Raheem Sterling stole the show from Mario Balotelli in Liverpool’s win at Tottenham, says Neil Lennon.
With the Reds’ £16m new signing starting up front at White Hart Lane, all eyes were on the former Man City striker.
Balotelli was typically at the centre of the action until he was substituted in the second half, but it was Sterling who made the decisive contributions as Liverpool eased to a 3-0 win in Brendan Rodgers’ 100th game in charge of the club.
Sterling, who tucked in the opener and proved a threat throughout the Super Sunday clash, was commended by Lennon for his attacking play and the Sky Sports pundit says the England ace offers Liverpool a genuine threat.
“We were talking about Mario Balotelli before the game but we should be talking about Raheem Sterling,” said the former Celtic boss.
“He was absolutely outstanding. He lit the game up and gives a dimension to Liverpool not a lot of other teams have.
“He’s an eliminator, plays between the lines and goes by people – and most of the time he has the end product as well. He’s really well balanced and he’s quick.”
Jamie Redknapp was equally impressed with Sterling’s display and says his position against Spurs – playing at the top of a midfield diamond – was key.
Usually posted out wide, Sterling can have greater impact on the game from central areas, says Redknapp.
“He’s brave, he’s aggressive and he makes a real difference to this team,” said the former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder.
“I love him playing at the top of the diamond because he’s always involved. With players like him people say you’ve got to play him wide. Why? Get him inside where he can do most damage. He’s so hard to play against.”
Liverpool added their second shortly after the break with a Steven Gerrard penalty and although Redknapp felt it was a poor decision to award the spot-kick for Eric Dier’s tug on Joe Allen – “it’s the softest penalty you could wish to see” - he believes the eventual 3-0 scoreline reflected the difference between the two teams.
“Tottenham have conceded 12 goals against Liverpool in their last three games and there was a gulf between the two sides,” he said.
“Spurs might have to do a little bit of work to bring a couple of players in to freshen it up. It’s alright doing it against the likes of QPR but you’ve got to do it in the big games.”