Ange Postecoglou delivers verdict on Cristian Romero's clash with Emerson Royal as Tottenham lose to Liverpool

Ange Postecoglou delivers verdict on Cristian Romero's clash with Emerson Royal as Tottenham lose to Liverpool

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou says an altercation between Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal during the 4-2 defeat to Liverpool shows his players care and "want to change" the club's situation.

Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario had to come between the two defenders at half-time at Anfield, with Spurs trailing 2-0.

Emerson allowed Mohamed Salah to ghost behind him for the opening goal and was also at fault for Liverpool's third after the interval, losing possession to Harvey Elliott who crossed for Cody Gakpo.

Andy Robertson also scored in a one-sided first half and Elliott added a fourth with a brilliant strike from 25 yards.

Spurs rallied in the final half-hour, with substitute Richarlison pulling a goal back and setting up another for Heung-min Son.

Romero and Emerson came face-to-face on the pitch seconds after the half-time whistle, with Vicario having to lead the Argentine away.

"I didn't see it but a few people mentioned it," Postecoglou said afterwards.

"As I've said to others, they care. It hurts them.

"They're just not going to be happy with the current situation and because they care they want to improve. There's nothing wrong with that as long as it's done in a constructive way. Irrespective, the players I've been told who were involved they care. They want to change the situation and not accept it."

Despite a fourth consecutive defeat, Postecoglou was encouraged by his side's display and defended his players' mentality.

"Obviously a hugely disappointing outcome for us but at least we were more like ourselves today in terms of our football," he said.

"Our last two away games at Newcastle and Chelsea, apart from the results which weren't great either, we just didn't try and play our football.

"I thought today, even in the first half, some of our football, our pressing was back to where it should be.

"We got a couple of goals and we maybe could have had a couple more. It's disappointing but at least we tried to play and looked like a version of ourselves which gives me something to work with.

"We tried to play, we definitely tried to play, so I don't think it's a mentality issue at all. In fact, I think it's the polar opposite of that. The mentality at least tonight was there for us to go out and try and be a version of ourselves. We're short absolutely but it gives me something to work with."

Richarlison scored in a defeat at Everton for the second season running, the former Everton striker helping to turn the tide after coming on for the final half-hour.

"Richy started on Thursday night but he has been out for a fair while so we were never going to play him back-to-back games," Postecoglou said.

"It was always about trying to get him on the pitch for the last half hour today irrespective of how the game was going. Look, at 4-0 do you think you can win? No, but I still felt we could get something out of the game as I knew we'd finish strong because of the work we'd done. It's fair to say before he came on we never looked threatening at all whenever we got into those areas. Him coming on, I thought Sonny improved on the left and Brennan on the right just gave us a bit more of a presence."