Liverpool fired themselves to the top of the Premier League in emphatic style on Sunday afternoon with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.
The gulf in class was apparent from the first minute in Merseyside, as Tottenham saw their defence breached without even touching the ball. Well, they did have one touch.
Younes Kaboul turned the ball into his own net after just 97 seconds following neat build-up play from the hosts immediately after kick-off, and it never got better for Tim Sherwood’s side.
Luis Suarez notched his 29th goal of the season with a well-taken strike just before the half-hour mark, and second-half goals from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson sealed Liverpool’s fate atop the table.
Suarez’s goal put him one away from the magic 30 mark, and it also made history with the Uruguayan becoming the highest-scoring Red in a single Premier League season—per OptaJoe on Twitter:
29 – Luis Suarez has scored 29 goals this season; the most by any Liverpool player in a single PL season. Landmark.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 30, 2014
Having lost 5-0 in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane, Tottenham came to Anfield seeking redemption, but fell flat against an inspired Liverpool side, who now control the fate of the Premier League trophy with just six matches remaining.
As Liverpool FC’s official Twitter feed revealed, the Reds sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League, with the all-important fact being that they are still to welcome nearest rivals Chelsea and Manchester City to Anfield.
The image we were all hoping for... pic.twitter.com/lKX9dMKIyT— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 30, 2014
To perform like we did from the first minute was immense. We are very confident with how we play. Tottenham have some outstanding players and I hope Tim gets time to put his ideas in place. We have won eight games in a row and we will enjoy that. It's just about going back to work next week and we have a tough game against West Ham next. The dream is for our supporters, they want to win the title. It has been a long time but it's not in my thinking. We just need to prepare and do well and if we do that, we will win games.
Rodgers’ side must travel to Upton Park to face West Ham before the eagerly-awaited visit of Manchester City on April 13, but if they continue to play with such irresistible style, they’ll sweep any team aside and see out their first title-winning season since the 1989/90 campaign.
Today we answered the question about pressure. We like to dominate the ball and you saw that today, the movement, confidence and composure was good. We fight as at team to get the ball back and overall I was very proud of the team. [...]
We now just concentrate on the next game which is West Ham and that is what we will focus on. I think there will be points dropped by all the teams before the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Tottenham manager Sherwood, who watched his side’s humiliation from the stands for the duration, lamented individual errors that played decisive roles in Liverpool's opening two goals during an interview with BBC Sport, saying:
The game was pretty much finished after two mistakes early on. They took a lot of belief from that and went from strength to strength. We were beaten by better side. It was a shame our mistakes got punished the way we did.
When BBC Sport asked him of his club managing just a single point against top-four teams, Sherwood responded:
It is not good. Perhaps is is a belief thing - a lot of these teams are better than us. We don't have opportunity to put it right but we owe it to ourselves to get maximum points from our last six games.
The 45-year-old watched on as his team recorded their third away loss in as many games in the league—an unwanted record that they haven’t held in five years according to OptaJoe on Twitter:
3 - Tottenham have lost three Barclays Premier League away games in a row for the first time since January 2009. Brittle.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 30, 2014
Spurs now sit just two points above Manchester United in sixth place, and will almost certainly be recording their worst league finish since the 2008/09 campaign, where they came eighth—per TopSpurs.
Both Liverpool and Tottenham will be vying to record six wins out of six in their remaining Premier League games, but for very different reasons.
While Spurs will have to settle for the disappointment of Europa League football once again, the sky appears to be the limit for Brendan Rodgers and his high-flying Reds.