Premier League: Liverpool thrash Tottenham 5-0 at White Hart Lane
Liverpool surged back up to second in the table after thrashing Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 at White Hart Lane.
Last Updated: 15/12/13 8:51pm
Brendan Rodgers' side made light of the absence of injured captain Steven Gerrard as the irrepressible Luis Suarez scored a goal in each half and the impressive Jordan Henderson also weighed in with a goal.
The Reds had already had a couple of shouts for a penalty when Suarez gave his team the lead on 18 minutes with his 16th league goal of the season.
Philippe Coutinho hit the bar in between Hugo Lloris twice denying Suarez as Liverpool were rampant and the second goal arrived five minutes before half-time when Henderson scored at the second attempt.
Spurs midfielder Paulinho was sent off on 63 minutes for catching Suarez in the ribs and Liverpool capped a humiliating afternoon for their hosts with three goals in the last 15 minutes.
Jon Flanagan smashed home his first for the club, Suarez added his second of the game before Raheem Sterling confidently finished with a minute to go.
The emphatic victory puts Liverpool within two points of leaders Arsenal and raises more question marks over the future of Andre Villas-Boas just three weeks after a 6-0 thumping at Manchester City after the boos rang out on the final whistle.
After weathering a hectic opening 10 minutes, Liverpool started to get into the game.
Suarez was at the focal point of every attack. The former Ajax man gave his marker the slip to break the Spurs defence, but Kyle Walker came to the rescue with a crucial block.
After a 10-minute period of pressure, Brendan Rodgers' team took the lead and it was no surprise who scored it.
Michael Dawson could not keep control of the ball following a tackle on the edge of the area. The ball fell to Henderson who slipped in Suarez and he clipped the ball past Hugo Lloris despite a last-ditch attempt from Walker.
Lloris raced off his line to block Suarez after he broke through moments later, while Coutinho was the next man to test Spurs, hitting the bar to set nerves jangling.
Lloris went walkabout again, coming out of his box to clear with a weak header, but luckily for Spurs, Suarez did not take advantage.
Nacer Chadli missed a free header in the box and Roberto Soldado fluffed a weak shot, but otherwise Tottenham looked toothless in attack.
Villas-Boas was forced into making an early change when Sandro went off with an injury to be replaced by Lewis Holtby.
Liverpool continued to dominate and their inevitable second goal came five minutes from the break.
Again, Liverpool had a man over on the break as they poured forward. Lloris was forced into two last-ditch saves from Henderson and Suarez, but the Frenchman could do nothing to stop the England midfielder's second attempt.
Tottenham had the ball in the net just before half-time, but Soldado's strike was ruled out for a barge on Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool did not relent after the break as Mamadou Sakho beat his marker to a header in the box, but the ball smacked a post.
The rain starting teeming down and Tottenham's spirits dampened when Paulinho was given a straight red for planting his studs into Suarez's chest.
Tottenham's misery was compounded 15 minutes from time when Flanagan's half-volley crashed into the net off the underside of the bar.
Rodgers blazed down the touchline towards the ecstatic away fans, while Villas-Boas stood on the touchline, hands behind his back wondering how it had come to this.
Tottenham fans started leaving with 10 minutes left. More fans then headed for the exits when Suarez latched on to Luis Alberto's pass and lifted the ball over Lloris to make it 4-0.
Sterling wrapped up the humiliation in 89th minute and the Liverpool fans taunted Villas-Boas, claiming he would be "sacked in the morning".