Well, there’s certainly a lot to talk about after THAT match, isn’t there? Tottenham Hotspur hosted Liverpool in their first match in two weeks after an extended COVID-19 outbreak shuttered their team and caused several match postponements. But while there was rust on Spurs, they still were able to put in a solid performance against the Reds. Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min overcame... uneven performances to score on either side of halftime. Liverpool went down to ten men late after Andy Robertson was sent off with a VAR-assisted straight red card but Spurs were unable to capitalize, and the final score ended in a 2-2 draw.
There’s no way I’m going to capture every nuance or talking point from that match, but here are a few things I noticed.
- Kane’s goal was great, but Ndombele’s pass to set him up was even better. It wasn’t the first time he’d had a lovely forward ball up to that point either. That’s what Tanguy can bring to a match like this. Unfortunately, that was the high water mark — he let a lot of the match pass him by in this one, and I wish he had gotten on the ball more. That thing you did with the pass to Kane? Do more of that!
- Dele Alli was absolutely fantastic today. What a fantastic performance at a time when he desperately needed to have one. He ran his butt off, was very good going forward, and had a certain goal tipped around the post by the fingernail of Allisson. This is the kind of performance we know he can put in and I, founding member of the Dele Defense League™, think he should stay. And play. Are you reading, Antonio?
- Kane was very, very lucky not be sent off for that studs up tackle on Andy Robertson. It looked like a yellow in real time, and like a red on replay. Very fortunate that Robertson didn’t have his leg planted or that’s a broken ankle. Robertson’s red? Man, that’s a clear red card all day long. Liverpool fans can argue about Kane, but they can’t about Andy.
- More on Kane — yes he scored, but this was not an especially good match for him. His touch was off, he was wild in his challenges, and he just didn’t look in sync. Again, understandable. And he earned us a point. But this was not his best match by a large margin.
- Son looked awful today. Again, he scored the equalizer, but he blew so many chances over the course of the match due to either a poor touch or a poor pass. I’m not worried about him, he just looks like hasn’t played football in two weeks.
- Ryan Sessegnon had a quietly excellent performance today. Solid on the ball and going forward, and did a very solid job in defense.
- You know who else had a pretty solid performance? Harry Winks. I don’t know what Conte has done to him, but he’s turned Winksy into a more proactive, progressive passing midfielder and honestly, that’s great! A couple of classic Winksian Moments™ in the second half, but I’m not quibbling. He was (more than) fine.
- Liverpool may be complaining about the uncalled penalty on Jota, but they also got away with an uncalled penalty on Harry Winks. Paul Tierney let this match get out of control.
- The moment where Dele had a (soft) penalty shout denied and then Liverpool roared back to score the go-ahead goal was so demoralizing. Kudos to Spurs for not letting their heads drop and coming back to level.
- A very uneven performance from Davinson Sanchez, who had moments where he was quite good in the air, combined with some moments where you wonder where his head is at.
- Once Spurs were up a man, the match was there for the taking. There were so many missed chances over this match that a 2-2 draw feels almost comically disappointing. This was a match Spurs did well enough to win, had they just been a little more clinical.
- Jurgen Klopp is a blowhard MY COLUMN