Spurs striker Harry Kane has said that his side “needs to understand big games” following a dramatic 4-3 defeat at Liverpool.
Tottenham suffered a brutal loss in their pursuit of European football in a topsy-turvy game on Sunday. Liverpool struck fast, scoring three times within the first 15 minutes.
However, Harry Kane grabbed his 25th league goal of 2022/23 to give Spurs hope at half-time.
Jurgen Klopp’s side attempted to nullify the match in the second half, although did not cover off Tottenham’s counterattacking abilities. Heung-Min Son made it 3-2, before Richarlison grabbed what looked like a last-gasp equaliser in injury time.
But the drama was not done yet. Liverpool’s kick-off put Lucas Moura under pressure, and the substitute made a fatal error. He handed the ball to Diogo Jota, whose driven shot saw Liverpool win at the death.
Unbelievably, Spurs had fought back from 3-0 down, only to throw away a great comeback on the last kick of the game.
Most concerning, though, was another disastrous opening exchange during an away match.
Harry Kane laments awful Spurs starts
This was the second consecutive away match where Spurs found themselves 3-0 down early on. This is of major concern to all at the club – including Harry Kane.
“Dreadful start in the first twenty minutes – but it’s obviously not the first time that’s happened this season,” said Kane, via Sky Sports. “We need to start understanding moments, start understanding big games better. You’re coming away to Anfield, just like going away to St James’ Park, yet the same thing happened.”
While praising his side’s ability to recover results, the England captain conceded that Spurs’ slow starts are unacceptable.
“I think, over the course of the season, we’ve shown that we can come back in games. And to do it away at Anfield shows what we’re capable of. But to have the starts that we’ve had is just hard to even put into words. It’s hard to even talk about.
“There are only so many words you can use,” added Kane. “The bottom line is you need to go out there and prove it not to be the case. We’ve conceded pretty much in the first minute of the last three games we’ve played. It’s down to us to go away and find a reason why.”
Sunday’s lethargic opening period against Liverpool was the continuation of a worrying trend for the North London club.
Tottenham’s woeful conceding record at the start of games
Spurs have, unfortunately, developed a habit of starting games on the back foot in this campaign. During the 2022/23 season, Tottenham have conceded first in 16 of their 34 games so far.
Furthermore, in 11 of those matches, they have conceded within the first twenty minutes, too.
Granted, some of these games have still translated into positive results. For example, Spurs thrashed Leicester 6-2 after going behind early on. They also beat Bournemouth and Leeds after overturning deficits.
But, more often than not, Tottenham drop points when they fall behind. And they do this at an incredibly high rate for a team with Champions League aspirations.
Whether it’s a lack of intensity or simple defensive lapses, interim coach Ryan Mason will want to get a hold of this quickly.
Their next match is against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Here, a goal for Harry Kane could see him surpass Wayne Rooney on the all-time PL goals list – while Spurs will need their striker firing if they want a win.
Featured image credit: Getty