Cape Town - Liverpool required a 83rd minute winner from Mario Balotelli to overcome a persistent Tottenham Hotspur side at Anfield on Tuesday night.
AS IT HAPPENED: Liverpool v Spurs
The match was a brilliant advertisement for the English game with Harry Kane and Liverpool's Jordan Ibe impressing throughout the fixture.
The fast-paced match was helped at times by some wayward passing which Ibe, in particular, took full advantage of.
Daniel Sturridge started his first game since August but was unable to find the back of the net, twice denied by Lloris and once by the woodwork.
It was Sturridge's weaving run that earned Liverpool a penalty which Steven Gerrard, who had another quiet night, slotted to see the outgoing captain rise to fifth on the all-time scoring charts for the Reds.
It was Mario Balotelli, however, who would steal the headlines.
It was his 83rd minute toe poke from an Adam Lallana cross that would send the Anfield faithful into hysterics but the mercurial striker hardly celebrated and was the first man off the pitch and down the tunnel as the final whistle blew.
Player Ratings: Liverpool
1. Simon Mignolet - 6 - Produced a stunning save to deny Lamela and made a few more key clearances.
2. Alberto Moreno - 5 - Average performance from Moreno. Nothing for him to write home about.
3. Mamadou Sakho - 4 - Not his best evening. On his bum for Kane's goal and used his hands to ankle tap Dembele.
4. Emre Can - 6 - Composed in defence but looked much better going forward after Lovren came on for Gerrard.
5. Martin Skrtel - 6 - Still the boss of the Liverpool backline, did his job without any fuss.
6. Jordan Henderson - 6.5 - Did his job without making a scene. Good hardworking player.
7. Jordan Ibe - 8 - Tested the Spurs defenders throughout, not the finished product but still very exciting.
8. Steven Gerrard - 5.5 - Completed just 71% of his passes on the night. Not sure he still has enough in the tank to add real value to his side on the pitch.
9. Lazar Markovic - 7 - Scored the opener but struggled to kick on from then on.
10. Philippe Coutinho - 7 - Some very good enterprising play from Coutinho but a little bit too inconsistent with his final ball.
11. Daniel Sturridge - 6.5 - Rusty performance from Sturridge, who looked afraid of shooting with his right boot.
Best of the reserves:
12. Mario Balotelli - 7 - Scored the winner, his first goal in 769 league minutes. Enough said.
Player ratings: Tottenham Hotspur
1. Hugo Lloris - 4 - Poor display from the Frenchman. He should've kept out the first goal but helpless for the rest.
2. Kyle Walker - 5- Quiet evening for Walker, who probably should've done more in attack.
3. Eric Dier - 4 - Probably best used as a centre back and it should last night, Dier never really looked in control of his game.
4. Jan Vertonghen - 4.5 - A night to forget for this ordinarily solid defender.
5. Danny Rose - 3 - Shocking performance from Rose as Jordan Ibe ran all over/around/past him.
6. Nabil Bentaleb - 4.5 - Below par night for Bentaleb, who failed to do his midfield job of defending well and breaking down Liverpool's attack.
7. Ryan Mason - 5.5 - Good but not great on the night. Looked likely to get a second yellow before being substituted.
8. Mousa Dembele - 6 - Battled hard all evening but unable to really take control of the midfield.
9. Christian Eriksen - 7.5 - This guy is good. Seriously good. Surprised by his manager's decision to withdrew him considering his reputation for late goals.
10. Erik Lamela - 6.5 - He displayed good attacking intent all night but his game dropped off towards the end of the match.
11. Harry Kane - 8 - Brilliant when in possession but starved of enough ball to cause the Reds more problems. Kane scored his 11th goal in 10 league games and provided Dembele the ball for Spurs' second goal.
Best of the reserves:
12. Paulinho - 5 - Pochettino did not do his side any favours from the touchline, as his substitutes failed to impact the game positively.
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Follow Sport24's Wade Pretorius on Twitter: @wadepretorius