LFC’s soft underbelly returns with a vengeance at Wembley…
After two consecutive clean sheets it was back to familiar deficiencies for Liverpool on Sunday as a catalogue of defensive errors helped Tottenham Hotspur to a comfortable 4-1 home Premier League win.
Jürgen Klopp‘s men inexplicably looked half asleep in the opening stages and their lacklustre efforts could conceivably have resulted in a three or four goal deficit within the opening 20 minutes.
As it was the hosts had to be content with just a two-goal lead courtesy of strikes from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Both goals owed much to horrendous individual errors from Dejan Lovren, who wrongly tried to play offside for the opener and was then caught under a high ball for the second.
The Croatian defender was put out of his own personal nightmare midway through the half when Klopp replaced him with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and others in red were lucky not to receive similar treatment.
Not least Emre Can who’s own laboured performance was already in the dire category long before he dallied, over-run the ball and then fouled Kane to concede a free-kick from which Spurs added a third on the stroke of the interval.
Prior to that Mohamed Salah, who was the best of a bad bunch for Klopp, had actually made it 2-1 after racing onto a wonderful through-ball by Jordan Henderson.
Spurs’ goal seconds before half-time, converted by Dele Alli after a poor clearing header by Joël Matip, proved a killer blow to Liverpool’s hopes of getting something out of a trying afternoon and the final nail in their coffin followed in the 56th minute.
Simon Mignolet was the visiting player committing an all-too familiar error on this occasion as a miscued punch fell to Jan Vertonghen and, after a good block on the line by Roberto Firmino, Kane was on hand to sweep home his second of the game.
The Merseysiders did go close to pulling a goal back on a number of occasions in the final half hour, not least when a wonderful Philippe Coutinho effort was somehow palmed onto the woodwork by Hugo Loris.
James Milner and Salah also tested the French goalkeeper in the closing stages as Spurs visibly took their collective foot off the pedal.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, an agitated Klopp pulled no punches when analysing his side’s display.
“In all the decisive moments, we were not there,” remarked the German. “It’s difficult to talk about because I don’t want to create headlines, but today, it was the defending in all parts and decisive parts.
“Did the boys want it? I would say 100% yes. You could see it. Even when we were 4-1 down I think we improved in a few situations.
“To be honest, I don’t want to say anything positive about us. It’s not attitude, maybe that’s how you may think. It’s not that the boys thought: ‘Oh seven at Maribor and it will carry on like this without doing anything’.
“I said it a few times, whatever you write about us in a negative way, you are right. We are wrong.”
Defeat leaves Liverpool languishing ninth in the standings, seven points behind Spurs and 12 off leaders Manchester City after nine games of the campaign.
The Reds will look to bounce back when they welcome newly-promoted Huddersfield Town to Anfield next weekend.
So that’s what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below…
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