Liverpool lack serenity amid the COVID chaos

Liverpool had to do without Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, both out with COVID, and their consistent presence was missed in a frustrating tie at Tottenham.

USA About: Liverpool Publish: 12/20/2021 Edit: 12/20/2021 Author: Gardener

COVIDLONDON - Liverpool needed some rest amidst the chaos. The Premier League's fight to continue amid rising COVID-19 cases across the UK has added a heightened sense of unpredictability to any game, and Sunday's 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur was perhaps the most anarchic example yet. Usually it is Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho who give Liverpool the serenity of play on such occasions. Along with Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones, the couple have tested positive for COVID in the past few days and it continues to worsen. While the absentee list also included Jordan Henderson, who was sent home with a cold, that didn't force Klopp to hand 19-year-old Academy graduate Tyler Morton his full league debut as anchor for midfield as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain named among the deputies. Morton looked smart in possession and clearly has promises, but he was sometimes overwhelmed when Spurs took Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min up front in 5-3-2 form to catch Liverpool on the counterattack. Even without Van Dijk at the center of defense, Liverpool looked alarmingly vulnerable to the pace and movements of Tottenham's front two. There were times when Kane and Son didn't look like a fair fight against Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate. While Liverpool threatened with typical intent and demeanor at one end, Spurs raced forward with intoxicating intensity and danger at the other end. - ESPN + guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more (U. - You don't have ESPN? "The challenge today was that we played against Tottenham, who set up a 5-3-2 and won the ball stepped so deep into their own half, they just kicked it as far as possible and Kane and Son were on their bikes, "explained Klopp. There are some fights, so we had to reorganize our protection a little better in the second half. "It doesn't make sense that Konate is involved in our offensive passing game and Tyler Morton is the one against Harry Kane. Kane could easily have been sent off. Andy Robertson was Dele after an awkward duel between Emerson Royal and Diogo Jota Alli received a penalty. Dele Alli later said he should have had a penalty before the visitors' second goal. This was neither the best hour for referee Paul Tierney nor the current VAR system. Managers demand right steady consistency, and those 90 minutes featured two inci dents that distill that argument perfectly. Kane rattled Robertson after 20 minutes and was booked. Robertson went late and high on Emerson Royal 15 minutes from time and was booked. Tierney was only asked to review the second decision and move up to a red card when a hostile home crowd vied for Robertson's dismissal. "The game would have been very different with two key decisions in the first half," said Klopp. We have now seen it again and yes, you can give a red card there. Before we thought he couldn't be in his office because of the other two situations, we all agreed that Harry Kane should have seen a red card and he didn't. If Andy Robertson's foot is still on the ground, his leg is broken. "The penalty situation, Mr. Tierney told me he thought Diogo Jota had stopped on purpose. It was a very quick decision. Wow. Those are obviously two wrong decisions, I would say, and one right. Klopp later added in a separate TV interview. " : "I have no idea what [Tierney's] problem is with me." It passed to Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who is so often unwavering, but here, among about half a dozen great saves, he made a terrible mistake in the 74th minute that ultimately cost his team three points. Liverpool dominated the first few encounters with Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, both of whom were close, before Spurs took the lead in one of those flashes of lightning that worried the Reds all day. Harry Winks, consistently excellent, won the ball in the Liverpool half before Tanguy Ndombele played an exquisite through pass for Kane, who twisted his body superbly to both stay on the side and dodge Konate before hitting Alisson with a low finish at me in 788 minutes of play, a run that spanned eight games. Spurs suddenly started breaking through Liverpool at will. Kane fed Son, but the South Korean international failed to turn his shot on target. After Kane got away with a yellow card because of the dangerous duel with Robertson, Son played in Alli for a golden chance to double Tottenham's advantage. Alisson read his intentions to flip the ball wide brilliantly, but Alli should never have given him a chance to make such a beautiful save. Spurs regretted her waste 10 minutes before the break. Robertson stood a cross, which Jota nodded past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for his tenth league goal of the season. Only Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke have scored more headed goals than his six since the start of last season. Two minutes later, Jota was denied a penalty, which brought an already excited Klopp over the edge. He was booked and television cameras caught Klopp protesting with Tierney when the players reappeared for the second half. Kane had two more chances to bring Spurs back into the lead before Robertson struck and stooped to bring Alexander-Arnold's driven flank home. Liverpool's lead lasted just five minutes as Alisson cleared Winks' forward pass, just missed the ball and Son rolled to equalize. Robertson then saw red after Tierney reviewed his original yellow card decision, but Spurs failed to take the numerical advantage in the final 13 minutes. This was an encouraging performance for coach Antonio Conte trying to add intensity to a Spurs side that has stagnated under Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo. Tottenham are trying to get out of their own COVID-19 crisis immediately, which resulted in the postponement of two league games and the UEFA Conference League tie against Stade Rennais. Liverpool's own journey through similar challenges continues, three points behind Manchester City, which will be at the top by three points on Christmas Day. To prevent this from happening, Liverpool need to rediscover their stance.

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