Spurs dealt a blow as Reds hit their title hopes

Brian Jeeves

Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Liverpool

Defeat, a blow to their title aspirations and a worrying injury to Harry Kane. I think it’s fair to presume that Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur have had better nights.

The Lilywhites missed a big opportunity to make ground, losing to a Liverpool side that had seemingly forgotten, not only how to win, but where the goal is as well.

It simply wasn’t Tottenham’s night. A minimal VAR decision ruled Heung-Min Son’s early effort off-side. Then an evening of questionable defending took centre stage as Roberto Firmino pounced after Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris dallied in first-half stoppage-time.

Lloris was at the scene of the crime again soon after the restart – pushing Sadio Mane’s strike into the path of Trent Alexander-Arnold. There was no way back.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s strike halved the deficit, but Liverpool added a third. Joe Rodon hesitant – Mane profiting. Game over.

Kane was eventually forced off following a firm but fair challenge from Jordan Henderson: “For Harry to leave a game, when he wants to play always and with the team losing, for Harry to come out is not a nothing injury,” Mourinho bemoaned.

“It’s an injury. For how long I can’t tell you, I don’t know, we have to wait and see.”

On the performance, the Lilywhites chief added: “It’s a performance totally affected by defensive individual mistakes. The team was very solid, very confident and in the first half we made three defensive mistakes, individual. In the first minute, almost a goal. In the middle of the half, the Mane shot and the Hugo save and in the last minute for the goal.

“The team was playing well, in control, confident. Pierre and Tanguy were playing very, very well in midfield positions. We scored a beautiful goal, unlucky it was offside, but the team was solid and under control. Losing 1-0 was very frustrating, especially the nature of the goal, and to lose Harry was not easy.

“Even so, the team comes to the second half with the intention to fight. And the second goal, I don’t need to speak about it. Again, great reaction, great goal. And another one, Firmino handball, disallowed, but another one.

“Then the third goal, another one. The third goal hurts me because it was a mistake by a kid who played very very well. Joe Rodon played very, very well, So I feel very sorry for him and I’m happy with him. But obviously, a poor performance.”

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Sunday, January 31 when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium (7:15pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Rodon, Dier, Davies, Aurier (Winks 46’), Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Doherty, Bergwijn (Bale 81’), Kane (Lamela 46’), Son Subs not used: Hart, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Sissoko, Lucas, Vinicius

Liverpool: Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Matip (Phillips 46’), Henderson (Capt), Robertson, Wijnaldum, Thiago (Jones 78’), Milner, Salah, Firmino (Origi 87’), Mane Subs not used: Kelleher, Williams, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Lee Betts and Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan.


Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk