Flags spotted on Kop show what must be done by new regime at Liverpool immediately

Fans in the Kop End celebrate with Harvey Elliott of Liverpool after he scored the team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 05, 2024 -Credit:Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Fans in the Kop End celebrate with Harvey Elliott of Liverpool after he scored the team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 05, 2024 -Credit:Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

If the pressure is off for the final few weeks of Jurgen Klopp's time at Liverpool, then so too is the handbrake it seems.

And if that allows the Reds to play with the kind of verve that saw them go 4-0 up against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, then it might also be why a chaotic final 20 minutes or so threatened to see their visitors incredibly emerge with something from the game too.

As it turned out, the hosts were able to take maximum points that their efforts for the first 70 minutes or so thoroughly deserved to get back to winning ways.

For a team now virtually assured of a third-place finish and Champions League football already back on the agenda for next season, there's a lot to be said for the last days of Klopp's time on Merseyside being an unashamedly fun experience.

READ MORE: Why Klopp could miss his Liverpool farewell with Anfield career at risk

READ MORE: Liverpool player ratings as Mohamed Salah excellent but one better in Tottenham win

Fans might have become accustomed to dreaming until the last knockings of the season under their manager but if there is little left to pursue now then at least it can be an enjoyable ride to the finish line.

Klopp wore the demeanour of a sixth-former on the final day of term in what was a riotous Friday press conference and the hope was that such wild abandon would translate to the pitch as the team attempted to put right an abject April that had decisively ended treble dreams.

If that was the aim of it all then he will consider it mission accomplished here as his team put the visiting Tottenham Hotspur to the sword with the kind of ruthlessness that has rarely been seen this season. It was sensational at times. At least it was to a very specific point, namely when substitute Richarlison, already the pantomime villain for his Everton exploits, made it 4-1 with 72 minutes on the clock.

And if Mohamed Salah had any feelings of concern on his return to Anfield after last week's much-publicised touchline tete-a-tete with Klopp, the flag in his honour on the Kop will have eased worries.

And the Liverpool superstar spent the next 90 minutes of this 4-2 win repaying their support with a blistering performance that poured scorn on the claims his best days are behind him. Rumours of Salah's demise have been greatly exaggerated, it seems. Even if he will feel he could have had a hat-trick on the day itself.

Klopp may be departing with a heavy heart and the tears will probably be difficult for many to hold back when they reconvene here in a fortnight's time against Wolves but Salah surely has to remain in situ.

With a year left on his contract this summer, there’s a major call for Liverpool’s new regime to make one way or another but he remains the best source of goals and for Arne Slot, that will be imperative.

Recent weeks have worn down a player who was still struggling to shake off those persistent hamstring troubles of January and February but a class act he remains. Once more Salah was the Spurs scourge as he bagged the opener before playing a role of varying degrees in Liverpool's second, third and fourth.

Having sat out the majority of last week's 2-2 draw with West Ham before that very public clash with his manager, Salah looked like a player determined to prove a point against Ange Postecgolu's men. But, crucially, he also looked like someone who had seen a huge benefit of not having a game for eight days. He wasn't alone in that sense.

In a break from tradition, Liverpool started the better of the two sides and piled on the pressure for an overworked Guglielmo Vicario in the Tottenham goal. Salah had his 25th of the campaign when he nodded home the excellent Cody Gakpo's ball to the back post to give his side a deserved lead after 16 minutes.

There was an intensity and a freshness to proceedings that had both been sorely absent in the last month or so and one particularly ferocious piece of high pressing was celebrated like a goal by the Kop before Gakpo, who once more impressed, went down under a challenge from Micky van de Ven.

Shots continued to pepper the Spurs goal before Andy Robertson tapped in from close range after Vicario had denied Salah a second towards the end of the half. The sight of Emerson Royal and an increasingly bewildered Cristian Romero at each others' throats as they left the pitch at half-time was a good indicator for how much Spurs had been run ragged by their reinvigorated hosts. The scoreline flattered them in truth.

And having been made to try and inject some life into his players' performances so often at the half-time interval this term, Klopp might have been forgiven for not knowing what to actually say to his players at the break, such was their dominance. Same again please, maybe?

If the outstanding Harvey Elliott will have been delighted with how he was able to chase down Royal before crossing for Gakpo to head home for 3-0, it was his wonder-strike that caught the eye most as he rode the challenge of Rodrigo Bentancur from Salah's lay-off before wrapping a beautiful strike past Vicario.

Richarlison, whose introduction was the catalyst for the change of flow in the game, was a menace throughout his cameo and having reduced the deficit, it was his lay-off that allowed Heung-min Son to make it 4-2 and set up a nervier finish than it frankly had any right to be.

Perhaps accepting the jig was finally up in the deepest throes of stoppage time, though, the visiting fans had little left in the arsenal but to try and claim that Liverpool had “lost the league at Goodison Park”. It was a jibe that was quickly met with a moment of Anfield appreciation for Divock Origi, who of course struck the winning goal in the Champions League final of 2019 between the two. Point made. Three of them taken.