Jamie Redknapp has claimed in his Daily Mail column that Tottenham Hotspur did themselves proud against league leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday – but has slammed Serge Aurier for conceding a penalty deep into the second half.
Spurs took the lead in just the first minute as Harry Kane headed home. Son Heung-min’s effort hit the post, bouncing pefectly for the England skipper who took his tally to 10 goals in all competitions – despite Spurs’ poor form.
However, a mistake from Danny Rose allowed Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson to score before Aurier looked to take time on the ball in the penalty area. Sadio Mane nipped in, and it saw Aurier kick Mane when looking to clear the ball.
Mo Salah stepped up and scored past the excellent Paulo Gazzaniga. Redknapp praised Mauricio Pochettino’s side for having “a bit of grit” – especially considering Spurs have picked up just three wins in 27 away games against the big six.
“I’ve watched a lot of Tottenham this season and, though they lost 2-1, what I enjoyed about their performance at Anfield was the effort they put in,” Redknapp said. “Too many times this season they have looked like a team waving a white flag.
“Under Pochettino they have travelled away 27 times to face a fellow Big Six side – and secured only three wins. But against the league leaders on Sunday, they at least showed a bit of grit. I’m not saying this was them turning a corner.
“But we finally saw some of their players having a go. It was a silly mistake by Serge Aurier that cost Spurs. He caught the back of Sadio Mane’s leg and gave away a cheap penalty. Aurier comes with that element of risk – it denied them a result.”
TBR’s view – Spurs have looked more like themselves in last two games
Against Red Star, Spurs enjoyed themselves. But even at 0-0 on Tuesday night, Pochettino’s players were closing down with intensity and playing much higher up the pitch – something which they had not done this season.
It was similar against Liverpool. The pressure Spurs put on the Liverpool midfield stopped Jurgen Klopp’s side from controlling the game. Only Aurier, who earns £70k-a-week (Spotrac), comes out of the game with criticism.
Whether or not Spurs have turned a corner remains to be seen, but a big win in the Champions League and an excellent display against Liverpool are promising signs. If they can beat Everton next Sunday, then perhaps they are back to their normal selves.