Tottenham 0 Liverpool 1: Leaders Pushed But No Joy For Spurs
It was a result that many would have expected but Spurs pushed the runaway league leaders and at the end, few would have argued with a drawn match. Frustratingly, we seemed to sit back and attempt to absorb and only really started to play when the winning goal went in on 37 minutes.
With Chelsea winning, it’s another setback for our Top Four hopes but does the second half performance, in particular, suggest there are brighter things to come?
The old footballing cliche about taking positives from the game holds little weight when you’ve just lost but there were some decent takeaways from this defeat. Japhet Tanganga made a solid debut in defence and suggested that he has the talent to make that position his own for the rest of the season. Comments on social media even made comparisons to Ledley King and while we’re not getting that carried away, it was a positive opening.
We created too: Son Heung-Min and Giovani Lo Celso both should have brought the side level before the end. While there were good signs, it was a frustrating afternoon that called our early tactics into question while highlighting the lack of cutting edge in the absence of Harry Kane.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said:
This is football. Sometimes you get more than you deserve. Sometimes you get less.
This was an occasion when we got nothing when we deserved something. This is the best team in the world against a team in a difficult moment, with injuries, in a difficult part of the season. The boys were fantastic when we tried to change and create problems.
Next up for Mourinho and his men is the FA Cup third round replay with Middlesbrough at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Tuesday – kick off 8.05 pm. Following that tie – which must be decided on the night – we return to league action and a trip to relegation-threatened Watford in the live Saturday lunchtime kick off.
In a busy period for EPL sides, Tottenham will then host Norwich City on the following Wednesday. A difficult home clash with Manchester City will follow on Sunday February the 2nd and the sides will then break for the latest round of international matches.
The result itself left us in eighth place in the table and the gap between Tottenham and fourth placed Chelsea is now up to nine points. It may be hard to believe that we could have overtaken the Blues and slipped into that last Champions League slot just before Christmas but that gap is a clear reflection of our slump that started during the festive period.
Of course, we are now in a transfer window and have an opportunity to address the deficiencies in the squad – most notably in the striking department as Harry Kane recovers from his annual injury. Any moves will be too late for the Middlesbrough return and we will continue, ourselves with a full preview of that game – landing on Monday.