A disappointing afternoon on Merseyside ended in defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, as the home side ran out 4-0 winners.
We fell behind after just two minutes when Younes Kaboul put through his own net, before Luis Suarez added a second on 24 minutes. Second half strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson wrapped up the win for the home side.
There was just the one change from last week’s 3-2 home win against Southampton, last-minute match-winner that day Gylfi Sigurdsson coming into the side for Mousa Dembele, while 18-year-old midfielder Harry Winks was on the bench for the first time in the Premier League.
With the hosts well in contention for the league championship, Anfield was rocking ahead of kick-off and, with the exception of the 3,000 Spurs fans, the stadium exploded after just two minutes as Liverpool grabbed an early lead.
Philippe Coutinho spread the play out wide to Raheem Sterling, who found Glen Johnson on the overlap down the right. The full-back got to the byline and delivered a low cross which went through Jan Vertonghen’s legs as he went to clear, hit Kaboul inside the six yard box and went in.
Our first sight of goal came on six minutes when Sigurdsson threaded a pass to Christian Eriksen bursting into the area, but his attempted cutback was cleared away.
Liverpool were certainly on top in the early stages and Suarez volleyed wide from edge of the area from Coutinho’s clipped cross, before sending a 25-yard free-kick over the crossbar after Sigurdsson was penalised for handball.
We were forced into a change on 24 minutes when the injured Vertonghen was replaced by Michael Dawson, but within a minute we were 2-0 behind. Dawson knocked a long clearance back to Kaboul, who was under pressure from Suarez. The Reds striker robbed him of possession, strode into the area and hit a low left-foot shot into the far corner.
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was called into action just after when Sigurdsson headed a loose ball at goal after Eriksen’s 12-yard shot was blocked by Martin Skrtel, but the Belgian saved comfortably.
And he made a smart stop on 38 minutes after good build up play saw Aaron Lennon play the ball inside to Nabil Bentaleb 30 yards out, and he hit a fierce low drive which Mignolet saved, while the keeper also palmed away a Roberto Soldado curler from the left hand corner of the area five minutes before the break.
Liverpool thought they had scored a third on 41 minutes when Sterling dispossessed Kaboul and stood up a cross to the far post which was met by a powerful header from Suarez, only for Hugo Lloris to produce a magnificent save, palming it up onto the crossbar. As the ball bounced down, claims for a goal were waved away by referee Phil Dowd as it didn’t cross the line.
It was nine minutes into the second half for the first opportunity to arrive for either side…and it fell to the hosts. Sterling played a one-two with Daniel Sturridge to get through on goal down the right channel of the area, he squared it for Jordan Henderson but he put his shot over the bar from 12 yards.
Sixty seconds later though it was 3-0. Liverpool played the ball out from the back, Jon Flanagan skipped away from Lennon on the left and laid it inside to Coutinho, who advanced forward 20 yards before firing low into the bottom corner past Lloris.
We made two changes shortly after with Andros Townsend and Dembele replacing Lennon and Bentaleb respectively, and the latter was in the action quickly, combining with Eriksen and Nacer Chadli, ending with Chadli firing wide from the edge of the area.
Lloris needed to be alert to first deny Suarez, diving bravely at his feet, before thwarting Sturridge’s back-heeled effort as Liverpool continued to create the better chances. But our French keeper couldn’t prevent the Reds making it 4-0 on 75 minutes, as Henderson’s free-kick out wide evaded everyone in the area and nestled in the back of the net.
At the other end, Chadli saw his eight-yard shot well blocked by Daniel Agger and from the resulting Eriksen corner, Dawson volleyed over. Five minutes from time, Sigurdsson’s drive was deflected for a corner and Eriksen hit another drive over the bar as we searched for a late consolation. The closest we came was a Dawson header from Eriksen’s corner which just cleared the crossbar.
We ended the game with 10 men after Soldado was stretchered off in stoppage time, having used all of our substitutes. All in all…one to forget.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Flanagan, Sterling (Moses 83), Gerrard (Lucas 70), Henderson, Coutinho (Allen 63), Sturridge, Suarez. Substitutes (not used): Jones, Sakho, Cissokho, Aspas.
Spurs: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen (Dawson 24), Rose, Bentaleb (Dembele 60), Sigurdsson, Lennon (Townsend 60), Chadli, Eriksen, Soldado. Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Sandro, Winks, Kane.
Goals: Liverpool – Kaboul (og) 2, Suarez 24, Coutinho 55, Henderson 75.
Yellows: Spurs – Kaboul, Sigurdsson.
Referee: Phil Dowd