|LIVERPOOL 2 (1)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)|
|Date : – 16th December 2020||Kick off : – 20.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Anfield|
|Crowd : – 2,000|
|Referee : – Anthony Taylor (Manchester)||Linesmen : – Mr. Gary Beswick; Mr. Adam Nunn|
|Fourth official : – Mike Dean|
|VAR official : – Chris Kavanagh||VAR Assistant : – Peter Kirkup|
|Weather : – Chilly, dry|
|Liverpool kicked off the first half attacking the Kop end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 6 minutes
|Salah 25m 53s||Son 32m 17s|
|Firmino 89m 29s|
|Lo Celso (foul on Robertson) 48
|Hojbjerg (foul on Firmino) 54|
|1.||ALISSON Becker||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|66.||Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD||24.||Serge AURIER|
|46.||Rhys WILLIAMS||4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD|
|26.||Andrew ROBERTSON||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|17.||Curtis JONES||17.||Moussa SISSOKO|
|14.||Jordan HENDERSON (c)||5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG|
|5.||Georginio WIJNALDUM||18.||Giovani LO CELSO (27. Lucas MOURA 58)|
|23.||Steven BERGWIJN (3. Sergio REGUILON 76)|
|9.||Roberto FIRMINO||7.||Heung-Min SON (20. DELE Alli 87)|
|10.||Sadio MANE||10.||Harry KANE|
|62.||Caoimhin KELLEHER||12.||Joe HART|
|76.||Neco WILLIAMS||14.||Joe RODON|
|47.||Nathaniel PHILLIPS||8.||Harry WINKS|
|15.||Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN||28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE|
|Manager : – Jurgen Klopp||Manager : – Jose Mourinho|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Standard Chartered||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA|
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
With the bulk of the game Liverpool struggled to break down a determined defensive display by the Tottenham side, but managed to squeeze a win out of the game at Anfield with a last minute winner.
Liverpool looked for a quick start and Alexander-Arnold shot from 20+ yards out, with a slight deflection taking the ball over the bar. They had a lot of the ball in the first minutes, but when they didn’t have it, they put on a fierce press. A free-kick was floated into the box and Kane had gone down as Firmino ran in behind him, leaving him a free header that Lloris dived right to save. It might have been a foul if VAR had needed to look at it, but the Liverpool forward should have done better with the chance first of all.
Spurs broke after Toby blocked Salah in the Spurs box, with Sissoko playing it in to Kane on the edge of the box, but he was crowded out. That was 17 minutes into the match. Couple of minutes later, Robertson got away on the left wing and pulled the ball back into the middle for Salah, whose first-time shot was straight at Hugo in the middle of his goal. But, as usual Liverpool got the luck, with a run by Jones into the area ending with the ball running off Aurier’s boot to Salah and his shot came off Alderweireld’s calf, spinning up and over Lloris into the top corner.
While Liverpool were the dominant team, they hadn’t threatened too menacingly, so the goal was maybe deserved on the balance of play, but only managed to take the lead with a heavy slice of good fortune. With pressure on the Spurs defence, there was a constant flow back at them, as they couldn’t find a pass out of the back to stem the red tide.
Then, out of the blue, Spurs pulled the score level, when Lo Celso played a through ball for Son to run onto, but VAR looked at it and on first viewing Sonny looked offside. He ran in on Allison and sold him with a shot that went into the keeper’s right, as Son opened his body up to make the keeper think he was going to put it the other way. It didn’t help that the Amazon video cameras weren’t on the play when the move was being built.
Firmino made a foot of space to strike a low shot in from the right side of their attack in the box and Lloris made a good diving stop, palming the ball away with a strong wrist. Spurs broke straight away and Son made a 40 yard run before Salah brought him down. Unfortunately, the free-kick from Lo Celso wasn’t as accurate as his assist for the goal and went over Toby at the near post and into Allison’s hands.
Mane had a couple of chances either side of the Spurs goal, but both times, they were straight down Hugo’s throat. He was whingeing for much of the first half and with Salah looking for handball by kicking the ball at Hojbjerg from point blank range, it wasn’t hard to see how they have gone so long unbeaten at Anfield.
With 79% Liverpool possession, Spurs would have to work harder in the second half, as it might prove too much pressure in the end. However, within a minute of the start of the first half, Williams headed the ball behind him and Bergwijn out-muscled Alexander-Arnold and got in on goal. The Reds defender couldn’t tackle Stevie, as he had his body between him and the ball, but as he closed in from the left, he poked a shot that went wide. Allison was then called into action when his casual pass was intercepted by Kane on the slide and Harry got up to chip the keeper from out wide on the left 30 yards out, making him hurry back to push the ball wide. Kane was sharp, taking Lo Celso’s pass 20 yards out and firing a shot a couple of feet over the bar.
Tottenham collected a couple of yellow cards in the first ten minutes of the half with them trying to stop Liverpool putting their passes together. Salah had a bit of space on the edge of the box and tried to curl a low effort in by Lloris’ right hand post, but the keeper dived to push it wide for a corner. Just after the hour, Kane and then Son won the ball in the air and Bergwijn was through on Allison and curled a shot past him, but the post came to their rescue. Kane got around Williams to head Son’s corner into the ground, but it bounced over, when it might have beaten the goalie if it had been on target.
Two Spurs players were left on the floor by tackles from Robertson and the move continued to allow Firmino a shot that took another deflection, but this time ended in Hugo’s midriff. A loose touch on halfway by Kane allowed Salah to be put away on the right, but his low shot lacked power and Lloris smothered it comfortably. The problem for Tottenham was holding onto the ball, as their passes were not finding their targets and Mane rolled Aurier in the box, but Serge managed to get back to get a touch onto his shot that took it up into the bar and behind for a corner.
Spurs had put in so much work that they were looking tired, as Hojbjerg breathing hard even though he was still getting back to win tackles in front of the Tottenham box. It was hard work enough winning the ball only to then hand it back to Liverpool too often. A bizarre series of events followed in the 79th minute when Sissoko kicked it against his own hand in the centre circle, then a forward ball found Kane, possibly offside. He slipped before recovering his footing to shoot at goal and claim a corner, but a goal-kick was given !
Dele came on for Son in the last five minutes of normal time, as the goal-scorer had been tiring, having put so much work into the game to that point. His immediate impact was to take a pass when Reguilon won the ball and get brought down 25 yards out. Eric Dier took it and got it to dip as it reached the keeper, but it wasn’t too difficult for Allison to gather in.
When Aurier did well to deny Mane a cross, the corner came across and Firmino buried it into the top corner. The VAR check went in Liverpool’s favour, as a Spurs player had been grounded as the ball came in, but late winners have been their trademark at home lately. The result took Liverpool above Spurs, but their dominance in the game was not reflected in their goal threat, but winning when you don’t play well can’t be argued against. What you might be able to argue against is the big chances, albeit few, weren’t taken.
Losing at Anfield is nothing new and this was a very good defensive performance. Aurier played very well, Dier was strong in the air and Toby defended stoically until the final minute, when Firmino beat him to the ball. The midfield were covering a lot of ground and Kane did his fair share of defensive work, with Son chasing back to close down space. But in the end it wasn’t enough and digging in didn’t work out this time. Leicester lost to Everton tonight and the Foxes are up next, but in an empty Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Will it have an effect on the team ? Maybe they need to step it up to push themselves further away from the East Midlanders.
Jose will need to puzzle that one out for Sunday’s meeting, which takes on a little more importance and the team need to bounce back straight away.
Liverpool’s second goal was the first that Tottenham had conceded from a corner this season.
Players held a minute’s applause for the death of former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.
Players took the knee before the match.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||2||Frank Lampard’s Chelsea||1|
|Manchester City||1||West Bromwich Albion||1|
|Leeds United||5||Newcastle United||2|
|West Ham United London||1||Crystal Palace||1|
|Woolwich Wanderers||1||South Coast Big Club||1|
|Fulham||0||Brighton & Hove Albion||0|
|Sheffield United||2||Manchester United||3|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|3||South Coast Big Club||13||7||3
|7||Frank Lampard’s Chelsea||13||6||4||3||26||14||22||+12|
|8||West Ham United London||13||6||3||4||21||16||21||+5|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||13||2||5||6||15||21||11||-6|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||13||1||1||4||8||0||7||-16|