LIVERPOOL CONTINUED their relentless march towards a first Premier League title in 30 years as Roberto Firmino’s strike earned a 1-0 win at Tottenham to open up a 16-point lead at the top of the table.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have now made the best ever start to an English top flight campaign after 21 games with 61 points from a possible 63.
There is now a 31-point gap between the sides that contested last season’s Champions League final as Spurs remain in eighth, nine points adrift of even the top four.
However, Tottenham had their chances to take at least a point as Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso missed the target with the goal gaping in the final 15 minutes.
Lo Celso’s miss left Jose Mourinho on his knees in anguish and the honeymoon period for the Tottenham manager is already over after just two wins in their last eight games in all competitions.
Mourinho sprang a huge surprise with his team selection as Japhet Tanganga was handed his Premier League debut in defence.
The 20-year-old was forced into action straight away as he blocked Firmino’s goalbound effort before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck the post inside four minutes.
Spurs will be without Harry Kane for most of the remainder of the season after the England captain underwent surgery on a torn hamstring.
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Mourinho responded to Kane’s absence by utilising Lucas Moura and Dele Alli in attack as he sat back and hoped to catch the European champions on the break.
Spurs did have openings which could have changed the course of the game early on as both Lucas and Son fired wide from the edge of the box.
However, it was largely one-way traffic before half-time as Liverpool controlled the game and waited patiently for Spurs’ fragile defence to break.