5 talking points from Liverpool's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham

Daryl Finch
10 months ago

Liverpool's unbeaten record this season came to a dramatic end at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday evening as they lost 2-1 against Ange Postecoglou's side.

In an incident-packed first half, Curtis Jones received a red card before Luis Díaz was controversially denied a goal by a mistake from the officials. Minutes later, Heung-min Son capitalised and gave the hosts the lead with a close-range finish.

Nevertheless, the Reds displayed resilience and managed to level the scores just before half time, courtesy of Cody Gakpo's skilful spin and shot.

However, Liverpool's fightback took a significant blow 15 minutes into the second half when substitute Diogo Jota received his second yellow card, just a minute after his first.

In the end, the relentless pressure from Tottenham paid off, as Joël Matip inadvertently scored an own goal deep into stoppage time, securing a crucial victory for the Lilywhites against the nine-men Reds.

Here are five talking points from the game.

1) VAR strikes once more

Not for the first time this season, Liverpool have suffered at the hands of VAR. After having Alexis Mac Allister's red card against Bournemouth overturned, today the refereeing body issued an apology after Luis Díaz's strike was incorrectly ruled out for offside despite a VAR review taking place.

Even to the naked eye, Díaz's run seemed onside at the time. How can the officials be so incompetent?

2) Yet more red cards

The Reds found themselves down to ten men for the third time this season when Curtis Jones saw red in the 26th minute.

Following in the footsteps of MacAllister and Virgil van Dijk against Newcastle a week later, a sending off was perhaps harsh on Jones.

The Scouser did touch the ball (perhaps what led to the original on-pitch decision being a yellow), but his momentum led him to plant a foot on Yves Bissouma.

Then, just when the team had regrouped heading into the second half, substitute Diogo Jota picked up two yellow cards in quick succession, leaving Liverpool down to nine men just 15 minutes after coming on.

But why are Klopp’s men picking up so many red cards?

Clearly, the side are playing with much more tenacity and intensity compared to last year, especially the midfield - and that has to be applauded. After all, it has set the side on an excellent run of form. But we have to be more careful.

Jota is surely one of our more senior players now and should know better than to fly into a silly slide tackle while already on a yellow. VAR can't be blamed there...

3) Great resilience - again

Not for the first time this season, the Reds had to fight back from going a goal down. But while it wasn’t another 3-1 victory, the side’s spirit must surely be applauded.

Against all odds, Liverpool fought back to make it 1-1, then kept it that way until deep into stoppage time against a Spurs side who have been flying since Postecoglou took charge.

Minus Diogo Jota, the side was organised, well-disciplined and, arguably, deserved more from the game.

4) Unfortunate Matip

Even though Joël Matip's own goal decided the game, the Cameroonian looked (almost) back to his best.

With Ibrahima Konaté fit again, there were question marks over his inclusion but he was excellent right until the final minute of stoppage time, not putting a foot wrong until Pedro Porro’s low near-post cross caught him out and he ended up sending the ball into the top corner.

The 32-year-old's form had been poor of late, but his performances have improved significantly in recent weeks.

5) Amazing Alisson

We already know he’s the best in the world, but Saturday’s showing confirmed it.

In the first half, Alisson caught a James Maddisson effort that most other keepers in the world would have had to parry. Then, at the start of the second half, he made two world-class saves in quick succession.

First, he tipped Maddisson’s shot bound for the far corner around the post at full stretch, then he showed excellent reflexes to tip Son’s skilful half-volley over the bar.

Imagine what we'd do without him. It doesn't bear thinking about...

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