Like their visit in 2008-09, Liverpool took a first half lead, created more chances and looked the better side throughout the contest. But then an own goal changed the landscape of the game and a last minute winner gave the hosts victory.
While Tottenham receive all the plaudits, the Reds are once again left cursing themselves for a lack of cutting edge in front of goal.
Despite their failings in front of goal, it is fair to say that Roy Hodgson’s side produced arguably their best performance away from home so far this season, and were unfortunate not to add to their meagre total of just five points collected on the road.
Had they shown a little more conviction, they would now be level on points with Harry Redknapp’s side that came into Sunday’s contest on the back of another comeback win against arch-rivals Arsenal, and a comfortable victory against a poor Werder Bremen.
If defeat was a bitter pill to swallow, then the loss of Jamie Carragher to a dislocated shoulder for three months, as well as drawing fierce rivals Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup, will test Liverpool’s credentials for the rest of the season.
The loss of Carragher has also left Hodgson short of leaders on the pitch, especially with Steven Gerrard sidelined for another two weeks. Who takes over as captain in the meantime is a dilemma the manager wishes he never had to face at this stage of the season.
However, it is quite possible that their leadership skills wouldn’t have been acquired anyway for this Thursday’s Europa League game with Steaua Bucharest. With Hodgson preferring to rest his key stars for the competition, it would have come as no surprise if the local heroes never made an appearance in Romania.
Regardless, a positive result on Thursday will see Liverpool through to the knock-out stages and provide them with a confidence boost going into the next game against Aston Villa on Monday night.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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