Match Review and Highlights: Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0

by Dan Fitch on January 21, 2010

In my preview of this game I mentioned our Carling Cup defeat against a weakened Manchester United side. That was a match that was there for the taking, but for our lack of belief and any sort of gumption.

Last night against Liverpool we saw another insipid performance from Spurs. Let’s face it, our side are flat-track bullies. Perfectly happy and able to give the likes of Wigan a 9-1 hiding at home, but always likely to pull up short when faced with any major hurdle.

Liverpool didn’t play particularly well last night, but ended up as 2-0 winners and could have easily won by a more comprehensive scoreline. Aside from Kuyt’s early goal and a spell of pressure just before the break, they did nothing in the first half but defend in a committed and energetic fashion.

The possession was all ours, but time and time again the final ball went astray and we created next to nothing. The closest that we came to getting a goal in the first half was when Crouch was clearly impeded in the box, but as is so often the way, Howard Webb gave the foul against Crouch for the heinous crime of being tall.

There was another potential turning point in the second half when Defoe had a legitimate goal ruled offside, after the linesman made a very late decision upon suddenly realising that everyone in Anfield would shout at him, had he let the goal stand.

It’s annoying and of course could have changed the complexion of the game, but we can’t hide behind it. The goal, had it stood, would have been a gift courtesy of Reina’s mistake. You can’t bemoan the poor decisions of a referee when you fail to create any real chances to score during the rest of the game.

In the second half we had a spell of pressure when it looked like we might eventually carve something out, but apart from a couple of speculative long shots, we achieved little. In the final minutes when we should have been peppering their goal, Liverpool had taken control of the game and were camped around our area, eventually winning the penalty to put the match out of sight.

On the night we missed Lennon more than they missed Gerrard and Torres. The team was chronically short of pace and this was particularly highlighted every time Corluka was given the ball on the right, with no options in front of him. Eventually he was substituted for Hutton who provided more thrust, but it was too little too late. This was an obvious problem against Hull, so why play Corluka again, when we have attacking full backs like Hutton and Naughton?

Harry’s other substitution was baffling. Where was Keane meant to be playing when he came on for Kranjcar? I would have rather he’d given Pavlyuchenko a chance in place of the largely ineffectual Crouch. At least Pav would have plenty of motivation to score at Anfield, what with Rafa being in the market for a new striker.

I wish that sometimes Redknapp would think outside the box a little and take more of a gamble with his substitutions. We needed pace and had Rose and Dos Santos available on the bench. I know that neither are proven Premier League players, but unless you take a chance and give them an opportunity to prove what they can do, when will they ever be?

Our whole striker situation worries me, despite the amount of goals we’ve scored this season. Defoe is so reliant on his striking partner to create chances for him, but Keane is short of form and is Crouch good enough against the top teams?

More than anything there is a lack of any real leadership or drive. I know that he isn’t the best player in the world, but I wouldn’t hesitate to play O’Hara over Jenas. He at least does his work with commitment and enthusiasm. When you’re building a team, not every player can be a superstar, you need grafters as well. I remember plenty of Manchester United fans once bemoaning that Darren Fletcher wasn’t up to the job of playing for them.

I thought that the performance was best summed up by the fact that when asked by Redknapp to take the field, Bassong hadn’t even managed to put a pair of shorts on. Talk about being unprepared for the task at hand. If you’re a professional footballer sitting on a substitute bench, what more is there to think about other than making sure you have all your kit on?

On this evidence we don’t deserve a fourth place spot and won’t achieve it, but who knows? We’re still in pole position and our rivals will probably continue to drop points. Our only consolation after last night is that there are other teams in the Premier League who will give Liverpool much more of a fight than we managed.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

“Let’s face it, our side are flat-track bullies”

Shut up journalist.

Spurs 3 Man City 0
Blackburn 0 Spurs 2
West Ham 1 Spurs 2
Spurs 2 Liverpool 1

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Dan Fitch January 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

I see two home good wins there and two away wins over shit teams. My point is that we can’t rise to the biggest challenges. We haven’t won away against any of the ‘Big Four’ for over 60 games. Doesn’t that concern you?

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desmond January 21, 2010 at 11:07 am

what a load of old crap…. liverpool missed gerrard and torres, you sound like sky sports, liverpool are not and have proved it time and again over the years that we have got results with them both, did you not forgett that we where without benayoun, one of the best players for liverpool over 18 months? i didnt notice johnson on the pitch either, nor did you even mention that reira had no game time behined him before he started last nite, he had not played a game for nearly 3 months, he was great last nite, did you also fail to see the money that your manager” so called whealer and dealer” yer right,,,, spends, crouch kenae and defoe where all being talked up manchester united sly sports before hand, why did rafa let go of keane, why did crouch go,,,, that is all sky sports and anti liverpool media ever bang on about, well i tell you, they did nothing last nite and was it me or did you have to result in putting all 3 on the pitch, and to say you need another frontman when you have the 18 million pound over rated russian on the bench is a joke, and people bang on about what rafa spends,,, oh i forgott all the rest of your players where brought whelaing and dealing,,, yer right,,,,, modric was a cool 14 mill, corluka was 7 mill, your hopeless goalkeeper was 10 mill, your over rated crap left back bale was 10 mill, hutton, that other useless player form that other terrible club rangers was a cool 9 mill, and on and on, you have spent money like water, but you spurs fans forgett this and so does sky snd every other media company, and to think they think rafas spent money ,, what a load of rubbish, well done rafa for the win after all the crap he takes in this crap heap of a country,

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p007 January 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

harry is stupid for playing modric on the right and not the left where bale could overlap and so on. Corluka is the worst defensive player i have seen for years, he can’t even jump, whats the point. Jenas and palacios cant pass a ball, so whats the point of having them on. defoe and crouch are just to weak if we want the top 4.

If LENNON is our best player then the club should build the squad around him. This means bring in two defensive midfielders that stay back constantly. Allowing lennon and modric too attack with the full backs overlapping. Two 6ft 2, strong strikers to header in goals from the crosses lennon supplies.

right now BALE is our best player.

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stuff January 21, 2010 at 11:55 am

Desmond, don’t get so upset. last night saw two pretty average sides play out an average game, if you are happy with that then great, well done.

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Mayfly January 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm

If Bale is now our best player then god help us, Harry Redknapp has his mind elsewhere it would seem, bringing on keane was a bad decision, why did he not take crouch off for Pav, watching Dawson lob balls forward to crouch every time he got the ball is sickening, no wonder the midfield were asleep, Jenas should be sacked not sold!!!
Hutton should have started last night, at least he would have shown the rest how to get stuck in,
woeful against the pool , shameful against Hull, gutless against Wolves, and Harry makes no one pay…..except as ever the loyal fan!!!!

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stuff January 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Isn’t it funny how Pav is “brilliant lad, who’s striking in training is quality” and yet he can’t get a game even when we have struggled to net in the past few weeks?! Also whats the point of a natural replacement of Dos Santos if you don’t use him?

we really lack a second idea, which is really worrying, we seem to only open up teams when the oppositing are equalling trying to open us up too, anyone who defends against us seems to do so quite easily!

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Red January 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm

“The possession was all ours” LOL!!!!! Wot game were you watchin???

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Me January 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Nobody seems to have mentioned that Defoe blatantly fouled Pepe Reina by dragging him to the ground with a hand on the shoulder before scoring his “goal” (like when ppl went on about Luis Garcia’s “phantom” goal against Chelsea – totally forgetting to mention that Petr Cech, as the last man, should have been sent-off for for his foul) anti-lfc bias at its worst. Scouse solidarity.

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Adam Gibson January 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Me – I think that the ‘blatant foul’ Defoe did was actually gamesmanship from Reina. He knew he had messed up and so made it look lie a 5 foot 6, 9 stone little man had the strength to haul h im down.

Had we had a decent ref, we would have won the game with a penalty in the first half and a goal in the second. Fact.

Liverpool wont get 4th spot, Man City and Villa both have stronger squads and mentally sound managers.

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Adam Gibson January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Desmond?? Well done on the note about Spurs spending, so what? We sold Keane for 19million and bought him back for 9mill, we bought Berbatov for 11m and sold him for 31m, we bought Carrick for 2m and sold him for 18m, bought Tainio, Malbranque and Chimbonda for peanuts and sold them all to Sunderland for about 21m. So from a spending perspective yes we spent loads, but also made money back – something the media also forgets. Forget has one ‘t’ by the way, its not spelt ‘forgett’. You must not be from this ‘crap heap of a country’ with spelling and grammar like that?

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stuff January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

FACT from Sky Sports………

45.1 Liverpool
54.9 Tottenham

ok no ALL the possesion but MORE than Liverpool, but again that doesn’t score us goals.

On the Defoe debate, foul??? ha, hilarious, just like Crouch “wasn’t” fouled for the penatly.
In summary Liverpool won, should we have had a Penatly and a goal, YES, could it have ended 4-0, probably, but the fact these results came out on the Sky website too, show you guys are happy at beating us at home, whist defending for 45, congratulations! you’ll still not finish 4th

Player Rating Club
Dirk Kuyt 8.4 Liverpool
Jamie Carragher 8.1 Liverpool
Sotirios Kyrgiakos 8.0 Liverpool
Pepe Reina 7.9 Liverpool

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stuff January 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Adam, dont you mean we sold kenae to Liverpool??

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Harry January 21, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Admitley guys, i never shy away from the media and the fans view – looking back on last nights performance i could have made some better decisions. I have taken on board all your comments to better of our future team tatics.

By the way, note to all daft scousers – my missus is more likely to finish 4th than your poor excuse for a team

COYS

Arry

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Bareth Garrystuff January 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Hi all – i like the comments but think it will be my old club, Vaston Illa that sneek into the top 4. Desmond, hows pork pie?? or should i say pork chilli?

YID ARMY!!

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12" Driller January 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Bareth, you name seems very familiar, have we met before. Do you frequent the Blue Oyster, or did i meet you in that gastley town Liverpool where i regulary go and f*ck 11 unless c*nts up the arse. Then their leader Donatello Zafael Renitez sucks clean my weapon of all 11 flavoured turds

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Carraghers muff January 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Hello, do you like my new single about our number 9??

He’s half a boy, he’s half a girl Torres, Torres
He looks just like a Transvestite, Torres, Torres
He wears a frock, he loves a c0ck, he sells his a55 on Albert Dock,
Fernando Torres, Carragher’s bit on the side.

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Stevie's G-Spot January 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I’m thinking of leaving my home town club soon. Ever since the Turdnando Florres Hermaphodite news broke the dressing room (no pun intended) hasnt been the same. Then, when my close friend and club captain Jamie “designer vaginer” Carraghers Muff followed suite out of choice the pain became stronger. Since this all happened in the closed season our results this year have gone from bad to worse. I can’t see a way back – and the constant reminder of Andy Greys “take a bow son” has another meaning that haunts me so. What he forced me to do as a child hurts so deep.

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gaz January 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, sorry I have only just stopped laughing at the fact that Tottenham are going end this season like they started the last few, could’nt score in a brothel!!

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Me January 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Bottom line is you lost because you haven’t got the bottle for it whuch is why you’ll be lucky to finish in the top 6 (just like previous seasons lol)

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stuff January 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

We lost because we didn’t play very well, like you did to Reading you TOOL! Mate, if you are happy watching that sh*te every week then good luck! Do you think you’ll win this weekend????????

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Red January 24, 2010 at 11:55 am

If you place your hand on a goalkeeper’s shoulder its a foul regardless of whether he goes down – you just can’t do it.

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suff January 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

You mean like if you pull a players shirt it should be a penalty?
Bottom line is we’re progressing, you’ve gone back 5 years! Shame as i like Liverpool, spend a lot of time there!

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