Sadio Mane was the difference as Liverpool brushed aside an in-form Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The victory is a confidence booster for Coach Jurgen Klopp’s men who have not won their last five games.

The Reds’ poor form coincided with the absence of Mane who has to represent his country – Senegal – at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon. Mane missed seven games but came back to provide the brace that threatens Spurs’ title hopes this term. He failed to impress when he played against relegation-threatened side Hull City last week but showed his prowess with two quick goals against Spurs.

“They couldn’t win without him. Mane is the one with that bit of pace to get in behind and I didn’t think they were doing that recently and that’s because he wasn’t there. He is phenomenal. He senses the danger. Spurs couldn’t deal with him,” Arsenal legend Ian Wright said of the match winner. Klopp also joined to heap praises on Mane and the team in general for their efforts.

Mane scored his first when he latched onto a Georginio Wijnaldum pass, holding off an underwhelming Ben Davies to fire in. In less than two minutes, the former Southampton player pounced on a loose ball after Spurs’ shot stopper Hugo Lloris did a double save to deny Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.

Spurs did not attack as much as many would expect, going by their display this term. Their best chance of the game was when Son Heung-min broke past the defence but keeper Simon Mignolet blocked his effort.

Pochettino was disappointed with the first half and added that they tried catching up too late in the second half. He labelled the team one that was not “ready to fight for the Premier League.” Spurs play Gent in the Europa League then Fulham in the FA Cup fifth round before they return to Premier League action.