|LIVERPOOL 1 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)|
|Date : – Saturday 7th May 2022||Kick off : – 19.45|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Anfield|
|Crowd : – 53,177|
|Referee : – Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Linesmen : – Mr. Stuart Burt; Mr. Simon Bennett|
|Fourth official : – Martin Atkinson|
|VAR official : – Darren England||VAR Assistant : – Marc Perry|
|Weather : – Dry, cool|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Kop end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 8 minutes
|Diaz 73m 19s||Son 55m 52s|
|Tsimikas (foul on Kulusevski) 69||Davies (foul on Salah) 53|
|Fabinho (persistent fouling) 80|| Sessegnon (foul on Salah) 70
|Keita (foul on Kane) 90+3|
|1.||ALLISON||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|66.||Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD||4.||Cristian ROMERO|
|5.||Ibrahima KONATE||15.||Eric DIER|
|4.||Virgil van DIJK||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|26.||Andrew ROBERTSON ( 21. Konstantinos TSIMIKAS 64 )|
|14.||Jordan HENDERSON ( 20. Diogo JOTA 65)||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|3.||FABINHO ( 8. Naby KEITA 88 )||30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR|
|6.||THIAGO Alcantara||19.|| Ryan SESSEGNON ( 6. Davinson SANCHEZ 78)
|11.||Mohamed SALAH||21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 8. Harry WINKS 85)|
|10.||Sadio MANE||10.||Harry KANE|
|23.||Luis DIAZ||7.|| Heung-Min SON ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 90+1)
|12.||Joe GOMEZ||14.||Joe RODON|
|32.||Joel MATIP||42.||Harvey WHITE|
|17.||Curtis JONES||27.||Lucas MOURA|
|27.||Divock ORIGI||44.||Dane SCARLETT|
|Manager : – Jurgen Klopp||Manager : – Antonio Conte|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Standard Chartered||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Expedia||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|A point for Spurs at Anfield would normally be celebrated, but the fact that the team felt they should have been leaving the North-west with more than a draw bodes well for the mentality that Antonio Conte is breeding within the team. The 1-1 result also caused home manager Jurgen Klopp some angst, which he tried to transpose onto Tottenham for his own side’s shortcomings.
Spurs kicked off but were soon under pressure when Diaz was originally robbed of the ball by Emerson Royal, but they won it back to cross into the Spurs box, where Sadio Mane missed a volley on the turn. Mane then had an attempt from 25 yards, but it went into the pit of Hugo Lloris’ stomach and with a back five in the Tottenham defence, there was difficulty clearing the ball with few options to play it out to.
Spurs did break when a Liverpool attack broke down, but Kane’s ball in from the right was cut out by Allison’s dive forward. Although Son had strayed offside behind him. So, when the ball came out to Rodrigo Bentancur, his low shot wouldn’t have counted even if Allison hadn’t dived to save it. Liverpool also were keen to break, when Royal’s cross was a little to high for Kane to get his forehead on and Salah was sent through, but his shot was deflected wide for a corner. It was break and counter-break, with Kulusevski sending Hojbjerg away on the right wing. Pierre’s ball across the area found Kane, whose shot was blocked.
There was possession for both sides, mainly for the home team and the closest that either side came to a goal was 27 minutes in when Sessegnon, in trying to stop the ball reaching Henderson at the far post, headed back across and towards goal, forcing Hugo to use his feet quickly to palm the ball away from Salah who was waiting to get on the end of it.
After Dier had headed out a free-kick for a corner in the 38th minute, van Dijk won the header and if he had been looking at it, he might have got it on target rather than it coming off the side of his head and off the bar before going over. When shots were coming in, the Spurs defenders were blocking them well but when Diaz cut inside, Lloris dived left to push the ball aside. From that, Spurs broke away with Kane finding Sn, who laid it square from the left to shoot from 25 yards and the ball bounced wide off the foot of Allison’s right hand post. That left both sides going into the break goal-less.
The second half started the way of the first, with Spurs defending well against balls into the box, with Fabinho getting away with his third foul from behind on Kane, but Ben Davies was shown yellow for pulling down Salah, who was backing into him. Referees really don’t read the game as they should for professional match officials.
A couple of corners for Spurs didn’t really trouble Liverpool. But when Lloris played the ball to Royal, who was ten yards inside the Spurs half on the left. He played a high ball forward and it was killed by Kane, who took it away from Alexander-Arnold and inside to the left. With no pressure on him, he found Sessegnon in acres of space inside the box on the left as Robertson had moved into the middle. Ryan played a very good square ball for Son to side-foot home from just outside the six-yard box. It was a perfectly executed goal from back to front and while it might not have been the most technical of build-ups, they all count the same.
Tottenham almost made it 2-0 with Royal being sent away on the right but his ball looked for Sessegnon at the far post rather than Son in the middle, with Ryan’s volley hitting Son and going a foot wide. When Conte said he wanted the players to suffer every game, it looks like he wanted the fans to do the same !
After a couple of Spurs players had been taken out following substitute Tsimikas’ yellow card for a foul on Kulusevski, Salah was pulled back by Sessegnon (for which he got a yellow card too) and the free-kick looked to have given Liverpool a good opportunity, but Alexander-Arnold delivered an over-hit ball that went off for a goal-kick. Salah ran in from the right about 20 yards out, but Ben Davies threw a brilliant block to stop the ball reaching the Spurs goal.
The efforts were for nothing though, as in the next minute, the ball was played to Diaz, who came in from the central left position to his right. It looked as though there were enough players in front of goal to stop it, but Bentancur stuck a leg out and the ball deflected into the bottom right corner of Lloris’ goal with the Spurs captain committed to going the other way, where the ball would have gone if it hadn’t taken a huge deflection off Rodrigo’s studs. While they had the bulk of the play, it was a cruel piece of luck that drew them level.
Spurs broke away with Kane holding the ball up for Son, but his pass outside him on the left was a bit too delayed and Davies could only try a pop at goal, but it flew high over from a narrow angle. Sanchez did well to get something on Salah’s shot from just outside the box to take it over for a corner, then saw the ball out when a long pass was aimed for Salah.
When Keita kicked Harry Kane in the stomach, the yellow card came out and a free-kick was given. When the ball was recycled, the cross from Emerson Royal was headed back across goal hoping to find Kane, when he might have gone for goal.
Oliver added enough time for Liverpool to win one last corner, but Ben Davies rose to head it away and that was the last touch of the game. It was fitting that the Welshman ended the game, as his performance typified the Spurs defence, all of whom put in 100% to prevent the threat from Liverpool being realised. The number of shots on the Spurs goal totted up, but Hugo only really had one save to make, as the hopeful balls into the box failed to produce much in the way of shots on target. The stats showed that Liverpool came out on top for fouls committed, yellow cards, shots off target, passes completed, crosses and possession lost, but Tottenham were better in duels won, tackles, interceptions and clearances. It might have told the tale of the game, but with 66%
Klopp’s disingenuous comments after the game about not being able to play the way Spurs did to get the point were disguised to cover up his inability to counter these tactics. Brighton recently took three points off Spurs playing the same way, but Conte made no derogatory remarks about their style and frankly, Tottenham had done more than enough to aide Liverpool’s title challenge by doubling Manchester City. Liverpool and their famous Anfield atmosphere failed to produce any more shots on target than Spurs, so the result was the outcome of the failings of the Reds players on the day. But then Klopp is all about the image he puts across and like so many before him, makes himself look like a spoiled kid who can’t get his own way. It doesn’t matter how he dresses it up (“It’s my personal problem. I can’t coach like that”), he is a hypocrite of the first degree, with the Champions League final one example of them killing the game to win, but killing it as a spectacle at the same time and the draw earlier in the season when his side tried to “win” penalties and take Spurs players out because they weren’t winning. He’s like Wenger re-incarnate. He only sees what he wants to see.
So, the draw left both sides disappointed. Spurs because we felt like we should have had more and Liverpool because they weren’t able to overcome Spurs. Spurs because a point wasn’t enough to stay close to fourth place and Liverpool because their much heralded quadruple was slipping away.
With three games left there is still a lot to play for and all the matches assume more importance, but things may be out of our hands now.
John Lacy’s Love Child
|Brentford||3||South Coast Big Club||0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||4||Manchester United||0|
|Woolwich Wanderers||2||Leeds United||1|
|Norwich City||0||West Ham United London||4|
|Manchester City||5||Newcash United||0|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|7||West Ham United London||35||16||7||13||57||46
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||36||11||14||11||38||42||47||-4|
|15||South Coast Big Club||36||9||13||14||41||61||40||-20|