Harvey Elliott 'training ground goal' for Liverpool instantly proved Gary Neville right

Harvey Elliott of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 05, 2024 in Liverpool, England.

Liverpool was made to wait for an increasingly-elusive clean sheet, but the performance against Tottenham fixed plenty of the things that have been going so wrong lately. There was certainly no shortage of goals, as the Reds put four past Guglielmo Vicario, all from open play.

Dogged persistence can take some of the credit, with Liverpool rattling off 13 shots on target. The finishing woes have not been cured overnight. But Jürgen Klopp's side carved Spurs open with such regularity that the law of large numbers worked its magic, and the result never really looked in much doubt.

In hindsight, knowing that Liverpool's defense would have a wobble, that fourth goal looks especially important as a kind of clincher. It was Harvey Elliott who secured that particular insurance policy, and it was the pick of the bunch, curled into the top corner from the edge of the box.

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Receiving the ball from Mohamed Salah, Elliott proceeded to score a goal worthy of the man himself. The Egyptian hasn't actually scored a trademark goal like this for some time, but his young teammate turned back the clocks, and for a moment it was like watching a highlight from Klopp's earlier years.

Gary Neville piled the praise on Elliott. He was also quick to give himself a pat on the back for being proved right after comments made moments earlier praising the youngster.

"Big smile from Harvey Elliott and a big smile from his manager, and he gets congratulated by all. And so he should," said Neville. "He just looks like one of those players that’s really popular with everybody and he’s certainly popular in this ground now.

"The switch from Trent Alexander-Arnold is perfection, then he just drifts one in. Emerson Royal’s got to do better with that headed clearance, he must know Mo Salah’s behind him.

“It’s like a training ground goal where you just pop it back to someone but the touch, he just skips past, I think it’s Bentancur who doesn’t do anywhere near enough. But then it’s a gorgeous, curled strike into that top corner. What a goal.

"I’ve just been talking about how I feel he improves Liverpool, brings a real impetus to the play. He’s positive in everything he does.”

Often this season, Elliott has been tasked with improving things from the bench. But Klopp handed him a start here, and it was significant how much he was able to influence the contest from the start.

Neville was right to pick him out even before the goal. Elliott has those highlight-reel moments firmly in the locker, but he adds value every game, with his tireless work-rate, penetrating passes and incisive runs.

Liverpool spent big money on its midfield last summer, but the 21-year-old has fought tooth and nail, and by virtue of his performances has ensured he remains a major part of the picture in the middle of the park. He started over the likes of Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch on merit, and it's a safe bet he will be a big part of Arne Slot's plans too. says: Neville would have taken more headlines if Trent Alexander-Arnold had scored his effort from the halfway line, which drew an all-time top five 'oooohhh' from the Sky Sports commentator. The audacious effort was just a fraction too high.

Still, his assessment of Elliott is good too. Neville ultimately gave the Man of the Match award to Elliott, and it's nice to see him getting the recognition he deserves.