You couldn’t blame Liverpool fans for fearing the worst ahead of their clash against Tottenham on Saturday evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had only won one match in 2017 – against Plymouth in an FA Cup replay – and found themselves in sixth position heading into the match against title-challenging Spurs.
But Liverpool tore up the form book in the first-half and were 2-0 up after just 18 minute
While the Senegalese winger deservedly earned all of the plaudits, there was another player at the heart of everything Liverpool did – Georginio Wijnaldum.
The Dutchman has had to settle for a place on the bench recently with Klopp preferring Emre Can in midfield – much to the annoyance of many Liverpool supporters.
And after being given a start against the north London club, Wijnaldum showed everyone exactly why he should be starting regularly.
He played a superb pass to Mane for the opener but the moment of the half came when his side were already 2-0 up.
Liverpool started playing some beautiful football and, with confidence high, the ball bounced up to the former Newcastle midfielder.
Rather than controlling it and spreading the ball – something that he probably should have done – he played an outrageous flick into the path of Adam Lallana.
It was simply brilliant and epitomised Liverpool’s first-half performance.
Check it out – and the reaction from the purring Liverpool fans.
— Liverpool Br News (@LFCBrNews) February 11, 2017
— Rich (@richdaley7) February 11, 2017
That Wijnaldum back heel flick pass was phenomenal. He's been awesome, again.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) February 11, 2017
That flick on by Wijnaldum ?
— Magister (@_Ramsix) February 11, 2017
That flick by Wijnaldum is still footballgasm!!! ??????
— Kenny (@PapiiKennyy) February 11, 2017
Wijnaldum backheel flick replay zoom pic.twitter.com/iG24AB5HSC
— Messi the GOAT (@Messinnovative2) February 11, 2017
Wijnaldum going full Zlatan for a moment there with that flick. Deserves so much credit for this half. Underappreciated. #LIVTOT
— Angry Bosnian Fan (@AngryBosnianFan) February 11, 2017
Stop it now Gini Wijnaldum. That flick was naughty.
— Iain Howard (@IainHoward) February 11, 2017
That flick from Wijnaldum ?
— Lorne Malvo (@EzmondTutu) February 11, 2017
That flick by Wijnaldum was naughty!
— Chrissy Böy (@chri52y0110) February 11, 2017
OH MY GOD THAT FLICK FROM WIJNALDUM?❤
— Joe Martinez (@JoeFocusSports) February 11, 2017
Liverpool knew that if they managed to beat Spurs, they would return to the top four until at least Monday night – when Manchester City face Bournemouth.
And, with the form they showed in the opening 45 minutes, there’s no reason to suggest that they can’t maintain it and put a disastrous January behind them.