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 By Steven Kelly

Sturridge stars, youngsters impress; as Liverpool oust Tottenham

Both managers decided to turn this into a reserve match and the genuine quality of Daniel Sturridge ended up tipping the scales in Liverpool's favour.

Positives

Some good performances from promising youngsters will be a bonus for Jurgen Klopp. The complete change of personnel saw little let-up in the home team's style, passion and creativity.

LiverpoolLiverpool
Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
2
1
FT
Game Details

Negatives

 Another nervous final few minutes in a game Liverpool ought to have had well won by then and a worrying departure after an hour from the very impressive Divock Origi.  

Manager rating out of 10

8--Anticipated his counterpart would rest players because of Tottenham's punishing schedule and simply followed suit, with his own youngsters outshining those of Mauricio Pochettino. Liverpool's second eleven looked to have more quality than their rivals on this evidence.

Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Simon Mignolet, 7 -- Not an awful lot to do but made vital saves at crucial moments. Came wandering out for a free kick he was never going to get but that seems par for the course with Liverpool's goalkeepers nowadays.  

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- Promising full debut for the youngster. Never allowed a first-half booking to throw him out of his stride. Ran forward boldly on numerous occasions and was replaced more for tiredness than for any flaws in his performance.  

DF Lucas Leiva, 7 -- As the senior player in the side he provided calm and authority throughout most of the evening. Probably unlucky to give away the penalty that triggered a few nervous late moments but he was a bit reckless to take two unnecessary kicks at Erik Lamela.  

DF Ragnar Klavan, 7 -- Passing is not his strong point but combined with Lucas to keep an admittedly toothless Tottenham attack at bay.  

DF Alberto Moreno, 8 -- A good night for the Spaniard. His past tendency to go walkabout was nowhere to be seen as he was disciplined for the whole game and gave the Reds a good attacking outlet, particularly in the later stages after a comfortable lead was reduced by one.  

MF Kevin Stewart, 7 -- Lots of good things from the midfielder, broke up play well. One or two first-half lapses in passing and holding onto the ball too long but improved in the second half and gave a good account of himself.  

In a game full of reserves and youngsters, Daniel Sturridge was the difference, scoring both goals for Liverpool in a 2-1 victory.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 -- As one of the Reds' few first-choice players to be given a game, his first-half performance left something to be desired. Improved dramatically in the second, including an excellent through ball to supply Sturridge with an easy chance for his second goal.  

MF Marko Grujic, 7 -- Lots of good contributions including setting up the first goal. Worked hard, as is to be expected from all of Klopp's players, but he wasn't afraid to try out different things from either wing.  

MF Ovie Ejaria, 6 -- Another newcomer who worked hard. Nothing too flashy and did the basics well.  

FW Divock Origi, 8 -- Slightly restrained first half, with one impressive run that almost set up Sturridge for another goal. He came alive in the second half playing like a man on a mission and had the crowd lustily singing his name on numerous occasions.  He was very unlucky to suffer from what looked like cramp, having to be replaced after 67 minutes.  

FW Daniel Sturridge, 9 -- No-one doubts the England man's gifts, just whether he can also supply the ravenous work-rate Klopp demands from all of his players. Took both goals well and might have had a few more on another night, including one glorious effort that hit the crossbar. He's given his manager plenty to think about on a night when he was a constant threat and a lot more like his old self.  

Substitutes

FW, Danny Ings 6 -- Came on for the injured Origi. Initially looked rusty but was soon busily harassing defenders and near the end he also produced a great effort which was well saved by Michel Vorm.  

DF, Nathaniel Clyne 6 -- Came on for the tiring Alexander-Arnold and slotted in with the minimum of fuss. Helped the Reds see out the game after another late goal was conceded.  

MF, Emre Can NR -- Just enough time left to make one or two runs that helped his side run down the clock.

Steven Kelly is one of ESPN FC's Liverpool bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @SteKelly198586.

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