Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool: Reaction to a demolition

Paul Gilham

Liverpool came to White Hart Lane, destroyed Tottenham Hotspur in every way and came away with a 5-0 win. Spurs were never really in the game.

Tottenham Hotspur are a very manageable five points out of fourth place, but that's unlikely to matter to the White Hart Lane faithful after Sunday afternoon's performance. Spurs were booed off the pitch at halftime and there were not enough fans remaining in the ground at full time for any audible displeasure to emerge from the stands at the final whistle. The game was a disaster in every way for the home side, who fell to Liverpool in embarrassing fashion, by a final score of 5-0.

It was apparent from the opening kickoff that the visitors were the side more prepared for the occasion. Makeshift central defender Etienne Capoue made a poor clearance that nearly led to a goal in the 1st minute, and things only went downhill from there. By the time Luis Suarez surged past a statuesque Capoue to get on the end of a loose ball that had been cut out by Michael Dawson and finish past Hugo Lloris, the goal had been a long time coming.

There was no bounce-back from Spurs. Suarez got in behind the defense four minutes later and forced a tough one-on-one save from Lloris, who was nearly beaten between his legs. Eight minutes after that, Sandro was forced to come off injured, with Lewis Holtby replacing him. Lloris had to make yet another dramatic play in the 33rd minute, coming out of his area to attempt to head clear a ball that flew over the top of his defense. He whiffed, but managed to save a follow-up from Suarez.

Eventually, Spurs' luck ran out and they conceded a second. Jordan Henderson's goal that put Liverpool up 2-0 came on the third shot of an attack, after Lloris had stopped one shot apiece from him and Suarez. It could have easily been his side's fifth.

Andre Villas-Boas made a change at left back at halftime, bringing Zeki Fryers on for Kyle Naughton in a move that was not clearly tactical or injury-related. Spurs played better football for the first 15 minutes of the second half -- they were unlucky not to score in the 59th minute when Roberto Soldado had a shot blocked -- but the wheels came flying off soon afterwards.

In the 63rd minute, Paulinho was spotted putting a high boot into the stomach of Suarez and was rightfully punished with a straight red card. From there, Tottenham crumbled. John Flanagan scored in the 75th minute, which was followed by Suarez adding a second via a chip in the 84th minute and Raheem Sterling rounding out the scoring in the 89th.

Spurs finished the match with nine shots to Liverpool's 20, zero on target to Liverpool's 10. The defeat is Spurs' worst at home in 16 years. They now have a goal differential of negative-6.

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