless draw, and history repeated itself 9 months later at the same ground.
After Milner had put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot towards the end of the first half, Tottenham’s left back, Danny Rose drew level with 18 minutes to go. Afterwards, no team looked likely to steal a winning goal and here are few talking points from the stalemate.
Neither Origi Nor Sturridge Can Deliver The Goods
Since the Suarez-Sturridge partnership that produced over 45 league goals ended 3 seasons ago, Liverpool haven’t come close to landing the title and that lack of a quality finisher could be their undoing this season.
Klopp has often stuck with Firmino to lead his attack, with the Brazilian playing as a false 9. And often, he is seen dropping to his natural place, the flanks to help build up play.
With that, there is hardly a recognized player for the role for the majority of the match.
Sturridge’s frequent lack of fitness and Origi’s inconsistencies make both of the recognized primary strikers (Ings doesn’t count) unfit to lead the line, and that was once again evident as the duo couldn’t make any meaningful contributions upon their introductions.
In the EPL, quality strikers have always been the leading factors in helping a side emerge title winners, Liverpool must get or make one if they are to ever land a first ever league title.
Kane’s Early-Season Curse Resurfaces
While every other contender for the golden boot this season has found the mark, last season’s winner is yet to register a goal, and his firing blanks continued against the visiting team.
The England international refused to register a single shot before his removal, and that shouldn’t be mistaken for a drop in form.
Same happened last season when he went barren for 747 minutes in front of goal. If he will be able to find his goal poaching prowess soon can’t be ascertained yet, but if Tottenham’s are to make top 4 this term, then they must help their number 9 start registering the goals early enough.
Both Referees and Players Still Taking Time to Adapt to News Rules
8 yellow cards were given during the course of the game. 2 for kicking the ball away after freekicks were given and another 1 for dissent. The rules have gotten stiffer this term and we’ve witnessed the players get booked every now and then for erring. It would take time before everybody calms nerves.
The centre referee also showed why most officials are seemingly taking time in understanding some other rules.
Last weekend, 2 spot kicks were given away for pushing/pulling down a player in the 18-yard box.
However, Vertonghen was lucky to escape such punishment after committing EPL debutant, Joel Matip as the Belgian was rather warned. That didn’t quite go down well with Klopp who questioned the decision after the game.