Spurs end losing run against Liverpool with goalless draw in Klopp’s first game
Tottenham ended their run of five straight defeats against Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge of the Reds ended in a goalless draw at White Hart Lane.
The visitors made a bright start and Divock Origi, who was making his first league start for Liverpool, headed against the woodwork.
But Spurs grew into the game and Simon Mignolet had to save from Clinton Njie and Harry Kane, while Mamadou Sakho blocked a goalbound effort from Dele Alli.
There were fewer clear-cut chances in the second period but Origi and Kane were both denied by the opposing goalkeepers and Emre Can sent a low effort just wide before the final whistle went and the spoils were shared.
That represented something of an improvement for Spurs, given they had lost their previous five games against Liverpool, conceding 18 goals in the process – eight of them coming in the last two meetings at the Lane.
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And, while they will feel they had the chances to win the game and ruin Klopp’s big day, Mauricio Pochettino’s side remain unbeaten in the league since the opening day of the season – an eight-match sequence.
There were two changes from the Spurs side that had faced Swansea before the international break, with Mousa Dembele replacing the suspended Eric Dier in central midfield and Danny Rose getting the nod ahead of Ben Davies at left-back.
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Meanwhile, Tottenham got a boost from the fact that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was absent from the Liverpool squad. With Christian Benteke and Danny Ings also out of action, it left Origi leading the line for the visitors, having only played 17 minutes of Premier League football prior to the kick-off at the Lane.
Spurs suffered a blow of their own early on, with Nacer Chadli limping off and being replaced by Njie after just 11 minutes – and the hosts started slowly, struggling to cope with Liverpool’s early intensity.
Klopp’s side were frantically denying their opponents time and space all over the pitch, and when Rose’s attempted long ball was charged down by Adam Lallana, forcing the full-back to concede a corner, Can flicked the ball on and Origi headed against the woodwork.
But the Reds could not maintain that level of pressure forever and Spurs began to respond before the half-hour mark.
Kane latched onto a loose ball in Liverpool’s half and freed Njie, who had made a rusty start off the bench but sent a curling effort towards goal, forcing a diving save from Simon Mignolet.
Kane then got in behind the Reds’ defence but was denied by Mignolet and, when the ball came out to Dele Alli, his low volley was blocked by Sakho, while Njie won the ball from Skrtel and sent a 25-yard shot just over the bar.
Chances were harder to come by after the break. Kyle Walker sent a low 30-yard shot at Mignolet and Dembele did well to get back and dispossess Origi after the Belgian had robbed Rose.
There was nearly a moment of huge controversy as Milner clattered into Rose, with the left-back staying down holding his head, but referee Craig Pawson allowed play to go on and Lloris ended up having to save from Origi.
Kane had a good sight of goal inside the final 10 minutes, driving a shot at Mignolet from the edge of the box after being teed up by Eriksen, while Can sent a low shot just wide in the 89th minute – but there was to be no late winner.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dembele, Alli, Lamela (Townsend 87), Eriksen, Chadli (Njie 11), Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs