Some thoughts on our defeat against Liverpool:
Spurs were simply outclassed when they met Liverpool on Saturday evening in an important league clash. However, the Lillywhites were not just outclassed they were outpaced, Liverpool’s intensity carved us right open and our vulnerabilities were brutally exposed by Jurgen Klopp’s men. As much as I am disappointed about Saturdays defeat I am not distraught, I wasn’t confident about this game in the slightest our poor record at Anfield had continued over the last few seasons and it’s one of the most intimidating grounds in English football. However, it was Liverpool’s poor run of form that frightened me going in to this game, the Reds were without a win in five matches before Saturday’s game, and with a manager of Klopp’s calibre you just knew that Liverpool would be back with a bang. And that sparkling attacking football which had been missing from Klopp’s side over recent months, returned in some style as their high pressing play caught us out early on and after two quick goals by Sadio Mane we were left desperately chasing the game. The electric pace of Mane had gotten the better of Ben Davies and we were helpless in stopping the Senegalese forward for the opening goal. Mane’s second two minutes later was as a result of some breathtaking football from Liverpool they were sharp and decisive, but Spurs let them play that way and despite making two fine saves Lloris was helpless in denying Mane’s second.
It’s too simplistic to proportion the blame on just one or two of our players for Saturdays defeat, the team as a whole just didn’t turn up, they failed to show what Liverpool had produced, which was fast attacking football. Our intensity was not evident at Anfield, we were slow out the blocks just like we had been a few weeks early against Man City where we were fortunate to record a 2-2 draw. Pochettino will be frustrated that his side hadn’t learnt from Man City game and were unable to cope with such a fast team, the fact that we produced just one clear cut chance will also frustrate Pochettino. When Liverpool came to the Lane back in September they played similar to yesterday, they were sharp out of the blocks they were slick and cut us apart in the first half with their box to box passing. Although we were fortunate to muster a 1- 1 draw on that day, we had shown on Saturday that we had not yet learnt from past experiences and I am sure that Pochettino will be hugely dissatisfied with Saturdays display. I think it’s key in highlighting who we were missing the most, Danny Rose. Rose is such a key player at left wing back his powerful attacking play was sorely missed. When Rose plays at left back our dynamics are completely different, in addition the absence of Jan Vertonghen was again felt. We’ve got nine very winnable league fixtures ahead of us and I’m confident that the team will bounce back well from this game. However, are focus is on to our next two cup matches away to Gent and Fulham respectively, both massive games in our season. COYS
My player review:
– Hugo Lloris: Lloris was superb in between the sticks making seven saves, Lloris was the reason we did not concede five or more goals. The Frenchmans diving save to deny Mane his hat trick was world class.
– Kyle Walker: Didn’t have his usual impact but this was due to the way the game panned out, though I did think Walker played well.
– Toby Alderweireld: Made some vital blocks/interceptions but he couldn’t withstand the rampant Liverpool attack.
– Eric Dier: Like Alderweireld he couldn’t stop Liverpool on his own, Dier was decent and his first half challenge was top draw.
– Ben Davies: Struggled to keep up with Mane on the left, Mane had acres more pace than Davies and the system just didn’t workout to Davies’s advantage. Davies is an intelligent full back and I’m sure he’ll come back from this game stronger.
– Victor Wanyama: Not his usual dominant self in the centre of the park.
– Mousa Dembele: I thought Dembele played well, made some nice powerful runs from the midfield and got back well.
– Son: Unable to make much of an impact down the left, his first half chance being Spurs’ best of the game.
– Christian Eriksen: The Danish international was quite anonymous, wasn’t able to really get in to the game.
– Dele Alli: Like Eriksen, Alli wasn’t able to make much of an attacking impact on the game but Alli did show some nice pieces of attacking play.
– Harry Kane: Just didn’t get the service.
– Harry Winks: Was tidy as ever when coming on, and provided some steel to the midfield.
– Vincent Janssen: Wasn’t on long enough to make an impact.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lucas (Klavan 82), Milner; Henderson (c), Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane (Alexander-Arnold 90+2), Coutinho (Can 77), Firmino. Substitutes (not used): Karius, Moreno, Origi, Sturridge.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c); Walker, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Wanyama, Dembele (Sissoko 77); Son (Janssen 82), Eriksen (Winks 68), Dele; Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Nkoudou.
Goals: Liverpool – Mane 16, 18.
Yellow cards: Liverpool – Henderson 53, Matip 56, Milner 68; Spurs – Son 28, Kane 67, Winks 71, Dier 78, Alderweireld 83.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.