We were poor admits Tottenham boss Pochettino
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Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham’s poor performance at Anfield shows they have a way to go before they can consider themselves genuine Premier League title contenders.
Spurs conceded two goals in the first 18 minutes away against Liverpool – with Sadio Mane scoring both of them – and although they stopped the rot and managed not to concede again, they fell to a 2-0 defeat.
The Lilywhites remain second in the table but leaders Chelsea can move 12 points clear if they beat Burnley tomorrow, and Pochettino said: “I think we were poor. It’s difficult to fight for the Premier League if you show that performance, that lack of aggression and desire to play for the win.
“We had some chances, one for [Heung-Min] Son – a one v one with the keeper – and a few others. To be honest we didn’t deserve too much.
“If you start the game how we started it’s too difficult. In front of us was a very good team. They were more aggressive after a tough few weeks. Liverpool have a very good team and good players.
“I think they were better, more aggressive than us. We never coped with the tempo of the game.
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“Full credit to Liverpool. They were better than us. If you don’t reach the same level of aggression from the beginning then something happens. After 20 minutes you find yourself 2-0 down and it’s too late to react.”
Mane held off Ben Davies to fire home from Georginio Wijnaldum’s through ball for the first Liverpool goal, then pounced at close range after Hugo Lloris had denied Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.
Simon Mignolet denied Heung-Min Son soon after, but Spurs grew increasingly frustrated and finished with five yellow cards.
They now have a 15-day break before their next Premier League fixture against Stoke at White Hart Lane and Pochettino added: “We are second in the table, one point above Liverpool. My feeling now is not so good. But we need to recover after that defeat and try to fight.
“Liverpool have two weeks to prepare in the Premier League. We need to be focused now on Thursday in the Europa League [against Gent] and then the FA Cup [against Fulham] and then the Europa League and then Stoke at home.
“We cannot waste time thinking about this too much. We need to be clever now and assess why [it happened] and try to improve our game from the beginning and not react after 20 minutes.
“It will be difficult for anyone to catch Chelsea. Nine points is a massive gap and, if they win, 12 will be more difficult.”
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies, Dembele (Sissoko 77), Wanyama, Eriksen (Winks 68), Alli, Son (Janssen 82), Kane. Unused subs: Vorm, Nkoudou, Trippier, Wimmer.