Liverpool coach Pep Lijnders believes the team ‘deserve a compliment’ for one display against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The Reds battled in a tough situation.
That 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur is still firmly on the mind two days later. It was just that kind of game.
It does feel a little as though Liverpool were robbed by referee decisions, even if Spurs missed a hat-full of golden chances. But that’s no all that deserves focus.
Pep Lijnders, for instance, feels the team ‘deserves a compliment’ for how they handled the game. Liverpool lost Thiago to a positive Covid-19 test on the day of the game, while Jordan Henderson missed it with an unrelated illness.
They added to Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho as major, first-XI absences. Liverpool simply didn’t have a solid spine against Tottenham, forcing Jurgen Klopp into new ideas.
The boss started 19-year-old Tyler Morton at the base of midfield, with Naby Keita and James Milner ahead of him. The latter two may be far more experienced than Morton but both recently had semi-long-term injuries. They can’t possibly have been 100% fit.
The Reds battled against Spurs, though, and put in a respectable performance. In the first-half, in particular, Liverpool troubled Tottenham and established some control on the game. Lijnders feels that’s worthy of praise.
Lijnders on Liverpool vs Tottenham
“A big compliment for the team how they dealt with all these changes,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com.
“You saw in the first half with having 70 per cent possession and creating chance after chance, I think we had like 12 chances and they had five in the first half, we attacked the game in the right way and we created this mindset.
“That deserves a compliment for the team.”
Liverpool were far from perfect in the first-half against Tottenham. They were very, very vulnerable on the counter-attack – but you kind of have to expect that. There was no Van Dijk, no Fabinho to shield midfield, and no Jordan Henderson or Thiago to press ahead of him.
They battled valiantly, though, and as Lijnders points out, did manage to bring a lot of positives. That does deserve plenty of praise in amongst the frustration.