Harry Kane nodded in before a minute had been played to silence the Kop, but it was largely all one-way traffic from there as a rare Jordan Henderson goal and a Mohamed Salah penalty gave them all three points.
A disappointing draw at Old Trafford last week ended Jurgen Klopp’s 17-game winning streak, and conceding so early visibly shook his title-chasing side again as they chased a 12th straight Anfield win in a row.
Tottenham had their chances after the opener, mainly with Heung-min Son hitting the bar at 1-0 in the second half, but apart from the odd break Mauricio Pochettino’s side sat deep and defensive and looked far too passive as they welcomed wave after wave of Liverpool attack upon them.
Another thunderous atmosphere at Anfield was brought to silence after just 47 seconds when Tottenham took the lead after a superb piece of improvisation from Kane – stooping to nod home when Son’s deflected shot hit the bar.
Spurs almost got in again immediately afterwards when Kane just couldn’t find Son in the box, but from then on Spurs retreated into a packed defensive unit looking to frustrate the hosts and play almost exclusively on the counter.
Paulo Gazzaniga made five saves of varying difficulty to keep shots from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah, while Sadio Mane wasted a glorious chance with a free header.
It was more of the same at the start of the second half, but Spurs had the first chance, and what a great chance as Son sprung free and rounded Alisson Becker but then hit the bar with his finish from an acute angle.
To say an equaliser was coming was a huge understatement, but the supplier was a surprise as skipper Henderson ghosted in down the right edge of the box and fired home left footed from a tight angle for his first Anfield goal in 68 games – his last coming back in December 2015.
Chances came and went until the vital moment 15 minutes from time when the excellent Mane was clumsily brought down by Serge Aurier – Salah making no mistaking when lashing home the spot-kick.
Spurs, forced to finally attack, had a couple of efforts saved by Alisson late on, but the three points deservedly went to Liverpool, who restored a six-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table after coming through a tough test.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur Opta stats
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League games when conceding the first goal at Anfield (W7 D3), winning each of the last six.
- Tottenham are without a win in their last 11 Premier League away games (D2 L9), they last endured a longer such run between May 2000-January 2001 under George Graham (14 games).
- There have been 23 penalties in fixtures between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur; two more than any other match in the competition.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games against “big six” opponents at Anfield since a 1-0 defeat to Man Utd in January 2016 (W12 D8), winning their last six in a row.
- Paulo Gazzaniga made 12 saves in Tottenham’s defeat to Liverpool, the most by a goalkeeper in the Premier League since David de Gea versus Arsenal in December 2017 (14).
- Jordan Henderson scored his first Premier League goal at Anfield since he netted against West Brom back in December 2015, 1414 days ago.
- Serge Aurier has conceded four penalties in 48 games in all competitions since his Tottenham debut in September 2017; no Premier League player has given away more.
- Harry Kane’s first minute opener for Spurs was his 150th goal involvement in the Premier League in what is his 191st appearance in the competition (131 goals, 19 assists).
- Tottenham’s Harry Kane is the third opposition player to score inside 60 seconds at Anfield in a Premier League game, after Matt Elliott for Leicester in August 1997 and Olivier Dacourt for Everton in April 1999.
- Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored three goals in the opening minute of Premier League games: no player has scored more (also, Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott).