Liverpool FC thrash Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane as Luis Suarez scores a brace.
At the start of the match questions were raised as to how Liverpool will come with the absence of both Sturridge and Gerrard, and this performance was an emphatic answer to that. With Suarez in this form, Liverpool have to be considered as one of the title contenders this season. The Uruguayan international showed once again why is considered as the best player in the league and is arguably the best striker in the world at the moment. Liverpool came into this game on the back of five consecutive defeats at White Hart Lane and this performance can make up for all of that. The Merseyside club jump back into second place and are now only three points behind the league leaders Arsenal. Brendan Rodgers’ men prepare to host Cardiff next, before two of the toughest fixtures in their calendar – away matches against Manchester City and Chelsea in space of three days.
Tottenham have dropped down to seventh in the league and Andre Villas Boas will come under tremendous pressure after this loss. Spurs’ home form has been their main cause for concern this season. The London club have won only three of their eight matches at White Hart Lane in the league. After a summer of massive investment, the minimum that is expected from Tottenham is a place in the top four, but considering how competitive a lot of teams have been at the top, they will find it hard to claw their back. Losing 6-0 against Manchester City away from home is one thing, while a 0-5 thrashing against Liverpool at White Hart Lane is a certainly unacceptable. They now travel to face Southampton in their next game, it will be interesting to see if Andre Villas Boas makes any drastic change to his side ahead of that fixture.
Liverpool hardly missed Gerrard in the midfield as Lucas, Henderson and Allen out up a wonderful performance. The Mersyeside club looked sharper with or without the ball and put Tottenham under tremendous pressure. Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 18th minute of the match as Jordan Henderson played him through. The striker showed nimble foot to avoid challenges and placed his shot past Lloris. Liverpool created numerous chances after that and Hugo Lloris was kept busy in the Tottenham goal. Finally Jordan Henderson doubled the lead in the 40th minute after Lloris made a good double save. The midfielder was set up by a wonderful ball from Coutinho, but his initial shot was saved by the Frenchman, who also managed to keep up Suarez’s attempt on the goal in the follow up, but Lloris was helpless when the ball once again dropped to Henderson and he volleyed it into the back of the net.
Tottenham’s troubles were amplified in the second half as Paulinho was sent off for a rash and high challenge on Suarez. Spurs went down to 10-men and Andre Villas Boas could only watch on his team’s misery. Liverpool scored their third as Jon Flanagan scored a rare goal after being set up by Luis Suarez. It was a thunderous finish from the left-back, who was in the side in place of injured Enrique. Luis Saurez completed his brace just nine minutes after this goal. The forward applied a lovely chipped finish after Luis Alberto found him with a long ball. Raheem Sterling completed the rout five minutes later and Suarez provided another assist with a lovely through ball. It was a deserved goal for Sterling who put in a wonderful performance on the right.
Brendan Rodgers was delighted with the result and labelled this as the most complete performance his arrival at the club.
“It was fantastic. It was everything we’d wanted out of the game.
“First and foremost, our work-rate, how we pressed the ball as a team, was outstanding and that earned us the right to play.
“We got five goals and could easily have had seven or eight. That was probably the most complete performance since I’ve been here, and just continues the evolution of what we’re trying to do.
“We just want to continue improving, continue to work on how we play. Today was great and I really enjoyed watching the team today in every aspect.” – The Liverpool manager said.
Rodgers also went on to praise Jordan Henderson and Jon Flanagan for their outstanding performances.
“We talked in the last couple of days about Tottenham that obviously the goalkeeper plays high and the back four play a high line, and Jordan’s runs and Joe Allen’s runs, particularly in the first half, were exceptional.
“He’s an outstanding talent, Jordan. He can pass the ball, he’s got good stature and, as you’ve seen today, his goals and assists were so important to the team.
“He’s [Flanagan] an incredible young player. He’s a wonderful example for any player to stick at it.
“He’s a youngster that no-one has asked to take him on loan, apart from one team, and he’s just played in the reserves and for the Under 21 team, but it doesn’t matter as his attitude every single day of his life is incredible.
“Since he’s come into the team at full-back, he hasn’t put a foot wrong.” – Rodgers added.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas Boas has meanwhile shouldered the blame for this loss and hoped that his team can put out an improved performance against Manchester City. He also praised Liverpool for their ‘spectacular’ performance.
“It was difficult for us and Liverpool were spectacular today. They were really good pressing and couldn’t let us play, and deservingly reached half-time 2-0 up.
“Our response came in the second half, but when we lost Paulinho the game was very, very difficult to turn and Liverpool started dominating possession, putting some balls in behind and we struggled.
“I assume the responsibility of the failure. We have to bounce back like we did after Manchester City.
“In the Premier League, things are not going as we expected, as we wanted, and it’s normal that the frustration is there from everybody.
“Regarding my position, it is not me that decides. I can only work to make things better.
“We didn’t have any shots on target today, but I think we are the team with more shots in the Premier League, independent of our poor scoring record.
“Today, it wasn’t to be. Liverpool had a great, great game and they deserve credit. I assume responsibility for our failure.
“I don’t need to convince anybody. Our run is magnificent in the other competitions, but not in the Premier League – that is the reality we face. Our slip-ups at home haven’t allowed us to be in a better position.
“We are to play a quarter-final with West Ham in the League Cup and we are in the last 32, and waiting for the draw tomorrow, in the Europa League where some big, big teams are as well.
“But our form in the Premier League is not there. Our ambition to win trophies is still the same and our ambition to qualify for the Champions League is still the same.” – The Tottenham Hotspur manager said.
He also faced questions regarding his future at the club and how much time he would be afforded to which the former Chelsea manager said that he won’t quit this job.
“That’s the only thing I can’t control, it’s not my call so I can’t say anything else.
“I have to get down to work, that’s the only thing I can focus on.
“The call to make that decision is not mine, because obviously I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter.” – Villas Boas insisted.
He also felt that the referee was a bit harsh in sending off Paulinho for that challenge and it turned out to be the key moment in the game.
“I think the sending off was a bit unfair. I agree Paulinho raises his foot high, but he hasn’t any intention to take Suarez.
“I think a yellow card was more appropriate. That was the key moment in the game and it didn’t leave us with any chance to bounce back.” – He said.