Last season, Tottenham’s 12-game unbeaten League run came to an end at Liverpool on Mother’s Day and it proved to be a turning point in Spurs season.
Tottenham return to Anfield on Mother’s Day hoping for a result to keep alive their very slim hopes of making it into next season’s Champions League competition. It was after a defeat on Mother’s Day last year, in mid-March, that Tottenham’s ambitions for a top-4 finish took a severe knock.Going into last season’s game against Liverpool, Spurs were unbeaten in a club record 12 Premier League games, sitting 3rd in the table. The previous weekend they had defeated Arsenal at White Hart Lane to open up a 7-point gap on their near neighbours.
At Anfield Spurs had recovered from going a goal down to an early goal scored by Luis Suarez. Holding a 2 – 1 advantage after Jan Vertonghen had scored twice in 8 minutes either side of the interval, Tottenham were comfortably in control of the game until an individual error gifted Liverpool an equaliser out of nothing. A misplaced pass caused confusion in the Spurs defence and the match was level. Encouraged by this Liverpool scored the winner from a penalty won by Suarez and dispatched by Steven Gerrard with 8 minutes to play.
This defeat proved a turning point in Spurs season putting doubt into their minds as the advantage to Arsenal reduced. The warning signs were there as Spurs squandered a 3-goal lead against Inter in the San Siro only winning on the away goals rule when Emmanuel Adebayor scored in extra time. They lost their next home league game to Fulham and while results picked again with wins over Swansea and Manchester City, injuries to Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in the Europa League game against Basel were a major blow. Dropped points to Everton and Wigan were to prove costly and by early May, with Arsenal on an unbeaten run since losing at White Hart Lane, Tottenham went to Stamford Bridge needing a win. After a 2 – 2 draw, Spurs were no longer in control of their own destiny.
From a position of strength at Anfield, Tottenham lost control of the game and yielded three points which would have made all the difference to their season – it was a turning point.
After defeating Spurs, Liverpool lost at Southampton but that was their only defeat in the league between mid-February and the end of the season. While finishing 7th, Liverpool built up a confidence and a style of play with a number of big wins, especially at home, which they have carried over into this season. In the past 13 months since losing to West Brom at Anfield in February, 2013, Liverpool have lost only 6 games in the Premier League and only Southampton have come away from Anfield with all three points.
Tottenham will be hoping for a better outcome on this Mother’s Day trip to Anfield.