Tottenham Hotspur continued their horrific record this season against big six sides with a 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool this evening, despite impressing on the pitch.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:
Positives to take – For Tottenham this season, it has often been a case of the team getting all three points but playing poorly, or losing without deserving anything more. However, it would be fair to argue this evening that Tottenham deserved to get at least a point out of that game, if not more. I think defeats are always easier to take when you can see progress on the pitch. Sometimes it just isn’t your day. But Spurs played some really good football today.
Yves Bissouma – That was definitely Yves’ best game in a Spurs shirt so far. He really seems to be growing into his new role under Conte. The former Brighton man was deployed as the central and deepest midfield, essentially breaking up play and recycling to his teammates. Particularly in the second half when Spurs looked to press their boot against the neck of Liverpool, Bissouma was so good at turning over possession and keeping his side on the front foot.
The return of Kulusevski – As if any Tottenham fan needed reminding of Dejan’s talents, he recorded an assist within minutes of his return to the pitch. Apart from Kane’s goal, the Tottenham crowd was definitely at its loudest to cheer the Swede as he returned to action. And he repaid that faith by running the show for the final 20 minutes, whipping in some devilish crosses with that left foot. If he had played every game for the past month, I am convinced Spurs would have won a lot more.
Emerson vs Doherty – The comparison was there for all to see in just this one game. Emerson had 70 minutes of refusing to run into space, ballooning crosses over their targets, and failing to threaten. Then Doherty came on, put in some good crosses, linked up well with Kulusevski, and proved a consistent threat. There should only be one first choice from here on out.
Top four guaranteed – Tottenham are now all but guaranteed a spot in the top four come the World Cup break. Man United are three points behind, albeit with a game in hand, and their goal difference is 10 behind Tottenham’s. Of course, Conte will want to end with a win against Leeds regardless and hopefully overtake Newcastle back into the top three.
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