Super Salah punishes Dier howler as resurgent Liverpool see off sloppy Spurs

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The latest Liverpool revival starts here. Those mighty Reds have pulled level on points with Fulham.

Still, you have to start somewhere, and Tottenham are usually ripe for the picking when Liverpool are in town, with Eric Dier this time taking it upon himself to roll out the red carpet and wave Mohamed Salah into the spotlight.

It's nine goals in eight games now for Salah, none of them penalties, and if Liverpool collectively are still far short of where Jurgen Klopp would want them, then at least the manager need not worry about his star forward.

A 2-1 win at Tottenham came as little surprise in many regards, since it means the north London side remain winless in their last 10 Premier League games against Liverpool, drawing three of those and losing seven.

Salah was on the scoresheet the last time Liverpool lost to Tottenham in the league, getting the consolation in a 4-1 humbling at Wembley – Spurs' then temporary home – in October 2017.

That was in the early stages of his first season with Liverpool, and Salah has barely stopped scoring since, though a shaky run of games early this season raised red flags about his form.

Fresh from signing a long-term deal in the close season, and recently turning 30, Liverpool are counting on Salah to remain lethal in front of goal.

Their success under Klopp, that Tottenham can only envy, has come thanks to a host of factors, but Salah's goals have been front and centre.

He was not sure in midweek that he had been awarded Liverpool's opening goal against Napoli, with Darwin Nunez's header having been close to crossing the line before it was nudged out to Salah.

But Salah was in the right place and was given that one, and there was no doubting his claims to Liverpool's two goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the visitors finally picked up a first away league win of the season.

The first was another from the Nunez-Salah collection, their partnership blossoming now, with the Uruguayan finding the Egyptian with a short, smart pass in the penalty area and the finish to the bottom-right corner was exemplary.

Desperate defending from Dier presented Salah with the chance to double Liverpool's lead, with the England international looking to nod Alisson's long kick back to Hugo Lloris but getting it all wrong.

Salah's footwork, running at pace onto the loose ball, was magnificent, and the chipped finish over the France goalkeeper was immaculate.

But what of Dier? Can he be trusted to avoid such blunders by Gareth Southgate at the World Cup? That is a third error leading to a shot committed by Dier in all competitions this season. Only one player from Europe's top leagues has had more: Liverpool's Joe Gomez (4).

Two of those mistakes from Dier have led to goals, and only one Premier League player has made as many errors already in 2022-23 that have proved quite so costly. The trouble for Spurs is that player is Lloris, also with two goal-costing errors.

This was the first time Tottenham had hosted Liverpool while above them in the table since that October 2017 win, and you have to wonder how long Spurs will stay ahead of Sunday's visitors.

They remain fourth for now, seven points adrift of a Liverpool side who have a game in hand on them, and they got what proved to be a classy consolation when Harry Kane rifled home a smart finish from substitute Dejan Kulusevski's pass in the 70th minute.

Kane spoke after the game of there being "tension" in the stands, and admitted Tottenham had been "punished" by Liverpool before building any momentum. The hosts hit the goal frame twice through Ivan Perisic, but Salah also had a glorious second-half chance, squandering the opportunity to seal a hat-trick when he fired straight at Lloris from a handy central position.

He has seven goals in 12 Premier League appearances against Spurs now, but it probably should have been eight.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham team selection had looked conservative, with injuries biting but attacking ambition seemingly in short supply. Kulusevski proved a threat on his return from injury, ripe to be used regularly in the coming weeks if there was not the inconvenience of a World Cup on the near horizon.

Kane's fine goal would have cheered Southgate, while Dier's clumsy error does him no favours ahead of the Qatar 2022 squad selection.

Kane became the first player to score in six consecutive home games for Spurs in the Premier League, but he was fighting a lone battle at times. Like Salah, Kane's class remains unquestionable.

Yet a Tottenham side who have lost three of their last four in the league are in need of a revival. Liverpool's wins over Napoli and now Spurs suggest Klopp's team might be in the early throes of one, but then you remember they lost to Leeds United at Anfield barely a week ago.

After the World Cup, these two sides must resolve their personality crises. More fits, starts and false dawns will mean the mid-table likes of Fulham might not be so easily shaken off.