Tottenham as a team and individually were out-classed by Liverpool. From the outset Spurs were chasing shadows as Liverpool worked tirelessly to deny the Tottenham players time on the ball. They surrounded a Spurs player as soon as they received a pass and frequently dispossessed them or forced them into an error. When they were in possession, Liverpool counter-attacked with pace and with one pass opened up a very uncertain home defence.
From the opening minutes Sterling troubled Kyle Naughton but Nacer Chadli who was in the team, presumably to provide cover for his full back, was nowhere to be seen. It was only after some time that Spurs took some action to reduce his early influence.
No element of the Spurs team is free from blame – the threat of Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon on the right was completely nullified by the attacking instincts of Liverpool and two players who are usually able to cause problems for most defences had very ineffective games.
Dawson and Etienne Capoue were a makeshift central defensive pairing and they were constantly caught out by the pace, control and movement of the Liverpool midfield players and striker. Hugo Lloris had a few uncertain moments but as he was left so exposed by his defence it’s no wonder that he looked uncomfortable, being forced to rush out frequently at the feet of on-rushing Liverpool players.
The decision to start with Roberto Soldado – was it right or wrong? It’s impossible to tell as he had no support or service. In similar circumstances, Jermain Defoe would in all probability not have done any better.
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