Oct 22, 2017

Spurs beat up on Liverpool, making us look like idiots

But we're glad to be idiots on the day. (For the uninitiated: our official prediction for this game was a scoreless draw, a score which didn't even hold up for five minutes). It was a tremendous performance by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. An absolute clinic by the lads in the white shirts who should have rightfully put the game out of sight in the first 25 minutes. As it were, it took a Dele Alli goal on the stroke of halftime to reassert a two-goal advantage and effectively decide things. Spurs will take it. So will their supporters, me included. After almost five years of frustration against Liverpool, a compelling victory that puts Tottenham firmly in the top three in the Premiership table and potentially sets them up as the main title challenger to Manchester City this season.

We knew before this match that Liverpool's defense was poor. But we didn't quite know the extent. Dejan Lovren had one of the more pathetic performances you'll ever see from a Premiership defender. At times it looked like he was playing for Spurs. It was a joke, except no Liverpool supporters are laughing. Neither was the master of Gegenpressing, Juergen Klopp, who pulled the Croatian defender for Oxlad-Chamberlain midway through the first half. Gegen means against in German so maybe the concept calls for going against your own team. If so, Liverpool executed beautifully.

Credit Mauricio Pochettino again for rolling the dice with his 'WTF' lineup, same as he did in Madrid at midweek. When the starting eleven were announced, nobody even knew where people would line up. Was Aurier on the right or left? Where would Eriksen, Alli and Son play? (The latter hopefully not at left wingback again, as he did rather disastrously on one occasion last season). It took a deep dive on social media to at least answer the Aurier question.

It turns out Son was Spurs' most advanced player for most of the early stages of the game. Eriksen was on the right wing, with Alli on the left flanking Harry Winks. Maybe it was Son's positioning that threw off Lovren and the other Liverpool defenders on Tottenham's first goal. Whatever the reason, Lovren looked completely lost, but credit Trippier for a gutsy pass and Harry Kane for persevering until the ball was in the back of the Liverpool net. Less than five minutes were played. Just a few moments later, Spurs got their second goal, effectively achieving what Germans call the Vorentscheidung. Lovren was again at fault, this time whiffing on a header that put Kane and Son in on goal. Punditarena.com has some excellent analysis of both goals, complete with video.

No comments:

Post a Comment