Liverpool are the real deal and a definite title contender -- as long as Luis Suarez stays fit; Tottenham will do well, really well, to just finish in the top four come the end of the season.
Spurs had another day to forget in front of their own fans, as Liverpool, led by the incomparable Suarez, turned on the style in exhilarating fashion to come away with a deserved 5-0 victory -- their biggest ever win at White Hart Lane.
Suarez, who else, opened the scoring for Liverpool, with Jordan Henderson doubling the scoreline late in the first half, before pear-shaped looked like a wonderful dream for Tottenham, as Paulinho was sent off for a Bruce Lee challenge on Suarez just past the hour.
Jon Flanagan scored a well-taken goal to make it 3-0 before Suarez completed his supreme brace. The Uruguayan would then turn provider for the excellent Raheem Sterling to rub some considerably painful salt into Tottenham's gaping wounds.
The win takes Liverpool back up to second, just two points behind Arsenal, and ahead of Chelsea on goal difference. It's not been a great weekend for North London clubs, with Spurs following up Arsenal's disappointing 6-3 loss to Manchester City, with Sunday's result keeping Andre Villas-Boas' men seventh in the table, eight points behind their neighbours and biggest rivals.
The game took a while to rev up, but once it did it was holy-crap-Spurs-are-in-some-real-trouble time through to the end of the game.
Suarez, in the form of his life, was unplayable really, thriving and tormenting the Spurs defence after being handed the captain's armband by Brendan Rodgers in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger.
Raheem Sterling, given a start down the right, also had a bright game, giving Kyle Naughton at left-back a torrid time. Had the young winger kept his composure on a couple of occasions with the final ball, then Liverpool would have gone into the lead a lot earlier than the 18 minutes.
When the goal did come though, it was sheer Suarez finishing poetry, with the Uruguayan hitman creating and scoring the goal.
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez scores past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Reuters
Suarez first tried to pick out a run by Jordan Henderson, a pass that very few in the world could have even envisaged. That through ball was cut-out at full stretch by Michael Dawson, with the ball then poked through to Suarez by Henderson.
The Liverpool skipper for the day then took a couple of touches inside the box, making those sashays look ridiculously easy, before applying a finish of the highest order, side-footing it into the bottom corner.
Liverpool were just in the we-are-going-for-the-jugular-mode now, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Henderson controlling the midfield, despite the absence of Gerrard, wonderfully well, and Tottenham could do little, as Dawson and Etienne Capoue, clearly not comfortable playing as a central defender, were put under relentless siege.
Suarez could have got a first half hat-trick for himself, with the 16-goal striker coming close on a couple of occasions, and only the gloves of Hugo Lloris keeping the game at 1-0.
Philippe Coutinho also went agonisingly close to making it 2-0, striking the crossbar, albeit with a bit of a mishit strike, with Glen Johnson then whistling his left-footed thunderbolt a tad high.
Chances for Spurs were rarer than an incorrupt politician, with Nacer Chadli having the best of them, but heading high from eight yards out.
Suarez would of course have a say in Liverpool's second goal, scored in the 40th minute. Sterling found Coutinho with a brilliant long ball from the right, with the Brazilian then putting Henderson through on goal with a wonderful first-touch pass. The Liverpool midfielder saw his strike well saved by Lloris, with the French goalkeeper then doing exceedingly well to keep out Suarez's rebound.
However, Lloris could do nothing to stop the second rebound, tucked in outstandingly on the volley by Henderson.
Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring Liverpool's second goal against Spurs. Reuters
Spurs, who saw Sandro limp out in the first half, with Lewis Holtby coming in, were lucky to go into the break only 2-0 down with Andre Villas-Boas left with plenty to ponder to get his team playing the way they can in the second 45.
Ezekiel Fryers came on for the second half for the mauled-at-the-Liverpool-right-by-Sterling Naughton, and Spurs were almost staring at a halved deficit, but Roberto Soldado, the man who cannot seem to buy a goal in the Premier League, fired high after a nice through ball from Holtby.
Liverpool, though, were in blink-and-we-nearly-score-a-goal attacking form and nearly put the game to bed on 50 minutes when Mamadou Sakho smashed a header onto the crossbar after some brilliant work from Sterling, with Martin Skrtel then firing the rebound wide with the back of the net begging the ball to come and hit it.
Tottenham showed much more quality in the opening minutes of the second half, but their chances of a memorable comeback were put to bed in the 63rd minute when Paulinho received his marching orders from referee Jon Moss for a 2010 World Cup final Nigel De Jong-like Kung Fu challenge on to the chest of Suarez.
It was just keep-ball for Liverpool from then on, and pass the ball to Suarez when you felt like troubling Lloris, with Spurs down to ten men. The Liverpool maestro would add an assist to his ridiculous tally, picking out a cross for Flanagan, the 20-year-old fullback, to thump home brilliantly on the half-volley.
On 84 minutes, a flick of the boot -- a cultured, pure flick of the right boot -- and the ball was soaring over Lloris and into the back of the net, with this-guy-is-just-ridiculous Suarez lifting his arms up in the air in celebration of his 17th goal of the season.
Suarez would then decide he had had enough of scoring, playing a perfect pass for Sterling to slot home in the 89th minute.
Game, set and wonderful match for Liverpool; time for dazed and confused Tottenham to wake up before it's too late.
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