Yet here we were at Wembley with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks doing his best in a first start since February in a massive game against visitors Liverpool, yet to lose this season and about to extend that run on Saturday afternoon, on the left side of a midfield, as ineffectual as you would imagine.
Since that calamitous defeat by Spurs past year, Juergen Klopp's side boast the best defensive record in the league, with more clean sheets than any other team.
"For the boys it's always a big challenge that they really have to remind themselves what we actually do". Yes, we learned, the experience was that one game can be completely different to another. "We all knew it after the World Cup, especially after England came that far, they have had no rest", added Klopp.
Firmino almost set the tone after 45 seconds with a goal that was disallowed when Sadio Mane was ruled to be offside, and though Michel Vorm parried away an attempt by Mohamed Salah after 22 minutes, Liverpool struck first behind Wijnaldum.More news: Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state
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Speaking to reporters, Klopp said on his new £43million man: "I don't like to compare players but we had similar question about Robbo and Oxlade and I'm not sure if Sadio (Mane) played from the beginning, but I think he had a full pre-season. His perception will be "wow" and the reality is you still need to prove it". I am happy with his performance.
"After we win at Old Trafford, we lost at Watford and we were bad", Pochettino said. Now we won a few games, that's good, but it doesn't change anything for us.
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has confirmed there is no long-term damage to his eye after a horrific incident involving Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen. "We don't play Champions League or what?" said the German, whose side now top the table with a 100 per cent record after four matches and are widely seen as the main challengers to defending champions Manchester City. I only saw the situation from 60 yards. Fantastic we won all of them, fantastic we improved during the season.