Ange Postecoglou may already have Tottenham answer after telling post-match Liverpool comment

Ange Postecoglou was very honest when speaking about his team's attacking woes in their defeat at Liverpool
Ange Postecoglou was very honest when speaking about his team's attacking woes in their defeat at Liverpool -Credit:DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

It was a case of too little, too late for Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham side on Sunday afternoon as they mounted a late comeback at Anfield. Trailing 4-0 inside an hour, Spurs gave themselves a glimmer of hope following goals from Richarlison and Son Heung-min.

Cutting through the Liverpool team with ease at times to get into some very promising positions in the final third, the home fans sensed a nervy finale with the visitors creating a handful of openings. Liverpool, on the other hand, had chances of their own to add to the scoreline with gaps appearing across the Spurs backline as they pushed on for a third goal.

It was very similar to the team's 4-2 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion over the festive period as they again trailed by four goals before netting twice in the closing stages. Giving themselves such a huge mountain to climb at Anfield after conceding some very poor goals from a Tottenham perspective, another area that Spurs were poor in was the final third.

Opting to start Son in a central role again with Richarlison unable to do back-to-back starts following his recent injury, Dejan Kulusevski and Brennan Johnson were either side of the South Korean in the front three. Apart from a ball that Johnson fizzed across the box that his teammates couldn't get on the end of in the first half, the trio did nothing of note to trouble Liverpool's backline prior to Postecoglou rolling the dice.

Son got no change at all out of Virgil van Dijk and Jarell Quansah, with the two Liverpool centre-backs totally nullifying the Tottenham captain. Amid question marks over his striker role in recent weeks, this showing from the 31-year-old did nothing to change the opinion of many that he should be utilised on the left flank by Postecoglou.

While Son did manage to get himself on the scoresheet and cause problems for Liverpool late on with some good runs into the box, his performance prior to that was poor and it was summed up by a one-on-one miss against Alisson, although the flag did go up seconds later to spare his blushes. The introduction of Richarlison on the hour mark helped Tottenham get back into the contest and presented Liverpool with a real test for the first time in the match.

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Booed whenever he was on the ball due to his Everton connections, the 26-year-old provided Tottenham with a much-needed focal point and he proved to be a real nuisance to the Liverpool defence due to his energy and work rate. Fashioning an opening immediately after coming on and taking the game to Liverpool whenever he was in possession, Richarlison got the goal his performance deserved when he slotted in Johnson's low cross 18 minutes from time.

He would then add an assist to his numbers for the season after taking in Oliver Skipp's pass and laying the ball off for Son to convert. Forcing Alisson into a save late on, Richarlison was undoubtedly Tottenham's best player on the day and he was a major reason for their fightback in the closing stages.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Postecoglou was very honest when he said the team "lacked a real sort of cutting edge" and they had "nothing in that front third" up until their late comeback. A reason for that could be confidence, as pointed out by the head coach.

"Maybe in the front third there is," he admitted. "Like I said, I thought our football was good today. Under pressure they are a really good pressing team and we played some good stuff to get through them and then we get to the front third and nothing would happen.

"It probably is a bit of a lack of confidence but again that's something the guys have to work through. You have to find a way to overcome that because ultimately if you don't put pressure on the opposition in the front third after you've worked your way up there, they're going to get comfortable with their position. It's probably a little bit of that but we've got to find a way to snap out of that because it's not going to happen on its own."

Tottenham very much do need to "snap out of that" if they are to at least finish the season on a positive note. Postecoglou can take positives from the way his team finished the game and he may have found his front three for Saturday's Premier League encounter against Burnley.

"It's fair to say before he came on we never looked threatening at all whenever we got into those areas," he said of Richarlison in his post-match press conference. "Him coming on, I thought Sonny improved on the left and Brennan on the right just gave us a bit more of a presence."

Richarlison, providing he is fully fit of course, looks set to be a certain starter against Burnley after his impressive cameo against Liverpool. That would then allow Son and Johnson to play either side of him, thus seeing Kulusevski drop down to the bench in the process.

Like Richarlison, Skipp, James Maddison and Giovani Lo Celso also impressed from the substitutes' bench on Merseyside to put themselves into Postecoglou's thinking for the Burnley game. After four successive Premier League defeats, changes do need to take place if Tottenham are to get back on track.

Another dismal day for Postecoglou and Tottenham, the Australian can at least take a few things from Sunday's 4-2 Liverpool defeat into their next Premier League fixture. Richarlison's performance is certainly one of them.

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