Is it safe to come out yet?
The Jimmy G2 Column.
.I wanted a performance and wasn't expecting a result. We threatened for a time to get both. We were under siege by design and all but pinched it. We parked the bus again and made a fair fist of defending with our backs to the wall.
We were helped in our defensive game plan by a very early headed goal for Kane responding alertly to a Son shot that deflected off Lovren's head onto the woodwork and back into Kane's sphere of influence
Sanchez and Toby coped well under pressure. Gazzaniga kept us in it after we went ahead after 48 seconds and went down eventually to a Salah penalty in the 75th. minute. Between times we defended and defended but gave the ball away sloppily out of defence.
We had 30% of the possession and by the end 4 shots on target. There was a growing inevitability about the loss despite Rose fluffing a good late chance and Son hitting the crossbar having rounded the keeper. Kane and Dele were both close to converting crosses.
Mauricio made 4 changes from the midweek mauling of Red Star. Winks returned with Eriksen; Toby replaced Vertonghen; Rose replaced Davies; Lamela injured in training was sadly not in the match day squad
Neither Rose nor Eriksen justified their selection and it is always telling when the goalkeeper is your MOM. This was a very unfamiliar game plan which at half time looked as if it might pay off until Henderson's scrappy equaliser in the 52nd. minute.
Eriksen and Dele spent the afternoon chasing red shadows which is not really their game but contributed little to composed break out play. Winks and Dele were caught on the ball and only Son and Kane showed effective endeavour.
Both goals were down to full back errors, Rose again misjudged a cross-field ball to Henderson and Aurier's mind seemed to be elsewhere when he hacked into the back of Mane's legs having initially seen off the danger.
After Henderson's equaliser a Liverpool win looked increasingly likely as they repeatedly pressed. We hung on and an unlikely point loomed but the very fact that we defended deep and completely jettisoned the press was evidence that we knew that this was one we couldn't win.
We didn't get thrashed which was a widespread fear before the game and emerged with some credit, but we lost. The performance will probably protect Mauricio again from his increasingly vocal critics but we are closer to the relegation zone than the top four.
Ndombele and Lo Celso showed some spirit and skill when they came on for Winks and Eriksen but once again they came on too late to really influence matters and of course they they hadn't spent most of the afternoon chasing their own tails.
It's not quite 'Where's Harry Redknapp when you need him' time but increasingly people are weighing up the replacement options. I wouldn't get too depressed losing to Liverpool, unbeaten League leaders and European Champions at Anfield.
Back to Mersyside for the Everton game for the late kick-off on Sunday 3rd.
A whole week for rumours and other distractions to fester but having cunningly dropped out of the Carabao we have time to re-group and refocus.
Aurier, Rose and Eriksen should be relegated from the starting line-up. If fit, Lamela and Ndombele should start. A win will prolong the agony once again. Lose and who knows.
According to reports in France Jose Mourinho has been 'contacted' with a view to replacing Mauricio if he leaves by consent, spontaneously combusts, or in the unlikely event that he is sacked.
So that's a nailed on draw then and we are marooned in No Man's Land for another week.
Jimmy's Video Spot.
Nearly a defensive and goalkeeping masterclass. Nearly. Son overhits his shot and it should have been 2/0 with a Gazza assist. Sissoko's tenacity leads to the early goal.
Both goals were full back errors: Rose misjudged the crossfield pass, Henderson shins a finish and a careless Aurier tackle, but we know he has that in his locker, and we're done for.
But it's safe to come out again in the light of an unorthodox Spurs performance. Spurs fans will not welcome this approach on a regular basis so 'Don't try this at home'.