After the physical and emotional stress of Saturday’s derby demolition of Arsenal, this was always going to be a tough ask. Some belated thoughts on Spurs 3-2 loss at Anfield –
- It was a shame we had another game so soon after the derby. Rather than having a week to savour the victory we had to make the tricky trip up north just three days later. After the emotion of vanquishing our closest rivals, this felt like an anticlimax.
- Mauricio Pochettino normally rotates heavily for midweek matches but given the importance of this tie and the momentum gained at the weekend he had to name the same team. The unfortunate side effect was that Tottenham looked tired and a little off the pace from the start.
- It’s fair to say that Liverpool have a good record against Spurs, having beaten us 5-0, 4-0 and 3-0 in our last three meetings. Each one of those was with a different manager – all three tried to outwit Brendan Rodgers and all three failed miserably. This felt different, Tottenham were much more competitive.
- Some of the early play was very sloppy, especially the passing in midfield. This was partly down to tiredness but also partly because of Liverpool’s great pressing, cutting off passing lanes, stopping our attacks at their root – Nabil Bentaleb.
- Brendan Rodgers seems to have the Kryptonite for Tottenham’s defence – his players and tactics match up well with Spurs’ weaknesses. His team ruthlessly exposed our high defensive line and our habit of losing runners. At the weekend Liverpool had looked toothless against an Everton side content to sit back. It is to our credit that we took the game to our opponents, especially as the away side, but it did play into their hands.
- Harry Kane scored yet again. He is running incredibly hot at the moment – his goals to shot ratio in this season’s Premier League is 21%, higher than anyone else apart from Chelsea’s Diego Costa (28%). Surely he can’t continue at this rate?
- Erik Lamela was the one player who didn’t play well against Arsenal. He put in a lot of useful work but didn’t do a lot with the ball. In this game he was a lot better, setting up Kane’s goal with a nice pass and testing Mignolet with a fantastic hit in the second half. His threat in both attack and defence was evident in the statistics as he came equal top in the Spurs squad for key passes (3) and top for tackles (5).
- Our fullbacks were the unsung heroes of the derby victory. Here they were poor, constantly exposed by Liverpool’s pacey, mobile players and quick passing. With plenty of cover, Rose didn’t need to dive in and give away the penalty.
- With no FA Cup game we now have a welcome break to take stock but it’s going to hurt watching the fifth round from the sidelines.
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What did you make of this performance? Let me know your opinions in the comments below.
I thought Rogers subs were more telling than ours. Lallana’s run and cross were crucial for thier 3rd. A pacey sub might have been more useful than Soldado ( I think Andros was on the bench) Also Hugo had more errors than usual. The first goal was stoppable and I thought he might have cut out the cross before Ballotilli gor there. A good summary …thanks
Good points. With the both team’s tiring it is odd Townsend didn’t get a chance.
Spurs were not at their best in that game and yet Liverpool were defeatable. We made too many bad passes and gave the ball away too easily which advantaged Liverpool. Too many unnecessary back passes that were loose and easily intercepted by Liverpool. Danny Rose had a bad day. He should have been substituted earlier on by Davies. Why on earth did he give that penalty away ?. There was no need for him to tackle the way he did. It is always a big risk in the penalty box. He fouls too often for my liking. Sturridge wanted a penalty and he got it through Rose’s clumsiness. We still continiue to lose matches through silly individual mistakes. At the very least, we should have picked one point from this game.
Rose was so good against Arsenal but all his old faults were evident here. Agreed we should have got something from the game.
Liverpool fan here, though you lost, it was a much improved performance after the three debacles before it, game could’ve gone either way. I till be interesting to see how this top 4 race pans out. Btw, nicely unbiased article here, much better than some of the bitter ones I’ve seen.
Thanks. The league is shaping up nicely.
Jordan Ibe looks a good prospect.
Good job praising Lamela. i thought he was one of our better players against Liverpool and i’m happy to see him improve game after game.
A lot of Spurs fans rightfully mentioned how Liverpool’s subs made the difference whereas ours did not. I was surprised to see Paulinho come on instead of Stambouli. The Brazilian did not play badly per se but I was surprised to see Poch going for the win instead of sitting back and closing shop. I admire the fact that we gave it a try, especially after coming back twice – but in the light of the tiredness and sloppiness, maybe we should have sit back and grab the draw.
Rodgers definitely made the better subs. I would have liked to see Chadli earlier.
I think he should have rotated a couple out of the team that played Arsenal. Davies for Rose you have already mentioned; I would also have rested Mason or Bentaleb in favour of Stambouli. Maybe even Dembele for Chadli; although Moussa has been great lately he hasn’t had that much first team football lately and looked jaded, while starting Chadli would also have allowed Eriksen to roam the middle again.
To get anything at Anfield we would have needed to be at our dynamic, aggressive best and only a few days after a physically and mentally exhausting NLD, as you say it was a bridge too far.
Delighted with the spirit though.
I would have started Chadli as he is a very good player and it would have served to rest others. I would have substituted Rose very early in the game as he was off form, much too slow, and he needlessly gave a penalty away which cost us a draw at the very least. Rodgers made a clever substitution but not Pochettino. That was the difference. We must go all out now to beat West Ham if we want to stay in the race for that 4th. spot…