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Phil Thompson hails Liverpool’s defence ahead of Tottenham encounter

Phil Thompson thinks Liverpool’s defence has been the key this season which has taken the pressure off the front three.

The Premier League leaders travel to Wembley on Saturday to face Tottenham – live on Sky Sports – with Jurgen Klopp’s men boasting a defensive record of conceding just one goal in their first four games.

Klopp seems to have found a solid backline to work with as Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have gelled impressively as a unit.Former Liverpool captain Thompson believes the insurance that the defence is providing has taken the pressure off the front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

He told Sky Sports News: “They’ve had an absolutely fantastic start to the season. When you look at it, they were very good against West Ham. They were decent against Crystal Palace and then you had Brighton and Leicester.

“They will be a massive threat this year but the front three haven’t really got going. So why has it been so good?

“I really think the defence has been excellent. That’s been the benefit. Maybe the front three are thinking: ‘We’re all right now, we don’t have to score three and four in the first half. We can actually rely upon this back four and this goalkeeper to bail us out at times.'”

Liverpool broke the world transfer record for a goalkeeper in taking Alisson to Anfield during the summer.

His addition seems a significant upgrade on Loris Karius, but the Brazlian made a high-profile error against Leicester.

He tried to dribble his way past Kelechi Iheanacho in the box, only to be dispossessed, with the Leicester striker then setting up Rachid Ghezzal for his first goal for his new club.

Thompson feels making such an error isn’t a bad thing in terms of Liverpool’s long-term goals.

He said: “He’ll learn from it. I think we were all expecting at some point because we know he likes to take a chance. He took a massive chance in the Brighton game and got away with it. So that was going to happen but we got away with it because we won the game against Leicester.

“Maybe that wouldn’t have been the same last year but hopefully he will have learnt. He says he will do but he will still do this passing out from the back. It’s not a problem to me but the passes from the goalkeeper do have to have intensity. He has to learn from that but he’s been fantastic besides that.”

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