Despite missing their star man Heung-min Son, the Lilywhites were never out of the game as veteran Ivan Perisic had a number of chances upfront alongside Harry Kane, who scored a consolation goal late in the second half but it wasn’t enough to cancel out Mohamed Salah’s brace in north London.
Both of the Reds’ goals were from Spurs’ own doing, notably the second as central defender Eric Dier messed up a header back towards Hugo Lloris in goal. It hit his shoulder, fell into the Egyptian’s path and he dinked a deft chip over the France no.1.
However, the England international – who has enjoyed a new lease of life under Conte – wasn’t the real villain at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the home side struggled to make their pressure count during the second half.
Emerson Royal was arguably the bigger liability on the night as he struggled to have any influence on the match past the halfway line.
The Brazil international, who cost the club around £26m from FC Barcelona, was clearly a problem in the Italian’s eyes as he hooked him in the 68th minute for Matt Doherty, who offers a far greater threat going forward.
Indeed, the £62k-per-week flop lost five of his seven duels (71.4%) – both in the air and on the ground – and also lost possession of the ball 15 times, which was once every 3.4 touches or once every 4.5 minutes, via SofaScore.
Emerson even failed to deliver a single accurate cross despite three attempts and failed to create a key chance or provide a shot.
By comparison, one of Doherty’s first involvements saw him put through fellow substitute Dejan Kulusevski, who then provided an assist for Kane’s effort. He also had a better passing accuracy (88% vs 74%) too.
‘Final ball was desperately lacking again, underlined by a wildly overhit cross in the second half,’ wrote the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick, whilst Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp lambasted his involvement for Liverpool’s opener (via the Express):
“You’ve got all that space down that left-hand side,” he said. “Emerson Royal’s too tucked in, there’s no reason, you’re playing three at the back, that’s your job.”
As such, it was Emerson living up to talkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara‘s tag of him being a “complete liability” and a “mistake waiting to happen” once again.
It seems as if every time he steps out onto the pitch, he does Spurs more harm than good and that is something that has to be rectified after the World Cup break.