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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool: Spurs thoroughly outplayed in loss

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Tottenham were bad, but not that bad. So worry, only don't worry too much.

Jamie McDonald

Well, Tottenham's first league match against top competition couldn't have gone much worse. After a week on a high, Spurs were beaten 3-0, Tottenham's first loss in competitive play this season and first under manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The first goal for Liverpool came on a excellent counter-attack by Liverpool's English connection, as Daniel Sturridge's run down the right side started a sequence with a pass to Jordan Henderson and low cross to the far post that Raheem Sterling neatly deposited.

The second came on a soft penalty conceded by Eric Dier. Dier had a minor shirt pull on Joe Allen in the box that the referee harshly ruled a penalty, and Steven Gerrard knocked in the penalty with power to give Liverpool the 2-0 advantage.

At this point Mauricio Pochettino tried to switch up his squad, bringing on Mousa Dembele and Andros Townsend for Nabil Bentaleb and Christian Eriksen in the 59th minute. The decision would prove unhelpful, as Liverpool's left back Alberto Moreno dispossessed Townsend en route to Liverpool's third goal. After winning the ball in his own third Moreno saw nothing but open space, sprinting down the field before launching a left footed laser to the far post, beating Hugo Llloris with an exceptional shot.

This may have been a game though of Liverpool being just as good as Spurs were bad. Sterling, Henderson, and Moreno were particularly excellent, and if not for Mario Balotelli's poor finishing the scoreline could have been even worse. However, Spurs can take solace that the harshly given penalty completely changed the complexion of the game, and the Lilywhites did a good job to hold possession.

Questions will be asked though of Pochettino's tactics, as Younes Kaboul and Danny Rose were poor and the double pivot of Capoue and Bentaleb were found out. The solutions to some of those problems may already be on the roster, as Ben Davies was subbed on for Rose and Federico Fazio was signed this week to bolster the Spurs central defense.

The transfer deadline is a little over 24 hours away, and only time will tell if this poor result has shaken Daniel Levy's trust in his squad. Either way, Pochettino will need to show more tactical inventiveness if Spurs are to earn a top four finish this season and hang with the larger walleted teams of the Premier League.