Not for the first time this season it was our profligacy in front of goal that let us down. Oh for the Harry of last season where all his strikes were low and corner bound.
At least Kane was on target when taking his best chances here but unfortunately Mignolet was on form and came to Liverpool’s rescue by thwarting him twice and Alli and N’Jie as well. Liverpool came closest when they hoofed towards Sakho and Skrtel at restarts before half time, hitting the bar from a corner during the early spell when they had their Kirby Trouser Press set to full power.
They began at a madcap frantic pace and we struggled to cope. A lenient Craig Pawson didn’t help, Milner in particular – who seemed to be trying to patent the excuse that he got there as soon as he could – should’ve been punished far more heavily and frequently than he was. We laboured and were forced back. After quarter of an hour or so of the sort of football that is modern, effective and unedifying to watch they eased off, or were worn out, either way we dominated the next hour or so and created chances, none of which, obviously, were taken. The away team came back into the game as the second half wore on and applied pressure especially towards the end when Jordan Ibe came on and was allowed to run unhindered into dangerous areas.
Well though Alli, Alderweireld and Rose played Moussa Dembélé was our undoubted star on the day. He was in one of those moods where you can’t imagine anyone ever taking the ball off him. On the train to White Hart Lane I heard some say that Dembélé “wasn’t a Pochettino type player” – if he plays like this all the time he’ll be everyone’s type of player. Thanks to Chadli’s early injury we saw more of Clinton N’Jie than we’ve seen before. He looked like what he is, a young player just making his way in the game. His speed is there for all to see, he gets to every ball first, it’s what he does next that needs working on. A bit of trickery added to his game would help but there’s a problem in that we don’t know how to play with and get the best out of a player with his amount of pace. In my view we need to give him the odd ball over the top to chase and make the defence drop deeper.
Elsewhere, Lamela was as erratic as ever and Kane not good. His desperation is so clear to see.
Over all it was a pretty even game but we can consider ourselves a tad unlucky given that only one team gave the keeper some serious work to do.
Away trips to Belgium and Bournemouth next week.
We need Son and Mason back asap. COYS.
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