Vincent Janssen offered us late hope but our young team were ultimately undone by Daniel Sturridge after a valiant effort in the EFL Cup against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the team that started at Bournemouth on Saturday - Eric Dier the only survivor - and only three players were over the age of 24, Michel Vorm, Tom Carroll and Kieran Trippier. Dier, back in midfield, wore the captain's armband.
Sturridge struck after nine minutes and was denied soon after by Vorm, who had another fine game deputising for Hugo Lloris. Indeed, as the night progressed, Vorm would save from Divock Origi, a fantastic fingertip from the top corner, Georgino Wijnaldum and Danny Ings.
However, there was nothing the Dutch stopper could do when Sturridge raced clear on 64 minutes and the second goal gave the home side the buffer they would eventually need.
Pochettino's teams carry a never-say-die attitude and it was on show again. Erik Lamela buzzed around off the bench and was chopped down by Lucas Leiva for a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, clinically converted by Janssen.
Liverpool remained a threat on the break - Sturridge denied a hat-trick by the crossbar - but we piled forward at every opportunity.
Lamela went down again in the box by Alberto Moreno only for penalty appeals to be waved away and then a late final chance for substitute Shayon Harrison on his debut as Lamela switched play but the young striker allowed the ball to run away from him.
The players were out but had no reason to be down on the final whistle after giving their all.
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