Tottenham’s performance against Liverpool was scrappy in two senses of the word. At times they were unable to string more than two passes together, gifting Liverpool a first half lead and failing to impress in all areas of the pitch.
But Spurs’ scrappiness means they are always able to find a way back into games, even when they are playing badly. Danny Rose’s second half equaliser was testament to the side’s continued tenacity.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side flew out of the traps in the first half but were soon pinned back by a dangerous Liverpool. It was a half mostly broken up my a series of minor controversies and silly fouls. Substitute Vincent Janssen, who replaced the unwell Kyle Walker early on, perhaps should have had a penalty when he was hauled down in the box by Joel Matip. Saido Mane just about avoided a second yellow card for a late tackle on Danny Rose. Rose himself was booked, too.
Liverpool’s play, erratic at times, flowed compared to that of Spurs. The movement of the Reds’ attacks was far superior, but the finishing was wayward. Philippe Coutinho was given a golden chance to open the scoring, but his close range shot was saved brilliantly by Michel Vorm, deputising for Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal. Despite the quality of the stop, Coutinho really should have scored.
The visitors’ lack of incisiveness was matched by Spurs’ openness. Coutinho and, on the opposite wing, Saido Mane were given plenty of room to exploit gaps in the Tottenham defence often. And when Roberto Firmino was tripped in the box by Erik Lamela, the Reds were given a penalty and a chance to take advantage of their first half dominance. James Milner made no mistake from the spot and Liverpool took a 1-0 lead into half-time.
Jurgen Klopp’s men started the second half as they finished the first, but Spurs soon found their footing. It wasn’t pretty, but chances started to come and the hosts eventually found a way through.
Danny Rose popped up with a well-taken equaliser with twenty minutes to go. Eric Dier’s cross from the right somehow found its way to the feet of Rose, who made room for himself before beating Mignolet at the near post with the outside of his foot.
Liverpool will rue chances missed to go two up before Spurs levelled. Spurs will be eager to improve their home displays with better sides than Liverpool set to visit White Hart Lane in the coming months.