By Arun Nair – @Nair_39
Liverpool fans can dare to dream as the Reds routed sixth placed Tottenham to go top of the Premier League with six matches remaining. An early own goal by Younes Kaboul opened the proceedings, before further goals from Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson secured a resounding victory.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers made one change from the narrow midweek win over Sunderland, with Raheem Sterling replacing Joe Allen, and it was the teenage winger who was involved in the first Liverpool goal, sending Glen Johnson in behind a flat footed Spurs defence just two minutes into the match. Johnson’s square ball took a deflection off Jan Vertonghen before being turned in by Kaboul in comedic fashion.
The home side, buoyed by the early breakthrough, continued to press and break at pace, as so often has been the case at Anfield this season. Suarez’ cross just evaded a stretching Daniel Sturridge’s head, before Coutinho volleyed wide as the Reds pushed for a second.
Inevitably, it came. Substitute Michael Dawson, on for the injured Vertonghen, played a slack pass back towards Kaboul. Suarez intercepted and burst through towards goal, leaving Dawson in his wake, before sweeping a low shot beyond Lloris and into the far corner, for his 29th goal of the season.
Spurs attempted a swift response, with Christian Eriksen having a shot well blocked by Martin Skrtel, before Roberto Soldado saw his curled effort pawed away by Simon Mignolet.
However, the away side remained vulnerable at the back, and Suarez was unfortunate not to have extended his side’s lead even further. Sterling robbed Kaboul before crossing for the Uruguayan to head towards goal, only for Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris to push the effort onto the bar.
The second half began with the Reds pressing for the crucial third goal to kill the game, with Henderson firing wastefully over from close range. The clinching goal was achieved though soon after. Jon Flanagan fed Coutinho, who drove a low strike past Lloris from the edge of the area.
Rodgers’ side weren’t content with just three goals, and Sturridge came close to a fourth, but his backheel was blocked by Lloris. The fourth did arrive minutes after however – Henderson making amends for his earlier miss with a whipped free kick which evaded the mass of bodies in the Kop penalty area and nestled in Lloris’ net.
Dawson headed over and Eriksen forced a late save from Mignolet, but that was the best of it for a feeble Spurs side. Meanwhile, Liverpool secured a comprehensive victory that sends the Reds to the top of the league, six wins away from the Premier League title, and a step closer to Reds’ fans dreams becoming a reality.