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Football News: Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective
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Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool A Liverpool Perspective


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A poor performance by Liverpool overall, who struggled to supply the front three throughout the match, but the performance by the officials, both at the ground and in the VAR hub, was far, far worse. In fact a good game has been massively overshadowed by just how bad the incompetent (at best) officials are. Then the PGMOL compounded the issue by showing how corrupt they are under Mike Riley by covering up the mistakes (if that is what they were) with a tissue of lies to twist the laws of the game to suit their agenda. That for me is the worst thing about this match. It takes it from the realms of mistakes to close on match-fixing.

As for the actual football, Liverpool's game was littered with individual mistakes, which allowed chances to fall the way of Spurs, but would they have come if Kane had received the red card he clearly should have got? As a few fell to his feet, the answer is a definite no. So we are now into the realms of discussing a game that has had its result massively altered by an official's intervention, which should not be happening now we have VAR. And for them to then compound the issue by doing it a second time, again in favour of Spurs, on the ludicrous decision not to award Jota a penalty, it becomes a nonsense to discuss what actually did go on.

That is what has made this so difficult to talk about, because Spurs did have a number of chances to win it, as did Liverpool, but they should not have had them. It has gone way beyond a joke now just how bad the officiating is in English football, it has deteriorated to the point where Poll and his three bookings would be an improvement!


Tottenham Hotspur


They came with a game plan which almost worked to a charm, though it was helped by the referee that is not their problem. It was a simple plan, defend deep and draw the Liverpool centre-backs forward and then put the ball into the space in behind them, mainly Matip's area as he is terrible at dealing with balls in behind him. They utilised the pace of Son to maximise Matip's weakness and very nearly got a win off the back of it. If Kane was not a shadow of the player he once was, they could very easily have nicked a home win.

It does show you how far Spurs have fallen in recent years, from a team that felt like they could take on anyone head on, to a team that looks to snatch a result from the top tier sides. However that is not Conte's fault and, to be fair, even if he managed the current Manchester City side I doubt he would have set out with different tactics as it is the way he plays. I have seen it criticised as a long ball tactic, but that is down to a lack of understanding about what long ball tactics actually refers to.

It is not playing long balls into space for someone to run onto, it is the hoofed balls in the air for a target man to battle for that the long ball refers to. A long pass is different from a hoof into the air to give someone time to get into position to contest it when it drops.

You can see they got Royal from Barcelona, as he has the play acting and pretending to be injured every time anyone moves within 20 feet of him down pat. He does not even try to hide it most of the time and jumps up immediately the decision is given in his favour. It amazes me that referees do not see that and book players when they do that for unsportsmanlike conduct. That would soon stamp it out of the game.




Klopp - it is little wonder he was fuming, if Tierney and the guy in VAR hub put on Spurs shirts for the match, at least they would have been honest. I am just impressed that he managed to calm himself enough not to get a red.


Alisson - a very mixed game from the Brazilian. Some world class stops mixed with a few flaps at crosses and a mistake to allow Son in to equalise. I still do not understand why he is not getting protected on corners, Alli was allowed to upset his poise all game long with no one at Liverpool reacting to it. His long ball to Tsimikas at the end of the game deserved better.


Alexander-Arnold - was another game where he showcased his attacking skills and dangerous delivery, but he also did well defensively most of the time. There were a couple of weak attempts at a challenge that could have caused a lot more problems for the team. He does need to be stronger sometimes, he can be prone to just dangling a leg out, rather than making a real tackle.


Matip - as usual, Matip was given a chasing by a pacy forward. He simply could not handle Son at all and kept allowing himself to get drawn too far forward. It was a very poor defensive performance and he showed once again that anything played in behind him, even balls that should be meat and drink, cause him problems. I do not understand why Klopp persists with him when coming up against a player such as Son.


Konate - I have seen a lot of praise for his performance, but personally I disagree and thought he was very poor. Konate was nowhere near Kane, constantly standing too far off him and giving him space when Konate has the pace to be able to close him right down. He did get lucky once when miles away from where he should have been but was able to block a shot. Other than that, like Matip he was wandering right up the pitch, when he needed to drop off to cover for runs.


Robertson - he was having an excellent game, with a goal, dangerous runs, good deliveries into the box and link up play, but then stupidly got sent off. Along with Alexander-Arnold, he was Liverpool's best player, right up until the red. I know he had been assaulted by Kane, so probably thought if that is not a red I should be fine, and had just taken a blow to the head, but it was still silly and needless. He did look back to his best though.


Keita - I have no words that can be printed for him and his constant bottling out of challenges. He was badly at fault on the first goal and he did nothing to make up for it for the rest of the game. Keita was, once again, a waste of a shirt and continuing to perservere with him is costing the team.


Morton - the youngster struggled badly. He only actually managed to connect with one header, continually misjudging the flight of the ball for all other ones, which is a worry. You can excuse the poor positional play, it is not really his natural position playing the deep holding role, and he was not at all helped by the utterly abysmal Keita. I would actually put a large portion of his positioning down to a need to try and cover for the empty shirt playing to his right.


Milner - had a really poor game, his passing in particular was horrible. Almost every pass he attempted came up short. You can never fault his effort, but it was a bad day at the office for him.


Mane - needed better service, he was a threat most of the time, but never saw enough of the ball to really get at Spurs.


Salah - one of the Egyptian's worst games in a Liverpool shirt, he was really not on his game, but he did get no service and it is a ludicrously high bar he has set. So, while it was a bad game by his standards, he still showed moments of Salah brilliance, which would be enough for a mere mortal to be considered as having a good game. We just know Salah is capable of so much more.


Jota - anonymous in the early parts of the game but then he pops up and scores and should have had a penalty for a blatant foul on him in the first half. He moved to the right after Firmino came on and put himself about well until he was taken off.


Firmino - replaced Morton in the 60th minute. Struggled to get into the game and looked a little rusty with some heavy touches, but he still tends to follow that up with a piece of skill. Nowhere near his best though and looks in need of match sharpness.


Tsimikas - came on for Mane in the 82nd minute. Mostly did well but should have done better at the death when he received a long ball from Alisson and dallied too long before crossing.


Gomez - was brought on in the 90th+2 minute to take Jota's place. He was just on to shore things up at the back and he did that.

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Written by Tris Burke December 24 2021 17:11:00


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