3 Observations on Spurs from the Tottenham Liverpool Match

Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (L) clashes with Tottenham Hotspur's Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (L) clashes with Tottenham Hotspur's Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

There were some moments that, while not all pivotal, caught our eye during the Tottenham Hotspur Liverpool match here are some of them.

There are lots of moments in a 90+ minute football match, some are significant, and some are very minor. Here are some of the moments that while not all significant stood out to us at HotspurHQ during the Tottenham Liverpool game. One reflects a tactic we want to see more often from Spurs against some teams, another reflects the poor officiating in the Premier League, and third was just a moment that demonstrated he brilliance of Pierre Højbjerg.

Watch the Line

A big part of the Liverpool defense is holding a high line and relying on Alisson to come quickly off his line and help bridge that gap between he and the defense. While Alisson only came out of the box one or two times on the evening, it did not stop Tottenham from working to force the Brazilian back onto his line.

If the keeper hesitates to step up or back, that might be all a player needs to make a difference and score. Thus, while the distance efforts to get cheeky on Alisson did not work out, they were worth doing and should continue against super aggressive sweeper keepers.

The first such moment occurred at about 20 minutes in the match. Tottenham had already broken on Liverpool a couple times and were on the counter again. This is when Serge Aurier went for it, Harry Winks style.

Honestly, I am not sure if it was a shot or a cross and since it did not go in, I seriously doubt anyone bothered to ask but Aurier almost caught Alisson out. Whether cross or shot, Aurier’s effort landed on the top of the net and Alisson was scrambling back to ensure the bar was covered.

The second such occurrence was in the second half, as Harry Kane slid and stole an outlet pass from Alisson after Bergwijn put the keeper under pressure. Knowing the keeper was off his line, Kane struck a nice left footed shot from distance toward the goal. Alisson was again scrambling to get back and managed to get a glove on the ball forcing it wide.

Neither effort ended up scoring and while most will forget the attempts the one person who will not is Alisson himself. If that thought of the possibility of the chip can cause even a second’s hesitation in the future the efforts will be worth it, because that extra second might be all Tottenham need.

3 Calls in 15-Second

Okay, none of these calls were pivotal and maybe had something come of it in the end VAR would have pulled the whole thing back, but such is the current state of officiating in the Premier League that you just do not know. What I do know is that over the course of 15 seconds around the 79th minutes, Anthony Taylor missed three consecutive calls.

The first call was easy enough and would have 100% been seen on VAR had a goal ensued, it was when Moussa Sissoko handled the ball at midfield. I know Tottenham have been playing some basketball, but I do not think it was Moussa intent to dribble the ball, nevertheless that is what he did and it helped him win possession in midfield, missed call one.

That possession from Sissoko led to a back pass to Toby Alderweireld. On one of the few moments in the match that Toby had space, Alderweireld hit a longer ball to Harry Kane. Harry Kane WAS offside but play continued. As Kane went to goal the flag stayed down and Alisson saved Kane’s effort. It was at this point as Tottenham should have been awarded a corner kick that the linesman’s flag should have gone up for the original offside, only it never did. Missed call number two.

Now, maybe Taylor was just making up for the two misses by calling a clear corner kick a goal kick or maybe he was just going for three for a dollar. Either way, instead of corner, after a save from Alisson, Liverpool took a goal kick. We know this was NOT an offside call as the ball would have gone back to the spot, instead Alisson took the ball inside his six.

In the end, nothing really came of the sequence, Kane missed the effort, so VAR never got involved. However, to see three calls so obviously missed in about 15 seconds was just disappointing. In the end Liverpool getting the ball back was the right outcome of the sequence but having three missed calls to get there does not make it right.

Not Compounding His Mistake

Pierre Højbjerg is good and smart, but he is not perfect. Right about 64 minutes, Tottenham were trying to control the ball near midfield as Kane’s chest pass to Lucas Moura was a bit off and the Brazilian was losing the ball. In stepped Pierre Højbjerg to take possession.

Normally this season Pierre Højbjerg has been impeccable with the ball at his feet, but not on this occasion. As Højbjerg stepped to gather the ball in came Mohamed Salah, with a card already to his name Højbjerg pulled back and turned. Then on came Wijnaldum who collected the then loose ball at midfield and started to dribble.

At this point, Højbjerg was kind of in no mans land as his momentum was going the opposite way of the ball and Wijnaldum. The Dane then began to slide in and go from the ball. Almost as if he stopped time and in the middle of the tackle Højbjerg pulled out and slid to his knees harmlessly just behind Wijnaldum.

If he did not already have the yellow, there is no doubt the tackle was coming. However, Højbjerg did have a yellow and losing him for the rest of the match and the next would have been far worse than any goal that may have been scored on the play. For Højbjerg to recognize this and pull out as he did mid-tackle to slide by is a testament to the Dane’s understanding of football. Not a huge moment, but losing him would have been, disaster avoided.

Related Story. Aurier Holds His Own with Mane. light