Mauricio Pochettino gave a very honest assessment of Tottenham’s performance as their unbeaten run was ended by Liverpool.
Spurs were blown away at Anfield in the first half and the Tottenham boss pulled no punches with his assessment of the game.
“They were better than us and fully deserved to win. We started the game very sloppy,” Pochettino told BT Sport.
“It is difficult to understand, I am very disappointed in our first-half display. Second half we reached their level but it is really late.
“The whole team were poor. It is about balance and today it was poor, that is the truth.
“We are in a position that is up to us. But if you show like today that you cannot cope with the pressure to play to win the league then it is difficult to challenge and fight for the Premier League.
“In the first 45 minutes you saw a team that is not ready to fight for the Premier League.”
He later added: “It will be difficult. It is true nine points is a massive gap and if they (Chelsea) win tomorrow it will be 12 and even more difficult than before.
“We are second in the table, one point above Liverpool. My feeling now is not so good but we need to recover from the defeat and try to fight.
“We need to be focused now on Thursday in Europa League and then the FA Cup, then the Europa League and then Stoke at home.
“We cannot waste time thinking too much. We need to be clever now and try to improve our game from the beginning and not wait until 2-0 to start to play.”
Pochettino had no complaints about the result after Spurs were run ragged and were perhaps lucky not to concede more with Mane twice going close to completing a hat-trick.
He said: “Fully deserved Liverpool – they were better than us. If you reach this level from the beginning sometimes this happens.
“After 20 minutes, 2-0 down, and then it is late to react. The truth is they played better than us.
“It was difficult for us, (we had) plenty of problems. It is difficult to explain. Over 94 minutes I think we were poor and we never coped with the tempo of the game.”