Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Liverpool Player Ratings: majestic Milner

Jurgen Klopp looks relieved! – @SkySportsStatto

Liverpool strengthened their title credentials at Wembley as goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino gave them a 2-1 win over a well below-parTottenham Hotspur side. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Tottenham Hotspur

Michel Vorm – deputizing for Hugo Lloris, there were question marks about whether Vorm would offer the same shot-stopping ability between the sticks and those doubts grew here. Although the former Swansea man made a one-on-one stop, which might have had more to do with Salah’s efforts than his own, he did look suspect for the first goal goal, punching unconvincingly before failing to claw Wijnaldum’s header from the line. For the second, he went to ground too early in a bad day at the office. 3

Kieran Trippier – the ex-Burnley right-back appeared to have taken his excellent World Cup form back into the Premier League but this wasn’t quite his day. Although he showed what he can do in very brief moments with one or two one-touch passes into forward areas, he was at times marked out of the final third by Mane. In many ways, the fact a player of Mane’s quality stayed with him in the final third suggests he now poses a real threat to opponents. 5
Toby Alderweireld – the Belgian centre-back says he has put to bed his disagreements with Mauricio Pochettino, but he looked suspect here and both his passing accuracy and spatial awareness was not at the level it can be. 4
Jan Vertonghen – the former Ajax centre-back has been a model of consistency over the last six years but here, he looked vulnerable to counter-attacks. Twice allowed Firmino to get goal-side of him in the first 120 seconds and, in trying to turn the ball behind for a corner early in the second period, he prodded it onto the post to allow the Brazilian to tap home. 3
Danny Rose – the left-back got the nod over Ben Davies after a reasonable midweek performance for England, but here he struggled to defend his flank effectively and was often caught too far up the pitch, leaving Vertonghen exposed. Didn’t offer quite the same drive he is capable of going forward, baring perhaps a brief spell midway through the first period. 4

Eric Dier – the holding midfielder, who didn’t put in the best performance for England in midweek, has dropped his standards alarmingly over the last 18 months. He sometimes filled in next to the centre-backs to form a back three but even that didn’t give Tottenham the protection they require, with Dier lacking both the athleticism and composed passing we previously associated with the holding midfielder. 4

Mousa Dembele – a combination of age and injuries appears to have limited the Belgian’s mobility; his passing was below par here and, aside from one or two runs that relieved pressure on the back-line, he was largely dominated in central areas, even against opponents he has previously relished facing. 4
Harry Winks – the midfielder is normally known to bring boundless energy, but the lack of recent match practice due to injuries in recent seasons has hindered him. Wanted to drop into defensive areas to fill gaps, rather than offer the kind of positivity and dynamism he is (or was) capable of. 4

Christian Eriksen – on the rare occasions on which he did see some of the ball in the opposing half, he looked a creative threat in the first half. The problem though was that Spurs did not play with any conviction from the back so the Dane, who has started the season in good form, couldn’t get into the game, at least not in the right areas. Shouldn’t be blamed too much for the performance. 6

Lucas Moura – the former PSG forward has given Tottenham an option to attack in the transitional phases, but he was very quiet here, mainly because his teammates didn’t play with the necessary positivity to pick him out. Although, Moura did steel the ball from Gomez on two occasions early in the second period, once seeing his drilled shot hit the post. 5
Harry Kane – despite scoring two goals so far this season, Kane is perhaps yet to truly fire and he was completely anonymous here. Perhaps, a younger version of the forward might have made more of an effort to link play but the current version of him is little more than a goalscorer and when he isn’t getting the quality and volume of chances he requires, he is ineffectual. 4

Erik Lamela (on 60) – the ex-Roma forward was a bright spark for Spurs and deserved his goal, a sharp, tight-angled strike. 7
Heung-Min Son (on 73) – the signs are that Spurs have thus far missed the South Korean, who’s mobility brings a different dimension to their attacking play. 6
Victor Wanyama (on 83) – the powerful midfielder might have been a better candidate to impose himself on the contest from the start than Dier. 6

Liverpool

Alisson Becker – the Brazilian needed a good performance to boost his confidence after a high-profile error at Leicester last week. Appeared to employ a more no-nonsense policy, booting the ball out of play on one occasion when under pressure. Only faced three shots on target all afternoon but would have been disappointed to lose his clean sheet courtesy of Lamela’s injury-time strike. 6

Trent Alexander-Arnold – the young right-back has progressed superbly since breaking into the side; not only did he show accuracy in his passing early on here, he also defended intelligently in a complete performance. 7
Joe Gomez – the Charlton academy graduate has started the season in fine form, but this was a big test as to whether he can become the established centre-back partner for Virgil Van Dijk. It was one he passed only partially; while he showed his usual composure in possession, he was also guilty of more than one lapse in concentration, on one occasion he was nearly punished with Moura hitting the post. As well as he’s done so far, one senses that more rigorous examinations await. 6
Virgil Van Dijk – after signing from Southampton, Van Dijk promises to be Liverpool’s best centre-back for some time. Not only was he capable of bailing out his youthful partner on one or two occasions due to his pace and power, he also looked relaxed in possession and that was a big factor in the team’s performance. 9
Andrew Robertson – the Scot is normally a threat with his rampaging runs down the left channel, but here he had to be a bit more disciplined and he did that job well. Just 7 touches in the final third at Wembley, in comparison with 19 at Leicester. 7

Georginio Wijnaldum – the Dutchman came into English football know for his attacking contributions but, at least since joining Liverpool, he appears to have embraced a more circumspect role, which he undertook superbly here. However, he was given a  moment in the sun when his first half header crossed the line, which was well deserved, because his tough work without the ball was exemplary. 8
James Milner – a model professional, Milner is having what could yet be the best season of his 16-year career. He put in the cross for Firmino’s 2nd-minute goal that was ruled out for offside, then delivered the corner that led to the opener. The former Leeds man broke up opposition attacks by picking up some excellent defensive positions. 9
Naby Keita – brought in for Henderson to provide extra pace, verve and finesse in the final counter-attacking pass, but the latter quality wasn’t quite in evidence. What was though, was his determination to cover the wide areas and he did that job immaculately. 6

Mohamed Salah – the effervescent Egyptian is getting into the same positions as he did last season, but hasn’t quite been as productive. After a 22nd-minute one-on-one shot didn’t trouble the goalkeeper, Salah appeared to try to rectify that moment and get his goal, but in some ways that cost Liverpool even more because there were opportunities for him to kill the game off by passing to a teammate and he was instead a tad greedy – and greed is only accepted if you score! 6
Roberto Firmino – the forward had to be rushed back following international duty and this game showed why: he has become indispensable to Liverpool due to the way he presses from the front. The Brazilian, who had a goal ruled offside in the first 120 seconds, eventually got his deserved goal when he prodded home on the goal-line early in the second period; it was palpable that when Firmino went off, some of the intensity dropped out of the performance. 9
Sadio Mane – the Senegalese forward has had a fine start to the campaign and continues to pose a direct threat with his runs in behind, even if, like Salah, there were moments when his decision-making might have been more team-orientated. Although, he also helped quell Trippier’s threat by doing some useful work in his defensive third. 6

Jordan Henderson (on 74) – managers quite often bring on an extra sitting midfielder to steady the ship when winning late on yet often, it can change the direction of play. Firmino didn’t necessarily deserve to be taken off. 5
Daniel Sturridge (on 83) – the front-man came on for Keita but was effectively taking the place of Firmino; the theory was that Sturridge would offer the necessary composure in front of goal but his unwillingness to press from the front disrupted Liverpool’s setup out of possession. 5
Joel Matip (on 90) – although a decent defender, Matip has struggled to stay fit and must maintain fitness as well as performing well in cup games to convince Klopp he is worth starting regularly. 5