Wijnaldum and Firmino give Liverpool win over Spurs at Wembley
Tottenham left to rue absence of Hugo Lloris as they lose for a second game on the bounce
Michel Vorm fails to keep out Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener at Wembley. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Liverpool 2
Tottenham endured further disappointment on the day they were due to start life at a redeveloped White Hart Lane by slipping to a 2-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool.
The fixture was supposed to mark the opening of their new £800million stadium in north London but due to construction delays it will be at least late November before their new 62,000-capacity home hosts a match.
Instead, their tenancy at Wembley continued with a deserved defeat inflicted by goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino as Liverpool ran riot on the counter-attack to maintain their perfect start to the season.
Standing in for thigh injury victim Hugo Lloris, goalkeeper Michel Vorm was at fault for both strikes that came either side of the interval, but Jurgen Klopp’s men also wasted several additional chances.
The concern over Harry Kane’s form was justified by another quiet afternoon but Tottenham, who were without Dele Alli because of a hamstring problem, under-performed across the pitch.
Three minutes into added time they eventually made an impression on Liverpool when Erik Lamela finished from an acute angle, but the fightback arrived too late.
Alarm bells began ringing after just 44 seconds when Firmino stabbed the ball home only for a controversial offside decision to deny the Reds the goal their early dominance deserved.
The flag appeared to be raised against Sadio Mane but it was his Brazilian team-mate who beat Vorm from close range in the first of a host of shaky moments for Spurs’ defence.
Tottenham were struggling to escape their half as Liverpool pressed and in the 20th minute they invited additional pressure when Eric Dier’s wayward pass was intercepted by Mohamed Salah.
After a bright spell from Tottenham that nevertheless lacked any genuine threat, Firmino worked Mane clear only for the Senegal forward to be let down by a poor final touch.
For all their effectiveness on the break, it was a set-piece that secured Liverpool the breakthrough they deserved as a James Milner corner was cleared only as far as Wijnaldum.
The Dutch midfielder directed it back towards goal and Vorm should really have dealt with the header, but the goal-line technology confirmed that it had crossed the line.
Mane’s turn and shot that was kept out by Vorm brought the second half to life and Wembley erupted in response to Lucas Moura finding the left post before appealing to home fans for support.
But they were stunned into silence in the 54th minute, however, when Vertonghen nudged a cross by Mane on to the post where it deflected to Firmino, who could not miss from two yards out.
It should have been 3-0 when Liverpool piled forward but perhaps flustered by the amount of time he had on the ball, Mane continued running before producing a poor shot.
Salah forced a saved from Vorm before Mane failed with the follow-up and then the Egyptian made two trademark runs which ended with dismal final efforts, but Tottenham had the final say through Lamela.