How can we really complain? Of course this probably sinks our title chances barring an unlikely collapse by the Foxes. Of course we could have won, but so could they.
But think of it this way—the days of going to places like the Etihad, and Anfield, and, yes, Stamford Bridge, and having Spurs fail to compete are over. The days of being outclassed by the top Four—or is it Five? Six?—are over. The days of barely hanging on for a draw—yes, that were our lads that created the final two or three chances at the death—are over. This is simply the first chapter of a book that has greater times ahead.
A clinical analysis of this game would say 1. Spurs started more active but couldn’t create real chances. 2. Liverpool shifted to a much more intense press halfway through the first period, and it led to chances for both sides. Lloris had to be real good to prevent Sturridge and Lallana from scoring, Spurs frittered away a number of chances with heavy touches, curious decision-making (that’s you, Harry) and passes that were just out of reach.
You knew the sheets would not stay clean, and after five minutes of pretty strong work from Spurs to open the half, both of our center backs were caught on a nice 1-2 between Countinho and Sturridge. And just when we (or I, in this case) were bemoaning Son’s inability to finish, and the nervous touches from the likes of Kane, Eriksen, Alli and Son that stifled seemingly good attacking chances, Walker throws a great long ball toward the corner, Eriksen brilliantly keeps it in play, and Kane does what Kane does, a quick turn and right into the corner it went.
From that point on, through Rose’s knocks, Lloris’ injury and the continual ebb and flow of two teams who knew what their objective was and kept trying to gain it, my only question—since I did not expect a winner—was whether we would be clinging to the draw or going for the win. The answer in stoppage time was definitive as Eriksen’s free kick and Rose’s final cross, among other opportunities (Chadli had one but was too tentative)—I can’t criticize a team that is trying desperately to get three points even they knew they might be risking one.
Eriksen was MOTM to me—despite some weakness with the ball, either leading to dispossession or a squandered chance, he was constantly active, pressing and converting every chance Spurs had to something more. And Dembele was brilliant per usual.
Truth is, the Premier league scriptwriters have done one of two things—1) the more likely outcome is the storybook Leicester title. 1-0 win after 1-0 win. The crucial victory at WHL when Spurs did everything but find the net. Ranieri ending it—and perhaps winning it—at Chelsea, where he coached. And 2) A three-way scrum with either North London side having a chance to win everything and secure bragging rights for a long time to come.
We can’t say which it is. We can say Spurs will fight for this and if it is possible for it to be won, they might just do it. Bring on the Red Devils!
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