Liverpool and Roy Hodgson came to White Hart Lane this afternoon looking for another victory over a London side after soundly defeating West Ham last time out. However, a win against West Ham, particularly at home, should have been expected.
Playing away from Anfield has been a real problem for the Reds this season, with Hodgson bringing his abysmal away record and tactics up to Liverpool.
The Reds will be without captain Steven Gerrard for several weeks which has allowed Raul Meireles to move into the central midfield role where he has been so much more effective.
Fernando Torres is again given a partner, this time David Ngog. But the Frenchman, having excelled in the Europa League this season, has once again fallen short in the league.
Still without Joe Cole, it is difficult to see where the creative spark for the Reds will come from. They have no one that is on par with Luca Modric of Spurs who provides the flair for the Londoners.
This week has seen Pepe Reina come out with comments saying that if Liverpool's performance and league position does not improve quickly, then star players may not be around Anfield next season. This is an ominous warning for the manager and new owners that where the club finishes this season is important and that this season should not written off so quickly.
The rebuilding needs to begin immediately, not next season.
Liverpool come up against a Tottenham team that has just booked its place in the next round of the Champions League, a competition that Liverpool must aim to get back into next season.
7 of 10
After a quiet first half in which Pepe Reina was not really tested and did not have too much to do, the second half was a different prospect.
Reina was certainly called into action in the final 45 minutes as Spurs turned the screw. But Reina was not at fault for either goals and came up with some good stops when required, even diving the right way for the penalty miss. If it had been inside the post, he would probably have saved it.
Once again it was a performance where little could be criticised, he was simply let down by his defenders in front of him......again.
3 of 10
Yet another poor performance from Roy Hodgson's former left back at Fulham who he thought was good enough to play for Liverpool. How wrong could Hodgson have been? Paul Konchesky is not the quality of player required by Liverpool, and that was pretty clear from the date of his signing.
Today he was skinned by Aaron Lennon over and over again, and on many occasions was left out of position when trying to get the early challenge in and missing.
Konchesky was also poor in his distribution and playing the ball out of defense.
At the death, he fell asleep and let in Lennon again. This was when Lennon ran on into the box and shot past a hopelessly exposed Pepe Reina.
Surely it is time that Hodgson dropped his nepotism and gave Konchesky a place on the bench—or better yet, in the reserves.
6 of 10
Glen Johnson vs. Gareth Bale was the top billing of the game at the start, but Johnson actually held his own and was not exposed by the Welshman as supposedly far more effective right backs have been in the past.
There were some occasions where his pace and trickery got him past his defender, and he did form a good partnership with Dirk Kuyt.
Yet his real benefit to the team is further up the pitch. If Roy Hodgson would take the responsibility of defending off Johnson we might see him really flourish at the right side of midfield.
Come on Hodgson, play Johnson on the wing. He will not let you down.........
spurs v liverpool
7 of 10
On the landmark of his 450th appearance in the red of the Reds, Jamie Carragher was his beloved Liverpool's most effective defender.
Having to be substituted after 86 minutes due to a shoulder injury, he displayed his passion for the Reds when he was seen screaming at his replacement for not being ready to come on for him.
Carragher typically threw himself at a shot that would certainly have found its way into the net if he was not there.
His covering of his full backs with no-nonsense clearances was also a feature of his game today. It showed that despite his aging legs, Carragher still has much to offer Liverpool's first team.
6 of 10
Having only ever scored once for Liverpool in the whole of his Reds career, today he scored twice. However, one was past his own goalkeeper.
Martin Skrtel in the main had a solid game and was also good at covering for his fullbacks. His goal was about good anticipation, as he actually won the initial header from the corner, and when the ball fell to him, he shot past Gomes into the net.
But then on 65 minutes, Modric glided past Liverpool defenders, and when he played the ball from the bye-line, Skrtel diverted the ball past Pepe Reina into his own net. In his defense, if he had not gotten to the ball, Peter Crouch would surely have scored.
Apart from that error, Skrtel had a pretty solid game and, alongside Carragher, seems to be the manager's first choice centre back combination.
7 of 10
Maxi Rodriguez seems a different player this season. He is playing with far more confidence and flair and seems to have settled into the English game now.
With eight minutes on the clock he toe-poked a powerful shot towards goal. But a good outing was spoilt by a wasted chance given to him by a sublime blind pass from Fernando Torres. Maxi took one touch too many, when a single touch and finish would have put the ball into the back of the net.
Maxi shows more and more confidence with each outing, but he really should have finished off the game when given the chance.
Despite that, another effective display from the Argentine.
5 of 10
Dirk Kuyt was back onto the right flank where he has played alongside Fernando Torres in recent games. Playing with his usual workmanlike style, the Dutchman was that and not too much more today.
He did look to play the early ball into the box from the flanks, and when he did the quality on the whole was good.
There was a strong shout from the players for a penalty when Kuyt drove into the box, but in the end the referee was right in not awarding the spot kick
But Kuyt did not see enough of the ball to have much bearing on the game, but it was a solid outing, as usual and expected.
7 of 10
It seems that Lucas has finally come of age as he looks like a competent central midfielder. The young Brazilian is showing strength, courage and passion, as well as good distribution.
Lucas is not trying to do too much and just does the simple things, which he is starting to do very well. His passes may not be the most extravagant, but they are accurate and simple.
His tackling has become cleaner, but he is not afraid to throw himself about a bit and get stuck in. Possibly the most consistent performer for the Reds this season, Lucas may slowly have won over many of his detractors.
Lucas controlled the midfield and out-maneuvered Tottenham's Palacios so much so that the Spurs player was ineffective in commanding the midfield.
6 of 10
Finally Raul Meireles has found himself playing in the position that actually brought him to Liverpool in the first place. As a central midfielder, the Portuguese international is a far more effective player than when Hodgson plays him on the flanks.
The team is far more balanced with Meireles playing in a central role, and we are not too far away from celebrating his first goal. He has a ferocious shot off both feet as was illustrated in the 39th and 83rd minutes with venomous drives.
He also showed his "box to box" abilities with a goal line clearance in the 51st minute which demonstrated his positional play.
All in all, Meireles seems to be settling into the English game, and his manager must continue to play him in this central role, at least until Steven Gerrard is back at the least.
5 of 10
The jury is still out for David Ngog, but Roy Hodgson seems to have seen enough in training to play him ahead of Dirk Kuyt in the role alongside Fernando Torres.
He did get into promising positions but just did not have the skill to exploit them.
He was a bit unlucky to be penalised for protecting his face from the free kick, and moreover, if the referee considered a handball had been committed then it appeared to have been outside the area anyway.
Replaced in the 74th minute by Fabio Aurelio, Ngog had a promising but once again fairly ineffectual performance
6 of 10
Fernando Torres produced some sublime touches and passes for his teammates this game, in particular for Maxi. But when we needed Torres to be at his lethal best, he seemed uncharacteristically shy to pull the trigger.
On more than one occasion, Torres was clear and failed to test the Tottenham goal keeper. He should have put the game beyond Spurs.
Once in first half injury time, and then right from the start of the second half, Torres did not put the ball away when every Liverpool fan was waiting for him to peel away in celebration.
As the game wore on, we started to see the Torres of early on in the season, where he looked frustrated and gave away needless free kicks.
Torres needs to be scoring goals and Liverpool, winning games, or else we may be seeing El Nino in Liverpool colours until the end of the season and no more.
5 of 10
Note that Fabio Aurelio is injury free so we should see him playing at left back, but his introduction into the game in place of David Ngog did little to inject a greater attacking threat into Liverpool's play. It did demonstrate that Aurelio still possess a good left foot, though.
He was pushed further upfield than usual but did play in midfield under Rafa Benitez and did so fairly well.
This afternoon though, Aurelio will have shown that he is fit and should play in defense in place of Paul Konchesky who was completely out of his depth.
Came on far too late to make any real impact.
6 of 10
Roy Hodgson finally saw sense when it came to where to play Raul Meireles, playing the Portuguese central midfielder in central midfield where he has proven more effective when drifting in from his previous games on the flank.
The team was far more balanced than in previous outings and played with far more expression and freedom than any previous away fixture under Hodgson. This follows comments from Hodgson that he believes that his squad is far better than he first anticipated, and possibly he is trusting his players more and allowing them to be more expansive on the pitch.
Hodgson also seemed to have allowed his team to play this away fixture as though it was being played at Anfield. The overall negative approach which has won him no fans whatsoever seemed to have been thrown out the window.
Liverpool defended further up the field and did not get sucked into defending too deep and allowing Spurs to pile on the pressure.
A draw would have been a fair result, with Hodgson pretty happy to take a point from Spurs, but Liverpool were sucker punched in the five minutes of added on time.
Hodgson's left back buy, Paul Konchesky, fell asleep and allowed a long ball to find its way into the box and let Lennon muscle past him and shoot past Pepe Reina to condemn Liverpool to yet another away defeat.
But the manner of the loss was encouraging, if any defeat ever can be. Hodgson seems finally to be learning his lessons, and Liverpool played with more fluency, flair and creativity.
However, playing a 4-4-2 may not be the best system to best utilize the players the manager has at his disposal. The 4-5-1 with Torres as a lone striker has served the Reds well and partnering the Spaniard has not made him any more potent, but may have given him less freedom.
Liverpool are missing Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole, both of whom will no doubt add to the chances that Torres will be provided with.
David Ngog has been given chances to show his worth but in the league has not really taken them. Surely Dirk Kuyt could play alongside Torres, allowing Ryan Babel or Milan Jovanovic to play on the flanks.
Roy Hodgson is slightly unfortunate to leave London empty-handed, when a draw would have been the correct result. A lapse in concentration from his left back of his Fulham days sank his ship again, though.
The Liverpool manager appeared to have learnt some lessons for this game. The one he needs to learn for the next game is that Paul Konchesky is not good enough to play in Liverpool's first team.