Luis Suarez heaped the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas with two goals as Liverpool condemned Tottenham to the biggest home defeat of the Portuguese’s reign.
Scorers: Liverpool - Suarez (18,84), Henderson (40), Flanagan (75), Sterling (89)
Suarez was imperious as Liverpool cruised to a 5-0 win, the margin not flattering the visitors at all. Tottenham were booed off by the few fans who had stayed to watch until the end.
Their defensive line always looked vulnerable to Liverpool’s pace, and the way in which they crumbled will be a big concern to Villas-Boas, especially after Spurs lost in a similarly humiliating fashion against rivals Manchester City a few weeks ago.
John Flanagan, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling also scored to give Liverpool their biggest win at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham, who had Paulinho sent off for a studs-up challenge on Suarez, did not have a shot on target all match. Roberto Soldado floundered up front once again despite his improved showing in the Europa League.
His opposite number Suarez was simply superb. The Uruguayan now has 17 league goals this season. If Roy Hodgson was watching, he will, no doubt, be scared about the prospect of facing the striker next summer.
Of more immediate concern to Tottenham fans will be the form of their team. The Londoners are five points outside the top four having spent £110million this summer and their fans are growing restless.
Not even a win over West Ham in the Capital One Cup will silence the doubters who claim Villas-Boas is not the man to lead the club forward.
After weathering a hectic opening ten minutes, Liverpool started to get into the game. Suarez was at the focal point of every attack. The former Ajax man gave his marker the slip to break the Spurs defence, but Kyle Walker came to the rescue with a crucial block.
Sterling’s rapid pace down the right gave Kyle Naughton problems and Tottenham’s defence looked wobbly.
After a ten-minute period of pressure, Brendan Rodgers’ team took the lead and it was no surprise who scored it.
Michael Dawson could not keep control of the ball following a tackle on the edge of the area. The ball fell to Henderson who slipped in Suarez and he clipped the ball past Hugo Lloris, despite a last-ditch attempt from Walker.
Lloris raced off his line to block Suarez after he broke through moments later. Philippe Coutinho was the next man to test Spurs, hitting the bar to set nerves jangling. Mousa Dembele carelessly gave the ball away and Liverpool piled forward on the break. The only way Dawson could stop the galloping Henderson was to bring him down, earning a booking that means he will miss the next match.
Lloris went walkabout again, coming out of his box to clear with a weak header, but luckily for Spurs, Suarez did not take advantage.
Nacer Chadli missed a free header in the box and Roberto Soldado fluffed a weak shot, but otherwise Tottenham looked toothless in attack.
Liverpool continued to dominate and their inevitable second goal came five minutes from the break. Again, Liverpool had a man over on the break as they poured forward. Lloris was forced into two last-ditch saves from Henderson and Suarez, but the Frenchman could do nothing to stop the midfielder’s second attempt.
Spurs were booed off at half-time. Villas-Boas put Naughton out of his misery and replaced him with Zeki Fryers.
Liverpool did not relent after the break and Tottenham’s misery was compounded 15 minutes from time when Flanagan’s half-volley crashed into the net off the underside of the bar.
Tottenham fans started leaving with ten minutes left. More fans then headed for the exits when Suarez latched on to Luis Alberto’s through ball and lifted the ball over Lloris to make it 4-0.
Sterling wrapped up the humiliation in 89th minute and the Liverpool fans taunted Villas-Boas, claiming he would be “sacked in the morning”.