Liverpool were made to pay for a lack of poise and self-confidence in the Premier League’s biggest game, as they lost ground on leaders Manchester City after a contentious 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur. The Reds shipped four goals in their last two games against Watford and Chelsea before manager Jürgen Klopp decided to make some changes ahead of the derby.
Liverpool lacked poise in their draw with Tottenham. They have now lost ground in the title race after a contentious draw. Read more in detail here: premier league.
LONDON, United Kingdom — In the midst of the commotion, Liverpool needed some quiet. The Premier League’s fight to stay afloat in the face of growing COVID-19 cases throughout the country makes every game more unpredictable, and Sunday’s 2-2 tie against Tottenham Hotspur was possibly the most chaotic example yet.
On moments like these, it’s usually Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho who provide the required calmness to Liverpool’s play. The duo, along with Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones, have recently tested positive for COVID, prompting Jurgen Klopp to declare before start that, although he was “glad” to play on Sunday, the club would be unable to fulfill games next week if the situation worsens.
Despite the absence of Jordan Henderson, who was sent home with a cold, Klopp did not feel compelled to give 19-year-old academy graduate Tyler Morton his full league debut anchoring the middle, considering the presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain among the replacements. Morton looked clever in possession and has a lot of potential, but he was overwhelmed at times as Spurs set up in a 5-3-2 formation with Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min up front to catch Liverpool on the counterattack.
Similarly, without Van Dijk at the heart of their defense, Liverpool were dangerously exposed to Tottenham’s front two’s quickness and mobility. Kane and Son vs. Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate did not seem to be a fair match at times.
Spurs rushed forward with exciting energy and danger at the other end, while Liverpool threatened with customary purpose and elegance.
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“Today’s problem was that we played against Tottenham, who set up a 5-3-2, and when they won the ball deep in their own half, they simply kicked it as far as they could, with Kane and Son on their bikes,” Klopp stated. “We had a little trouble with these situations. It causes some difficulties, so in the second half, we had to reorganize our defense a little bit better.
“It doesn’t make sense that Konate is participating in our attacking passes while Tyler Morton defends Harry Kane. That isn’t the way things should be.”
It resulted in engrossing and intense entertainment. Kane might have easily been dismissed. Andy Robertson was his name. In the meantime, Klopp was cautioned for yelling angrily after Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty for Emerson Royal’s clumsy tackle on Diogo Jota. After the opponents’ second goal, Dele Alli thought he should have got a penalty kick.
This was neither referee Paul Tierney’s nor the current VAR system’s best hour. Managers often demand consistency, and this 90 minutes produced two situations that nicely encapsulated that point.
After 20 minutes, Kane collided with Robertson and was ejected. Robertson was booked after arriving late and high on Emerson Royal 15 minutes before the conclusion. As a hostile home crowd chanted for Robertson’s removal, Tierney was only asked to examine the second judgment, which he upgraded to a red card.
“With two important decisions in the first half, the game would have been entirely different,” Klopp remarked. “Let’s start with Robbo,” says the narrator. We’ve seen it again, and certainly, a red card is appropriate. It isn’t the toughest, but it’s also not the wisest. He’s a wonderful kid, but he got a little carried away.
“However, here is confirmation that the VAR was present today.” We had assumed he wouldn’t be in his office because of the two earlier incidents, but I believe we can all agree that Harry Kane should have received a red card and didn’t. Andy Robertson’s leg is broken if his foot is still on the ground. That is something I believe we can all agree on.
“Mr. Tierney informed me he felt Diogo Jota halted on purpose in the penalty scenario. He was determined to get it. This is a highly unique vision if you look back on the incident. It was a spur-of-the-moment choice. I’m not sure whether he was expecting it or not.
“How is he able to respond so quickly? It was an obvious penalty, but he didn’t believe it was one. Wow. That’s two bad choices and one good one, in my opinion. We’re up against all three of them.”
“I have no clue what [Tierney’s] issue with me,” Klopp later remarked in a separate television interview.
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Jota was denied a penalty two minutes later, sending Klopp over the edge. As the players reemerged for the second half, television cameras saw Klopp remonstrating with Tierney.
Before Robertson scored, Kane had two more opportunities to put Spurs back in lead, stooping to head home Alexander-driving Arnold’s cross. Mohamed Salah was accused of a handball in the build-up, adding to the long list of disputed calls.
Liverpool’s advantage was short-lived, as Alisson ran out to clear Winks’ forward pass only to miss the ball, enabling Son to equalize. After Tierney reviewed his first yellow card judgment, Robertson was sent off, but Spurs were unable to take advantage of their numerical advantage in the closing 13 minutes.
This was a positive performance for manager Antonio Conte, who is attempting to infuse more vigour into a Spurs team that has been stagnant under Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo. Tottenham are now attempting to recover from their own COVID-19 dilemma, which has resulted in the delay of two league matches as well as a UEFA Conference League encounter against Stade Rennais.
Liverpool’s own road through comparable difficulties will continue three points behind Manchester City, who will be three points clear on Christmas Day. It’s the third time they’ve been in first position at this time of year: they won the championship in 2011-12 and 2017-18.
Liverpool must regain their composure in order to avoid this.
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Liverpool have been struggling in the Premier League this season, but it is not because of their lack of quality. Their recent draw at Tottenham has seen them lose ground in the title race. Reference: premier league table.
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