Tottenham suffered another heavy defeat at Anfield as Liverpool totally dominated the game from the first minute when poor defensive play resulted in an own goal to set the home team on their way to a four goal win.
Liverpool 4 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Scorers: Suarez, Henderson, Coutinho, Kaboul (o.g)
Team: Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen (Dawson), Rose; Bentaleb (Dembele), Sigurdsson; Lennon (Townsend), Chadli, Eriksen; Soldado. Subs: Friedel, Sandro, Winks, Kane.
Tottenham finished yet another game against a top-4 side, as a totally dis-spirited team ruing poor defending and individual mistakes which set Liverpool on their way to the top of the Premier League.
Spurs never recovered from yet again conceding an early goal when poor defensive cover by Christian Eriksen allowed Johnston to play a cross into the 6-yard box. Both of the Tottenham central defenders tried to play the ball but the touch off Vertonghen took it on to Kaboul who deflected it into his own goal – Time: 1minute 38 seconds. Just the start Spurs had wanted to avoid.
Buoyed by this early goal Liverpool set about looking for more with quick movement and passing, getting players forward and Luis Suarez a constant threat. Spurs first foray forward came after 6 minutes when Eriksen was played into the area but his pass went astray. On 10 minutes a run and cross from the right by Suarez was much more dangerous but was just too high for Sturridge.
Vertonghen went off with an injury after 22 minutes to be replaced by Michael Dawson. Dawson’s first touch was to play a ball towards Kaboul just inside his own half but with Suarez close at hand the French international was immediately under pressure and Suarez got away to score the second after 24 minutes, his 29th Premier League goal of the season, setting a new record for Liverpool.
On 26 minutes a shot by Eriksen was blocked and when the ball bounced up, Sigurdsson got a header on target but the goalkeeper collected it easily.
Liverpool controlled the remainder of the half as Spurs created nothing with their attempts at goal being a shot from Bentaleb which the goalkeeper held and an effort by Soldado which the goalkeeper punched clear. On 40 minutes, more poor defensive play by Spurs almost gifted Liverpool a third goal. A poor throw by Lloris put Kaboul under pressure and from the cross a Suarez header thundered off the bar and was cleared off the line by Bentaleb.
Throughout Liverpool played at a much quicker tempo, were more alert to what was going on around them and were far superior to Spurs whose passing was poor and showed little understanding as a team.
Sodado got away from Agger but the ball was put out for a goal kick after 51 minutes. Three minutes later, Coutinho picked up a pass as Liverpool broke from defence. He ran at Spurs and beat Lloris with a low shot from outside the area.
Bentaleb had a shot over after 58 minutes and was then replaced by Mousa Dembele with Andros Townsend coming on for Aaron Lennon. In the 67th minute, a mistake by Danny Rose allowed Sturridge into the area, he back-heeled towards goal but Lloris made a save. Liverpool toyed with Spurs who managed to get their first corner after 72 minutes which only led to a Liverpool break which Lloris had to come out and clear midway into the Spurs half.
In the 74th minute, Henderson made it 4 – 0 direct from a free-kick wide on the left. He played the ball into the area and as two Liverpool players and Dawson challenged, the ball bounced and kept low going straight into the net.
A minute later Chadli had a shot blocked. Lloris punched a deep cross from the edge of his area and in the 80th minute Soldado was played into the area but a heavy challenge cleared ball and man. In the final minutes Eriksen shot over and from a corner Dawson headed over. The goalkeeper saved from Eriksen in added time but Liverpool had totally dominated the game with Spurs again putting up little fight against a top side.
Liverpool played well but Spurs made it so easy for them. Liverpool were a threat every time they went forward, their midfield was quick and inventive while the defenders stood strong in every challenge. Spurs were poor defensively and lacked ideas going forward constantly giving the ball away and Soldado as a lone striker posed no threat to the Liverpool defence.
Tottenham have along way to go to get near the standard at which Liverpool played. They lacked drive and ideas and there is little indication that they know what to do to improve. It was another poor day at the office.