Liverpool 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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Tottenham’s dramatic decline continued as their hopes of reaching the Premier League’s top four faded even further after they were well beaten by Liverpool at Anfield.

Aston Villa’s defeat at Brighton left the door open for Spurs to make a late push for next season’s Champions League but even a late comeback could not prevent a fourth successive defeat as Liverpool found form once more after their own recent slump.

Mohamed Salah put his touchline bust-up with manager Jurgen Klopp at West Ham behind him to open the scoring with a far-post header from Cody Gakpo’s cross after 16 minutes, Andy Robertson adding the second right on half-time when Spurs keeper Guglielmo Vicario could only push out the Egyptian’s shot.

Spurs lost discipline and Vicario had to separate team-mates Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal as they went off at half-time, with matters not improving for Ange Postecoglou’s side as they were over-run after the break by a rampant Liverpool.

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Gakpo headed the third from Harvey Elliott’s delivery five minutes after the interval, the latter getting on the scoresheet himself in the 59th minute with a glorious curling finish from 20 yards into the top corner.

Liverpool then inexplicably switched off to allow substitute Richarlison and Heung-Min Son to give Spurs unlikely hope but it was too late and they remain seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with a game in hand.

Liverpool rediscover cutting edge

Liverpool may have ended this game, remarkably, with some anxiety around Anfield but for an hour they were back to their imperious, threatening best.

Tottenham’s two goals gave the scoreline a closer look than Liverpool’s performance deserved but they were never in serious danger of giving up the victory.

Salah had clearly recovered from his disagreement with manager Klopp at London Stadium as he led the charge by scoring the first goal and having an involvement in Robertson’s second.

It was Elliott, however, who was the star of Liverpool’s show and as well as setting up the third for Gakpo he got the deserved reward of a goal of his own with a searing drive high past Vicario.

Elsewhere, it was almost a dress rehearsal for Klopp’s final game after a stellar nine-year reign when Wolves come to Anfield on the last day of the season.

The German was serenaded throughout as The Kop went through his farewell songsheet, Klopp responding with trademark fist pumps in front of Liverpool’s fans after a nervous finale ended with victory.

Klopp was not whipping up the Kop for a final push for the Premier League title – that has gone after this season once held hopes of four trophies – but it certainly sets the scene for an emotional Anfield goodbye in a fortnight.

Too little too late from Spurs

Tottenham’s abject display for the first hour raised the prospect of humiliation at Anfield, and while they salvaged a sliver of pride with a Richarlison-inspired closing 20 minutes this was another day of disappointment for Postecoglou and his players.

As on so many occasions this season, Postecoglou’s attacking approach left Spurs conceding too many chances and Liverpool followed recent opponents such as Newcastle United, Arsenal and Chelsea in taking full advantage.

The underlying tensions and frustrations in the ranks were evident at half-time when it took a strong intervention from keeper Vicario to keep defenders Romero and Royal apart as they clashed walking off.

It was when Richarlison, who may find himself surplus to Spurs’ requirements in the summer, was introduced that a thoroughly one-sided game was turned on its head, the striker revelling in Anfield’s insults for his Everton connections and causing constant problems.

Spurs may have thought the most unlikely of comebacks was on for a few minutes after they scored twice but in reality they did not deserve anything from this game after the way Liverpool had dominated them and their Champions League hopes look very grim now.

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