Liverpool’s Brazilian contingent has turned Anfield into the Kopacabana as Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino provide spark for Tottenham victory
- Liverpool looked to their Brazilian contingent to provide spark at Anfield
- Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino embody Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy
- Liverpool came from behind to take a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur
- Jurgen Klopp’s side now hold a six point lead at the top of the Premier League
It was in a 10 minutes spell, just after half-time, that Anfield became the Kopacabana and Jurgen Klopp was roaring his delight.
Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho, Liverpool’s three Brazilians, went through the gears and took their team from a position in which they potentially could have lost a Premier League home game for the first time since April 2017 to a point where the outcome – victory – became inevitable.
This trio embody the qualities that Klopp has imbued in Liverpool. They have natural flair and outstanding talent but it is their relentless desire to keep working and show courage in those difficult moments that makes them catch the eye.
Fabinho was the fulcrum of Liverpool’s drive during their comeback victory over Tottenham
Take Alisson. During his eight-week absence with a torn calf, Adrian San Miguel proved to be an able deputy and enjoyed some time in the limelight, with his save in the penalty shootout against Chelsea that enabled Liverpool to win the European Super Cup. He is good – but he is not Alisson.
Liverpool’s play improves by 10 per cent when Alisson is in goal.
He uses the ball like a midfielder and his ability to launch attacks with precision passes increases the speed with which his team can attack but Klopp sanctioned his £64.6million signing from Roma for big contributions in his own goal.
In the 48th minute, big was the right word. A long punt from Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga found its way through to Heung-min Son, who skipped away from Dejan Lovren.
Alisson Becker spread himself wide to push Son away from goal to shoot from a narrow angle
The goalkeeper improves Liverpool’s performances by 10 per cent and is irreplaceable
He bore down on the Anfield Road net but Alisson made his frame so imposing that Son could only shoot against the bar.
Had the outstanding South Korean’s effort been a fraction lower, 2-0 to Tottenham would have been a long way back for Liverpool. Instead, the reprieve was huge.
From there, Fabinho took over and his performance in the middle of midfield was huge.
Like his compatriots, Fabinho likes the quiet life. He doesn’t do many interviews and his command of English isn’t total but the polished way he plays always makes sense. He was Liverpool’s fulcrum, a scurrying and snapping presence, who won countless tackles and never misplaced a pass.
Roberto Firmino hurried about the pitch all evening and put Harry Winks under pressure
His ball in the 53rd minute gave Jordan Henderson the opportunity to score an equaliser but the point you knew the game had changed completely was in the 57th minute when Firmino, the workaholic centre forward, pounced out of the shadows near the touchline to mug Harry Winks.
So good was the tackle, Klopp turned to the Main Stand and waved his fists in the air, hollering his noisy appreciation.
It gave a new twist to the phrase ‘samba style’ but it was certainly infectious. If Liverpool are to go all the way this year, the Boys from Brazil will provide the blend.