Football - AVB: Defeat difficult to take

Andre Villas-Boas felt Tottenham's defeat at Liverpool was harsh on his side.

PA Sport

The 3-2 loss at Anfield ended Spurs' 12-match unbeaten league run - their last defeat also coming on Merseyside against Everton in December - and manager Villas-Boas said: "It is difficult for us to take because we did ever so well to come back into the game.

"We lost control of the game when things looked to be going our way, which was more down to a couple of mistakes we did rather than to Liverpool's merit - although they worked very hard."

Luis Suarez opened the scoring only for Jan Vertonghen to score twice - with both goals created by Gareth Bale - within a few minutes either side of half-time to turn the match around.

However, a bizarre back-pass from Kyle Walker allowed Stewart Downing to equalise and when Suarez was fouled by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Steven Gerrard stroked home an 82nd-minute penalty winner.

Villas-Boas refused to blame fatigue after Thursday's 3-0 Europa League win over Inter Milan for allowing Liverpool back into the game.

"I think we looked very strong and the overall performance was excellent - it had nothing to do with tiredness," he added.

"Liverpool pressed us hard on that (Walker) backpass and they deserve credit for that as they put us under pressure very quickly. Sometimes moments like this happen and you can't be too negative to a player who has done well in a 12-game unbeaten run. Hopefully this setback can serve as an example to move forward."

He praised Vertonghen after the centre-back took his tally for the season to five.

"Jan has been doing extremely well and has adapted to the country very quickly," said the Spurs boss. "He is a defender who scores goals and he showed exactly that quality."

View Comments