League-leaders Liverpool show quality of champions in hammering of sorry Spurs

Brendan Rodgers’ thriving side delivered yet another dominant victory at Anfield to move to the top of the Premier League with only six games remaining

By Jonathan Birchall at Anfield

It’s on, make no mistake. Anfield’s dream of a first league title since 1990 is looking ever more like glorious reality. To Liverpool, this is everything. 

Brendan Rodgers’ side enter April top of the Premier League. Defeat for Chelsea and a draw for Manchester City had led to whispers across Merseyside before today’s game that this could just be Liverpool’s year. They’re shouting it now. 

This 4-0 dismantling of a Tottenham side so lacking in belief, ideas or any semblance of fighting spirit has become par for the course. An opening goal in a matter of minutes followed by total domination – we’ve seen this one before. 

Rodgers dismissed talk of his side being under pressure ahead of the visit of Spurs and his players followed suit on the pitch. Nerves were kept for the Kop, before kick-off at least, as the likes of Coutinho, Henderson and Sterling, youngsters with the hopes of a city on their shoulders, delivered fearlessly. 

If Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho were looking for signs that this is all too much for the side from Merseyside, they will have been left disappointed and more than a little concerned. From Coutinho’s perfectly floated 30-yard ball in the opening minute to Daniel Sturridge’s attempted backheel to make it 5-0, this entire Liverpool side played without inhibition. Never has a title challenge looked like so much fun.

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Liverpool were absolutely ruthless in taking apart Tottenham. The opener, a slapstick deflection offYounes Kaboul following the first of what felt like hundreds of attacks down the right channel, set the tone for an afternoon off the visiting team having absolutely no answer to what was being thrown at them. Just how on Earth do you stop this side? 

Tim Sherwood, brow furrowed sat next to the press box, quite clearly didn’t have the answer and his players might as well have joined him in the stands and let Liverpool get on with it. They were merely passengers like the rest of us. 

For both Manchester City and Chelsea, whose visits to Merseyside will almost certainly decide the direction of this title, Liverpool represent a unique rival. Rodgers possesses a squad of players who don’t know what it is to win a Premier League title and that fact, for so long seen as a weakness looks to have been turned into a strength. Nobody saw this coming. Now the rest are chasing, and stumbling along the way.  

Liverpool have answered every question asked of them this season, but there remains one more.  ‘The Reds are coming up the hill’ read the banner at the front of the Kop but now there they are there, kings of the castle, looking down on the rest. There was little to suggest that the enormity of that or this magnificent season is playing on the minds of Rodgers or his side against Tottenham. This was simply another one ticked off the list. 

This was significant, they all are now, but you would never have known it from Rodgers come full time. West Ham away next Sunday, he insists, is all that matters, for now, but even a Kop that has spent years, far too many, waiting for this feeling again, is beginning to truly believe. You can’t blame them after performances like this.

On the edge of history, still Liverpool go forward. It’s on, make no mistake.

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