Harry Kane scored twice and set up one goal in Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Liverpool at Wembley, which further exposed how badly Jurgen Klopp messed up during the summer by failing to bring in meaningful defensive players.
Before the match began, some thought that Spurs’ woes at Wembley, combined with Liverpool’s ability to press high and last year’s success against the big clubs, will mean trouble for Tottenham. But it was already 2-0 for the home side after 12 minutes.
Taking a more micro approach, Klopp made a mistake by allowing Dejan Lovren to play when he’s clearly unfit. Both goals exposed Liverpool for their slow back four, weakened even further by injuries and poor choices. Lovren left the pitch after 30 minutes, and it’s on Klopp, not the Croatian international, who was more or less thrown under the bus.
Mohamed Salah scored a goal that brought some hope to Liverpool, and the Reds did get their chances in the first half, but Dele Alli killed the momentum with a goal just before half time. As dangerous as Salah is, he’s not Sadio Mane, and Liverpool can’t overcome his absence like they managed to last season.
Kane added a fourth in the 56th minute, leaving plenty of garbage time without Liverpool, despite their 64% of possession, really looking like they capable of making Spurs uncomfortable at any point.
And this all goes back to the summer. Liverpool failed at what the rest of the top clubs immediately set out to do: Improve their defensive line and defensive midfield. Almost all the big clubs made improving their defense a priority. Liverpool chased Virgil Van Dijk and Naby Keita, but didn’t complete the signings, and were left shorthanded once the season began.
The goal this season, the way I see it, was to look respectable in the Champions League (make the round of 16 for the first time since 2009) and finish once again in the top 4. Complete two seasons in that prestigious club before thinking of bigger things. Liverpool are 9th, but only 3 points out of 4th place, which means that despite the disappointing start, it’s quite within reach. However, with pressure mounting on Klopp and his options limited, it might not take much to knock Liverpool out of that race as well.