March 7 2014 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent, at White Hart Lane
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Premier League: Tottenham 0 Liverpool 5
Tottenham’s poor form against their top-four rivals continued at White Hart Lane today as Liverpool inflicted 10-man Spurs’ fifth defeat of the season.
Luis Suarez continued his devastating form for the Reds, opening the scoring before Jordan Henderson struck to give the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead.
Paulinho was then sent off for a high tackle on the Uruguayan, who went on to set up Jon Flanagan for a third goal, add the fourth himself and then create the fifth for Raheem Sterling.
Spurs had previously been beaten by Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle while drawing with Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United, so they have collected just three points from a possible 21 against the teams who are currently sitting in the top eight places in the Premier League.
There were seven changes to the Spurs side that had lined up against Anzhi in the Europa League in midweek, with Etienne Capoue, Kyle Naughton, Mousa Dembele and Roberto Soldado the only players to start both games.
Liverpool created an early chance as Philippe Coutinho scuffed a shot from just inside the box while Hugo Lloris was recovering his position – and, although Paulinho fired over at the other end, the Reds seized control.
Henderson was pulling the strings in midfield, while the pace of Suarez, Coutinho and Sterling was causing Spurs all sorts of problems – and the visitors forced a series of set pieces and created a flurry of chances.
Sterling shot over the bar and Suarez was then tripped on the edge of the box by Capoue but still managed to get a shot off from the ground, seeing it deflect narrowly wide.
The pressure told in the 19th minute as Michael Dawson intercepted Suarez’s through ball – but Henderson was first to the loose ball and played in the onrushing Suarez, who had not been tracked by the Tottenham midfield and fired low across Lloris.
Suarez got in behind the Spurs rearguard again soon after, beating the offside trap but seeing his shot saved by Lloris’ legs – and Tottenham’s goalkeeper then had to be alert in racing off his line to beat Coutinho to another dangerous through ball.
There was a brief moment to encourage the home fans as Soldado sent a flicked header over the bar, but Liverpool were soon back on the front foot and Suarez got to the by-line and chipped the ball back for Coutinho, who volleyed the ball into the ground and up onto the bar – and Glen Johnson fired narrowly over the angle from the rebound.
Spurs suffered another blow just before the half-hour mark as Sandro limped off injured, being replaced by Lewis Holtby, who delivered a corner that Nacer Chadli headed over the bar.
At the other end, Lloris came out of his box and misjudged a high kick, briefly gifting Suarez a glimpse of an open goal – but the striker opted to bring the ball down and cut inside, and Lloris spared his own blushes by saving with his legs.
Spurs then created two chances in quick succession. Soldado got a touch on a Chadli shot but was unable to divert it past Simon Mignolet, and the Spaniard then pulled the ball back for Holtby, who fired wide of the right post from a good position.
It was Tottenham’s best chance of the half and they were punished for the miss moments later as Liverpool doubled their lead.
Coutinho freed Henderson and, although Lloris saved from the Englishman and then blocked Suarez’s follow-up, the ball fell back to Henderson, who volleyed home.
Spurs thought they had scored before half-time as Soldado robbed Mignolet and scored into the empty net, but referee Jonathan Moss adjudged that he had pushed the visiting keeper and disallowed the goal.
The home crowd were less than impressed with the decision and boos rang around the Lane when the half-time whistle went - it was unclear whether they were aimed at Moss or at the home team and their manager.
Villas-Boas responded with a half-time change, withdrawing Kyle Naughton – who had struggled up against Sterling – and introducing Zeki Fryers in his place at left-back.
Spurs had a golden opportunity to hit back soon after the restart, but Soldado blazed over from insight the box – and Liverpool very nearly made it 3-0 moment later as Sterling hung up a cross and Mamadou Sakho headed against the post at point-blank range.
Villas-Boas made his second change on the hour-mark, substituting the below-par Mousa Dembele – but his side suffered a huge blow moments later as Paulinho was shown a straight red card for a chest-high challenge on Suarez.
The Liverpool frontman was able to continue and was denied by Lloris at his near post before creating the Reds’ third goal, chipping the ball to the far post, where 20-year-old left-back Flanagan fired home off the underside of the crossbar.
The Reds continued to pile on the agony with two more goals in the last 10 minutes. Suarez received substitute Luis Alberto’s through ball and lifted the ball over Lloris, and the Uruguayan then played a neat through ball for Sterling, who fired past Lloris.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Capoue, Dawson, Naughton (Fryers 45), Sandro (Holtby 29), Dembele (Townsend 60), Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli, Soldado.
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