Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino highlighted the significance of his side’s ability to follow their cathartic draw against Real Madrid in midweek with a crushing top-flight annihilation of defensively calamitous Liverpool.
Striker Harry Kane ended his Premier League Wembley scoring hoodoo with a goal in each half, while strikes from Heung-min Son and Dele Alli rendered Mohamed Salah’s effort, which had halved Liverpool’s deficit, little more than an irrelevance.
Victory, Tottenham’s second in succession at Wembley, closed the gap between the north Londoners and leaders Manchester City to five points, while Liverpool, who have just one win in six league matches, slipped to ninth.
“I’m so happy. To be ready again and compete in a big game after Madrid on Tuesday is very good,” said Pochettino.
“I am so pleased because we’ve started to change that feeling that it was difficult to play at Wembley and we’re starting to feel this can be our home. That is so important for the rest of the season.
“This performance brings us more confidence and trust in the way we’re working and it was so important after a really good result in Madrid that we beat Liverpool, who have one of the best squads in the Premier League.”
No Liverpool team has shipped more goals in their opening nine league matches since the 1964-65 season, and manager Jurgen Klopp was not prepared to sugar-coat his opinion of their defending.
“It is all our responsibility what you saw today. It’s not a nice statistic,” said Klopp, who hauled centre-half Dejan Lovren off after just 31 minutes. “In all the decisive moments we were not there.
“I cannot believe we don’t have a worse statistic since 1964. If Tottenham needed to be genius to come through we do not have to talk but if you make these mistakes it is much too easy.”
Tottenham were winless in nine league meetings with Liverpool but surged into a fourth-minute lead as Kane registered his first top-flight goal at Wembley with his 29th shot in a home match this term.
Wing-back Kieran Trippier dinked a pass beyond Liverpool’s backline and Kane clipped the ball away from goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and applied a left-footed finish.
Spurs doubled their advantage on 12 minutes as Kane cleverly spun beyond a docile Lovren to meet goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’s long throw and crossed for Son to lash clinically beyond Mignolet.
A Son rocket crashed against Mignolet’s crossbar moments later, while Kane’s concession of possession on 24 minutes allowed Henderson to release Salah, who scuffed an effort past Lloris.
Spurs restored their two-goal cushion in first-half injury-time as Joel Matip needlessly headed Christian Eriksen’s free-kick back into the danger zone and Alli volleyed home from 18 yards.
Tottenham resumed their hunt for goals on 56 minutes as Mignolet flapped at a Trippier free-kick and Kane blasted the rebound into the net from close range after Roberto Firmino had blocked Jan Vertonghen’s goalbound effort.