Inept Tottenham Concede Five at Home To Liverpool


Andre Villas-Boas [Photo: Alan Hill]In another inept performance Tottenham were over-run by a lively Liverpool side who out-classed them and out-played them for ninety minutes at White Hart Lane. They scored five goals as a half-empty stadium greeted the final whistle with a crescendo of boos.

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Liverpool 5

Scorers: Suarez (2), Sterling, Henderson, Flanaghan

Team: Lloris; Walker, Capoue, Dawson, Naughton (Fryers); Paulinho, Sandro (Holtby); Lennon, Dembele (Townsend), Chadli; Soldado Subs: (unused) Friedel, Lamela, Sigurdsson, Defoe

Andre Villas-Boas made just two changes from the team which won at Sunderland last weekend. Sandro started in place of Lewis Holtby and Roberto Soldado who scored a hat-trick against Anzhi in the mid-week Europa League game was preferred to Jermain Defoe. Injury and fitness worries meant that Michael Dawson and Etienne Capoue continued their central defensive partnership with Kyle Naughton at left back. Nacer Chadli was selected on the left wing to provide cover.

Tottenham were second best all over the pitch during the whole game. Liverpool were quicker to the ball and put Spurs under pressure at the back from the start and could have been one up inside the first minute but the shot was weak. Suarez and Sterling were a constant problem for the make-shift Tottenham defence and their pacy counter-attacking play had Spurs struggling while going forward Spurs offered little as Liverpool closed them down immediately.

After a period of increasing pressure, Liverpool went ahead and as has happened recently Spurs were partly to blame for their own downfall. After 17 minutes Liverpool closed Spurs down inside their own half and the challenge saw the ball fall to Suarez, Dawson got his foot to the attempted through ball but Henderson kept his feet and played it back to Suarez who took it on into the box and shot past Hugo Lloris.

Two minutes later Lloris saved at the edge of the area as Suarez broke through. Liverpool’s counter-attacking was pulling the Spurs defence apart and Dawson was booked when he was forced to pull Suarez down. The visitors had a shot strike the bar with the Spurs defence all over the place but after Sandro went off injured, Chadli headed over from a Holtby corner and then the young German shot past after good play by Chadli and Soldado created the opening.

It was short-lived and Liverpool doubled their advantage when Henderson got to a long high ball. Lloris blocked his first shot, it fell to Suarez and the goalkeeper again got his hand to the ball but when it fell to Henderson he made no mistake this time.

Late in the half Soldado had the ball in the net when the goalkeeper miss-controlled the ball near the edge of the area. As the players challenged for the loose ball, Soldado shoulder charged the keeper who fell but when Soldado placed the ball in the net, the referee gave a free-kick against him.

The second half continued as the first with Liverpool always dangerous and any forward movement by Spurs failing against the quick tackling of the Liverpool defenders and midfield players. Zeki Fryers replaced Naughton at half-time but Sterling continued to trouble Spurs. Holtby played Soldado in after 48 minutes but he shot over and then from a Sterling cross Sakho’s header hit the post. A high cross by Holtby was dropped by the goalkeeper but Soldado hooked the ball over. It was Spurs best speriod as they claimed a penalty when Soldado was held as he tried to reach a cross by Aaron Lennon after the winger’s shot was blocked.

Andros Townsend replaced Mousa Dembele after an hour but two minutes later Paulinho was sent off for an accidental high challenge on Suarez. The game was now ready for Liverpool to assume total control as they stretched 10-man Spurs.

With 20 minutes to play Lloris saved at Suarez feet at the edge of the area but four minutes later it was 3 – 0 when Flanaghan scored from a cross by Suarez to the back post as Liverpool stretched the Spurs defence with another through ball.

On 82 minutes Lloris saved at Sterling’s feet but a minute later he could do nothing as Suarez lifted the ball over him from the edge of the box as he rushed out to try and deal with another through ball. The agony was completed when Sterling added the fifth with two minutes remaining when played in by Suarez.

Liverpool controlled the game throughout and were quicker to the ball and denied Spurs any time to play the ball. They counter-attacked swiftly and their through ball pulled the Spurs defence apart. Spurs had no attempts on target through the ninety minutes.

Liverpool move into second place and Spurs remain in 7th place but with many questions to be asked and answered in the coming days after such a poor display in a crucial match which has determined their season as one which could see them slip well away from the positions they have enjoyed in recent seasons.