Anfield played witness to one of the most extraordinary Premier League games of the season, as Liverpool snuck past Tottenham Hotspur to claim a huge 4-3 victory.
Having raced into a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes, it was expected that this would be yet another cricket score against the Lilywhites on the road. It boasted all the hallmarks of that infamous afternoon at St James’ Park, in which Newcastle United shipped six past them, five inside the first 21 minutes.
But, allowing Harry Kane to score just before half time handed Ryan Mason’s men a crucial lifeline.
Heung-min Son would half that deficit with about 13 minutes to go, before ex-Everton forward Richarlison thought he’d stolen two points from his former rivals with a late header to make it 3-3.
The drama was far from over though, as Lucas Moura’s blunder allowed Diogo Jota to slot home the winner, deep into added time.
In a game shrouded in emotion and pure unpredictability, it was Jurgen Klopp’s men who eventually claimed victory. However, the German was not without his villains, as Harvey Elliot struggled to gain any control in the engine room throughout.
His 6.4 rating was the lowest of any of the starters for the home side, yet there was arguably an even bigger culprit as Virgil van Dijk was at the heart of the home defence that shipped three goals.
Particularly for the Lilywhites’ first, which heaped huge pressure onto the cruising Reds, the Dutchman was made a fool of by Ivan Perisic who then provided the assist for Kane.
How did Virgil van Dijk play vs Tottenham Hotspur?
Despite his 7.1 Sofascore rating, the 31-year-old actually provided few defensive actions, suggesting a lack of impact at the back. His one clearance and one block were somewhat mired by the fact he was dribbled past once, as the Croatian cut back to send the defender flying.
Gary Neville, speaking on commentary for Sky Sports, even noted: “He looks like he’s on ice,” late in the first half.
The £220k-per-week stopper was characteristically cool with the ball at his feet but again showed his deficiencies with this aforementioned anonymity when it came to thwarting attacks.
107 touches and a 94% pass accuracy tells the story of a centre-back swanning through a match with ease, but having narrowly escaped throwing away a three-goal lead, this is made to look far from impressive.
It seems Van Dijk’s aura lessens with each passing season, as his lackadaisical brand of defending is becoming more and more unreliable.
Jota bailed him out this afternoon, but on another day they could have easily surrendered the two points and come away frustrated.
#Liverpools #220kpw #Awful #Tottenham