September 15, 2018 / 4:56 PM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 2-Soccer-Relentless Liverpool sweep aside Tottenham

(updates after Chelsea win)

* Liverpool continued perfect start with 2-1 win at Tottenham

* Georginio Wijnaldum headed Liverpool in front in 39th minute

* Goal was Wijnaldum’s first one away in the Premier League

* Roberto Firmino tapped home in 54th minute to keep Liverpool top

* Liverpool maintain best season start since 1990-91

* Lamela fired late consolation as Spurs remain outside the top four

* Spurs travel to Brighton next, Liverpool host Southampton

By Peter Hall


Sept 15 (Reuters) - Liverpool continued their perfect start to the season to stay joint top of the Premier League after a goal in each half gave them a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Georginio Wijnaldum picked the ideal time to score his first away goal in the Premier League when he headed Liverpool into a 39th-minute lead, before Roberto Firmino steered home a second soon after halftime to ensure Liverpool made it five wins from five although they trail joint leaders Chelsea on goal difference.

Since October last year Liverpool have had the best defensive record in the Premier League, keeping more clean sheets than any other team, but they were denied another by Erik Lamela in stoppage time.

Lamela’s goal from a tight angle was deemed a mere consolation, though, as Spurs slipped to consecutive league defeats for the first time since the final two games of the 2015-16 season, meaning they remain outside the top four.

“We were that good it was difficult for Tottenham,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. “The performance today was better than the result. It was the best game of the season for us.”

Determined to write the wrongs of their 4-1 defeat by Tottenham last season, Liverpool started quickly and Firmino had the ball in his net inside the first minute, only to be denied by the offside flag.

Harry Winks, making his first Premier League start since December, helped Spurs to calm the storm initially but defensive mistakes allowed Liverpool to create openings.

Soon enough, Wijnaldum headed Liverpool in front from a corner, capitalising on a poor punch from goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

Spurs’ best chance to get back into the contest came when Lucas Moura drove at the Liverpool defence, drilling against the foot of the post and giving Wembley hope that the tide had turned.

“When Lucas Moura hit the post that was the key moment,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “Moments like this are when you can get confidence. This type of game shows we need to improve if we are going to be contenders.”

Hope of a recovery vanished minutes later when Firmino was on hand to tap the ball home almost on the goal line.

Liverpool wasted chances to find a third goal and endured a nervy finish after Lamela scored in stoppage time but they saw out the victory that keeps them ahead of the chasing pack. (Editing by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar)

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