TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 vs LIVERPOOL 5
SHELL-SHOCKED Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas insisted last night that he will not be forced to quit despite the north Londoners suffering their worst home defeat in 16 years.
A brace from Luis Suarez, as well as goals from Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling, inflicted a second drubbing in recent weeks on Tottenham, who also lost 6-0 to Manchester City last month.
The results have piled pressure on the team’s 36-year-old manager, with Swansea’s Michael Laudrup and ex-England boss Fabio Capello installed as two of the favourites to replace him, while Frank Rijkaard is believed to be highly thought of by the Spurs board. Yet with his team still just five points off the top four, Villas-Boas is defiant.
“I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter. The only thing I can do is work hard with the players to try to get the results that we all want,” he said.
“I assume the responsibility of the failure. We have to bounce back like we did after City.”
Villas-Boas described yesterday’s sending off of Paulinho as “the killer blow” for Spurs as they chased the game. The visitors had gone ahead on 18 minutes as Suarez darted into the box, collected a return pass from Henderson and curled low inside the far post.
Coutinho then hit the bar, and Suarez uncharacteristically wasted a good chance, while Lewis Holtby came on for Sandro and dragged a shot wide just before half-time. Yet soon after Holtby’s chance Liverpool extended the lead as Henderson volleyed in from 10 yards after two saves by Hugo Lloris.
Shortly after the hour mark Spurs were down to 10 men as Paulinho was sent off for raising his boot to Suarez’s chest while going for a bouncing ball.
And with a quarter of an hour to go Flanagan curled a right-footed effort in off the underside of the crossbar.
In the final minutes Suarez chipped a through-ball over Lloris, before playing in Sterling for a one-on-one five minutes later to complete the rout.