Nick Harris analyses Tottenham's defeat at Anfield...
With so many of Spurs' players in action on Thursday night there was every chance they could have tired in the closing half hour. Spurs were playing well for much of the second half, but Andre Villas-Boas should have used his bench earlier in the game, with the team in need of fresh legs as Liverpool started to get on top. Injuries limited his options, but Lewis Holtby in particular could have entered the fray earlier.
Mousa Dembele's role
With Aaron Lennon out injured Andre Villas-Boas opted to play Jake Livermore and Scott Parker in the centre of the park and move Dembele forward to play in front of them. Dembele still did plenty of work tracking back, and was a vital creative influence going forward. The Belgian will likely drop back into the midfield when Lennon returns, but this could be a role he plays in the future if Spurs sign another midfielder in the summer to partner Sandro behind him.
Livermore and Parker
The downside of moving Dembele forward was losing his influence in the centre of the park, with Parker and Livermore unable to match his contribution on the ball. Both were caught on the ball far too often, and their passing was either lacking in ambition or easy for Liverpool to cut out. Both are hard working and effective tacklers, but they don't give Spurs enough going forward to be a regular pairing.
Kyle Walker's errors
The right back's form has improved of late, but he still has a tendency to give away needless fouls in dangerous areas, and on Sunday his awful backpass was the first in a series of mistakes that led to the Liverpool equaliser. Walker's concentration needs to be better throughout matches, and he needs more patience when standing an attacker up.
Against Arsenal last week Spurs missed several chances to make the game safe in the second half, and they were similarly profligate in front of goal at Anfield. Sigurdsson and Defoe could have both scored if they had passed to each other instead of shooting themselves, and even Gareth Bale's Midas touch deserted him. If they are going to seal a Champions League place they will need Defoe or someone to start hitting the target regularly to support Bale.
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