Mohamed Salah back on song as Liverpool cruise past Spurs at Anfield

Egyptian opens scoring at Anfield following his bust-up with manager Jurgen Klopp last week

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Mo Salah made headlines for the right reasons on Sunday as he produced a superb header for Liverpool's opening goal in their 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

The Egyptian had a furious touchline bust-up with manager Jurgen Klopp as he was about to come on as a substitute with 13 minutes left during their 2-2 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium last weekend

It ended with fellow substitute Darwin Nunez pushing Salah away as he remonstrated with Klopp. Salah later said to the press: “There's going to be a fire today if I speak.”

But normal service was resumed and a big smile was back on Salah's face as he put his team in front against Spurs after 16 minutes at Anfield.

Salah made a clever run to the back post to head Cody Gakpo's cross past Spurs keeper Gugliemo Vicario to get his team up and running.

Andy Robertson added a second right on half-time as Vicario could only push a Salah shot towards the Scottish defender.

After the break Gakpo headed in their third from a Harvey Elliott delivery and the provider turned goalscorer on 59 minutes as he struck a delicious curling effort into the top corner.

Liverpool then took their foot off the gas and allowed Spurs back into the game as substitute Richarlison and Son Heung-min gave Ange Postecoglou's side hope.

But Liverpool held on and Spurs remain seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with a game in hand.

Liverpool manager Klopp told Sky Sports after the game: “We are outstanding until we are not. It was a really good game. Tottenham can put pressure on Aston Villa again for the Champions League. In high performance things, you need a spark.

“I would say three points is enough and the boys thought that. Anfield was a special place today. We were 4-0 up, I made the changes and we lost organisation. Tottenham showed how good they could be. I was happy with the performance. The goals were outstanding.

“Mo [Salah] was outstanding, he played a really good game. His side with Harvey [Elliott] was good. I was pleased for him. None of the boys want to play not great, why would they? Mo showed what he is capable of.”

Goalscorer Elliott said: “There was motivation to go out there and put it right. We know we've not been good enough in the last few weeks and we wanted to put it right.

“I thought it was going over to be honest [his goal]. I saw it drop at the end. It's about time I scored a goal, I think I've hit the bar and the post in the last few games.”

Tottenham manager Postecoglou told BBC's Match of the Day: “Our last two away games at Newcastle and Chelsea weren't great, not only the performance but the results as well. At least today I actually thought we played more like ourselves and we at least endeavoured to be the kind of team we want to be.”

Earlier in the day, Aston Villa's bid to guarantee Champions League football next season suffered a blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Brighton on the South Coast.

Unai Emery's side could have clinched fourth spot with a victory, as long as Spurs lost at Anfield, but they fell to a second defeat in four days.

Following their 4-2 loss to Olympiacos in the first leg of the Europa Conference League semi-final on Thursday, Joao Pedro's 87th minute goal for Brighton inflicted more misery on the Midlanders.

Pedro nodded home the rebound after Villa keeper Robin Olsen had saved his penalty, which had been awarded for Ezri Konsa's foul on Simon Adingra.

The win ended Brighton's six-match losing streak and Seagulls' captain Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports: “I've missed this feeling, it's been a long time. We've not been good enough but it's nice to get back to winning ways.

“We've have a different week this week, away from the training ground and doing a lot of team building. And we've got the three points thankfully. It's tough when you're losing, it's not easy. ”

Villa stay in fourth, seven points above fifth-placed Spurs, who have a game in hand.

Emery's side face Liverpool at home and Crystal Palace away in their last two games as they fight to return to the Champions League for the first time since 1982/83.

Updated: May 05, 2024, 6:52 PM