Tottenham Hotspur were leapfrogged in the Premier League standings as their poor run of form continued at the helm of Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side showed no mercy as they put three goals past the north London outfit inside the opening 15 minutes and it looked as if Spurs were heading for a repeat of their defensive disasterclass at Newcastle United, where they shipped five goals within 20 minutes.
However, Ryan Mason’s side were able to somewhat restrict the Reds in front of goal from there on out. Harry Kane managed to get one back before the break and then Heung-min Son added another late on.
Spurs nearly registered another impressive comeback when substitute Richarlison popped up with what seemed to be the equaliser in the 93rd minute but Diogo Jota had other ideas after an absolute gift from Lucas Moura set him through to snag the winner seconds later.
The loss all but shatters the prospect of the Lilywhites finishing in the top four this season, having slipped down to sixth place – two points behind their opposition, who still have a game in hand.
Meanwhile, it was another shocking outing from Cristian Romero in the heart of defence…
How did Cristian Romero play vs Liverpool?
The 25-year-old centre-back has been on one heck of a decline since his World Cup triumph in Qatar, where he lifted the trophy with Argentina back in December.
In a chaotic opening quarter-of-an-hour, Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville was quick to lambast Romero, as well as his defensive partner Eric Dier, as he claimed they were an “absolute shambles” and suggested they were “all over the place.”
Defensively, the €55m (£50m) signing was a “liability” – as described by Sky Sports presenter Dougie Critchley – as he failed to win more than three duels, a success rate of just 50%, which suggests that he struggled to combat the threat on offer from Liverpool’s tricky frontline.
Romero, who misplaced as many as eight passes, was also at fault for the Merseyside outfit’s third goal as he took down Cody Gakpo with a piece of “diabolical” defending, in the eyes of Jamie Redknapp, which allowed Mohamed Salah to step up and convert his 28th goal of the season.
At the other end of the pitch, the aggressive Argentine failed to convert a rare opportunity to score as his flick over Allison hit the post, resulting in an expected goals (xG) ratio of 0.47, via Sofascore. Kane’s effort came in at a lower 0.37, so it was a major chance wasted.
It’s hard to argue against Romero costing Spurs points once again – he proved to be his typical overly-aggressive and calamitous self, a far cry from the player we witnessed before the winter break.
Telegraph reporter Sam Dean took to Twitter during the match to criticise the £165k-per-week star. He said: “Cristian Romero’s decline in form over the past few months has been wild. Presumably it’s linked in some way to the World Cup. He’s a 25-year-old Argentina international and he’s playing like a reckless teenager.”
Whilst Moura’s pathetic backpass practically handed Liverpool the three points, it was Romero’s early showing that had Spurs on the backfoot early doors yet again and ultimately that’s what cost the team, leaking another four poor goals.
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