Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool: Winners and Losers from Premier League Clash
Tottenham's unbeaten start to the season was put to a rapid end, as Liverpool dominated the early season clash at White Hart Lane.
Raheem Sterling's early goal sent Liverpool on their way to victory before a Steven Gerrard penalty and a super strike from Alberto Moreno made it 3-0.
The Reds failed to match the heights of their 5-0 win in the same fixture last season but were comfortably the better team.
Spurs were disappointing, but who were the winners and losers of this Premier League clash?
Winner: Raheem Sterling
The Liverpool winger has long been considered one of the brightest stars in the Premier League, but another excellent performance from Sterling, backed up by a goal, has reinforced just how good he is.
Sterling is England's finest player, a generational talent, and he is just 19.
His goal against Spurs was little more than a neat finish, but his all-around performance will give Spurs defenders nightmares. If he continues to play like this, Liverpool will hardly miss Luis Suarez.
Loser: Nacer Chadli
Nacer Chadli came back down to earth after his stellar performance against QPR with a more routine game against Liverpool. Unable to sustain the versatility and grace of his star turn last weekend, Chadli was given few opportunities to shine, as Spurs were put under pressure by the effective Liverpool.
The Belgian was effective and bright, but his reputation, threatening to expand on the basis of his brace in a London derby, took a puncture as Spurs were lacerated by Liverpool.
Chadli could have equalised for Spurs late in the first half and that would have changed the game, but his shot was wild and well-saved by Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.
Winner: Steven Gerrard
After a summer of personal disappointment with England and Liverpool's summer spree, Steven Gerrard could so easily have taken a major step backward this season.
On the evidence of this performance, Gerrard remains a vital player in Liverpool's Premier League campaign.
More aware of his limitations than ever before, he seems to be focusing on the little things, and it is paying off in a big way.
Gerrard's leadership has always been a major part of his character, but his stewardship of this excellent young group of players is particularly impressive.
Loser: Eric Dier
Eric Dier has enjoyed an astonishing start to his Tottenham career, but he was given a heavy dose of reality in Spurs' defeat.
Again playing at right-back, Dier was an important part of both Spurs' attack and defence, but conceding a soft penalty to Joe Allen was the first major blot on his reputation. He was unable to influence the game, though, and that has been a significant part of his burgeoning Spurs career.
Against Liverpool, Dier earned some crucial experience but was unable to deal effectively with the whirlwind of attacks sent his way. He will recover and grow from his experience, but he took a small step back against Liverpool.
The sooner Kyle Walker recovers from injury, the better for Spurs and for Dier. He has done an admirable job deputising at right-back, but Walker remains the far better option.
Winner: Alberto Moreno
Following his shaky debut against Manchester City, Alberto Moreno seemed to have forgotten to pack his talent in his rush to leave Seville. Unfortunately for Spurs, the full-back returned to his best form at White Hart Lane.
His goal was exceptional. Running down Spurs' right flank before rolling his shot past Hugo Lloris, Moreno looked every inch the player Liverpool had thought they were buying. His performance was highlighted by his goal, but he gave an impressive all-round showing in the Liverpool win.
Moreno is a brilliantly talented young defender. He gave English fans a glimpse of that brilliance against Spurs.
Loser: Spurs Defence
Before their humbling by Liverpool, Spurs had conceded just one goal in their opening four fixtures and none in the Premier League.
Against Liverpool, they showed the crucial shortcomings that contributed to Andre Villas-Boas losing his job.
Regardless of the system, Spurs' ragged defence fell far short of expectation. They were carved open for Sterling's goal after just eight minutes and gave Moreno the run of White Hart Lane as he cruised in to score Liverpool's third goal.
Federico Fazio will have little trouble finding a place in this defence if their collective performances are any indication of their level of quality.
Mauricio Pochettino may shake up the back line in the coming international break as a result of their poor showing and the arrivals of new players like Fazio.
Perhaps Spurs' disappointment against Liverpool will be the catalyst for necessary change at the back.
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