• Premier League

Villas-Boas takes blame for Tottenham hammering

ESPN staff
December 15, 2013 « Clarke has 'deep regret' over sacking | Chartbeat test »
AVB's future out of his hands

Under-fire Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas praised "spectacular" Liverpool after they demolished his side 5-0 at White Hart Lane but stressed: "I assume the responsibility of the failure."

Spurs, who had Paulinho sent off in the second half for a chest-high challenge on two-goal Luis Suarez, failed to muster a shot on target in the entire match.

And Villas-Boas, whose side were beaten 6-0 at Manchester City, said: "It was difficult for us - Liverpool were spectacular today. They made really good pressing and couldn't let us play.

"Our response came in the second half but, when we fell short of Paulinho, the game was difficult to turn. Liverpool started dominating possession and putting balls in behind. We struggled. I assume the responsibility of the failure.

"We have to bounce back like we did after City. In the Premier League, things are not going as we expected. It is normal that frustration is there from everybody."

Asked whether he feared for his position a White Hart Lane, Villas-Boas said he did "not need to convince anybody" and added: "It's not me who decides. I can only work to make things better.

"We didn't have any shots on target today. We are the team with the most shots in the Premier League, independent of our poor goalscoring record. Today it wasn't to be because Liverpool had a great, great game. Again, I assume the responsibility of the failure.

"I don't need to convince anybody. Our run is magnificent in other competitions, but not in the Premier League. That is the reality that we face."

He suggested that the dismissal of Paulinho was the key moment, saying: "It was difficult after the sending-off. That was our best period.

"I think the sending-off is a bit unfair. I agree that Paulinho raises his feet high but has no intention to take it on Suarez. I think yellow was appropriate. That was the key moment in the game and didn't give us a chance to hit back.

"The reality is we have had some injuries which have forced us to adapt. But we assume that we can do better. It is up to us once again to give a response as we should."

His Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers hailed the best performance since he became manager at Anfield, saying: "It was fantastic. It was everything that we wanted out of the game in terms of how we operated and pressed the ball. That earned us the right to play.

"The quality of football - we scored five goals and probably could have had seven or eight. It was probably the most complete performance since I've been here."

But he was quick to play down talk of a challenge for the Premier League title, adding: "We just want to continue to improve. Today was great from that perspective. I really enjoyed watching my team today."

In-form Suarez praised his team-mates, saying: "We played very well. I try my best on the pitch and I am striker so I try to score. But most important was the performance of the team and we played very well in the first half. I'm so happy for us."

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