|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (1)||LIVERPOOL 2 (1)|
|Date : – 19th December 2021||Kick off : – 16.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 45,421|
|Referee : – Paul Tierney (Lancashire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Constantine Hatzidakis; Mr. Dan Cook|
|Fourth official : – Andre Marriner|
|VAR official : – Chris Kavanagh||VAR Assistant : – Dan Robathan|
|Weather : – Cloudy, chilly|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 11 minutes
|Kane 12m 50s||Jota 34m 28s|
|Son 73m 45s||Robertson 68m 50s|
|Kane (foul on Robertson) 19||Morton (foul on Winks) 23|
|Royal (foul on Mane) 28||Klopp (dissent) 39|
|Winks (foul on Jota) 47||Keita (dissent) 84|
|Davies (foul on Salah) 58||Konate (foul on Winks) 85|
|Tsimikas (time-wasting) 90+5|
|Robertson (foul on Royal) 77|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||ALLISON|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||66.||Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD|
|15.||Eric DIER||32.||Joel MATIP|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||5.||Ibrahima KONATE|
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE ( 29. Oliver SKIPP 64)||80.||Tyler MORTON ( 3. Robert FIRMINO 60)|
|8.||Harry WINKS||8.||Naby KEITA|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON ( 3. Sergio REGUILON 86)||7.||James MILNER (c)|
|20.||DELE Alli ( 27. Lucas MOURA 81)||11.||Mohamed SALAH|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||20.||Diogo JOTA ( 3. Joe GOMEZ 90+2)|
|10.||Sadio MANE ( 3. Konstantinos TSIMIKAS 82 )|
|40.||Brandon AUSTIN||62.||Caoimhin KELLEHER|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||78.||Jarell QUANSAH|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA||76.||Neco WILLIAMS|
|14.||Joe RODON||18.||Takumi MINAMINO|
|18.||Giovani LO CELSO||15.||Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN|
|23.||Steven BERGWIJN||49.||Kaide GORDON|
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Jurgen Klopp|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Standard Chartered
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Expedia
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|A fast-paced, if not frantic, match between Spurs and Liverpool flew from end to end as the tackles flew in and the chances came thick and quick, but the sides had to settle for a point apiece at 2-2 after the visitors had been reduced to ten men.
With Covid-19 postponements and injuries, it was by no mean the first choice eleven for either team and for Spurs there was a whole new midfield from the last match against Norwich City. Liverpool will point to a re-arranged defence, absences of van Dijk, Henderson and Thiago. The insistence of the Premier League to play on through the rising Omicron cases is a little insular, with games getting called off at very short notice, ignoring the inconvenience or health of the fans or the players.
Within a minute, Spurs could have been behind. A cross from an infield right position by Alexander-Arnold picked out Robertson running in and he put his free header wide when the move should have ended in a goal. Forty seconds later, Lloris was diving to his right to stop a Milner shot and a few minutes later he was fisting away a waist high shot by Alexander-Arnold.
Spurs were starting to build some passes and when Ndombele sent Emerson Royal wide, his low ball into the near post picked out Kane and he turned, only to have Konate block his shot in the six yard box. He did better the next time Spurs went forward in the 13th minute. Spurs had an attack cleared and Winks won the ball and it was played to Tanguy Ndombele. His inch perfect pass outside Harry Kane’s side right took the striker into the box an he took it early beating Konate’s sliding challenge and Allison’s attempt to save and putting it low across the keeper into the net.
Three minutes later a Royal pass and a Winks header sent Kane away and with Son on his left in the box, he tried to find him, but the pass made Sonny stretch and his contact took the ball wide. Chances were coming quickly at both ends and only a perfectly timed challenge by Sanchez stopped Mane when it looked like he was going to get a shot away from the centre of the box. Son was sent away to face Allison, but he lost his nerve at the final moment and the ball was taken off his feet, although he had been offside anyway, then Lloris did well to stop Salah’s shot.
Kane went sliding into a challenge with Robertson and as the Liverpool defender jumped to avoid the contact, Kane caught him on the shin. The referee said yellow, Klopp said red, VAR couldn’t be bothered.
When Ndombele lost the ball in midfield, Sanchez got the ball lost under his feet as it was played into the box and Mane had an effort blocked, then Lloris had to scramble Keita’s shot wide for a corner. Winks then sent Son away and with Kane running right, the ball was played to Dele on the left and with space, his shot was tipped wide by Allison, but it should have found the net as there was no red shirt around him. Again Winks won the ball and played it right to Kane, but again, his ball across intended for Son was too close to the keeper.
Liverpool had been finding space and time just before the last attack made it paid, with Robertson chipping a ball into the box and Jota, five yards out headed into the net, just where Lloris had come from. Klopp wanted a penalty when Jota went into the left side of the box and Royal bumped him and Sanchez slid in but didn’t touch him, but it looked to me at the time that it was more of Jota stopping and not looking to play the ball.
A long ball forward caught Alexander-Arnold and Allison under the ball outside the box and Kane got it off the keeper, but the ball went wide left. He played it down the line for Son and when it was played in Sessegnon could only win a corner. It crossed into the six yard box and Allison nervously punched at it, with the ball hitting one of the red shirted players surrounding him and they managed to scramble the ball away.
Three minutes before half-time, Mane put a long cross in from the left and Alexander-Arnold’s low half-volley was kept put by Hugo’s knee with a reflex save at his near post. The same Liverpool player crossed a free-kick that Jota won near the near post and Salah couldn’t get a touch to as the ball flashed past him in the six-yard area. Into added time, Winks played a first time ball through for Son, but he just wasn’t able to get to it and it just about managed to run through to Allison in his area. There was another chance for Tottenham before the half-time whistle, when Sessegnon got around Alexander-Arnold and pulled it back for Kane, who mis-cued his left-foot shot hitting his other leg, then a Liverpool player before it was cleared and the referee blew up to take the teams back to the dressing room.
After the restart, an early foul by Winks on Jota gave Liverpool a free kick 30 yards out and earned him a yellow card. It gave Alexander-Arnold another chance to swing the ball in and Jota won it in the middle of the box and his header drifted too close to Hugo’s top right corner for comfort. As the game flowed from end to end, Spurs had a good break on the right and Royal couldn’t get the ball into the middle as the ball was blocked for a corner. When that was cleared, the ball came to Winks on the edge of the box and Matip bundled him to the ground, but neither the referee or VAR considered it a foul ! When Jota got the ball in the Spurs box, he was crowded out and then Spurs broke, but Kane’s pass was just a bit too heavy to find Son as the match was starting to resemble a basketball game.
Dier’s long ball found Dele making runs into the box as he used to and he squared one to Kane, but it was a little behind him and it gave Allison time to smother his shot near the penalty spot. Another good opportunity came when Davies flicked on the corner at the near post, a Liverpool player touched it towards the far post and Kane was head and shoulders above the defenders, but not the ball and it went just over the bar.
A fine pass by Davinson Sanchez found Dele taking the ball on his chest in the box, before be was knocked over by Alexander-Arnold. The referee waved play on and while VAR was looking at it in the background, a Liverpool attack worked a crossing opportunity from their left wing that flew across the penalty area, Salah headed it at goal and Lloris
The much-maligned Harry Winks and Dier exchanged passes twice and then Harry played a one-two with Davies before passing a ball down the left-hand channel for Son, but Allison raced out to the edge of his box. Mindful of not wanting to handle it, he slid towards the ball and to sum up a nervy performance, completely left the ball for Son to slide into an empty net. It was a goal that lifted the roof and while it looked a simple chance to score into an open goal, the pressure was on and Son measured the weight and placement of his shot to make sure nobody was going to stop this one.
It was enough to make the Liverpool players see red and that was just what happened after Emerson Royal had dispossessed Robertson on the touch-line in front of the East Stand. The Liverpool full-back then turned and lashed Emerson’s legs from under him with a scything kick. Initially shown a yellow card, VAR advised that referee Tierney take another look and after reviewing it on the pitch-side monitor, he pulled a red card out. The mere fact that he needed someone to tell him to see it again is embarrassing, as there was nothing to do with football in that challenge, but perhaps he was wary of what Klopp might say.
Spurs broke away on the left and Son sent Davies into the box to pull the ball back, but only Konate was there and he cleared it for a corner. Six minutes of added time in the second half saw Spurs break on Liverpool once more and Kane squared the ball for Son at the near post, but Allison just got a foot to it, but then the flag went up for offside. A pass out from the keeper sent Tsimikas away, but Davinson Sanchez slid in to intercept the cross and avert any late danger.
At the end of the game, players were breathless and with just a few days before the next match, hopefully they will be able to recover in time or that Antonio can rotate without sufficient disruption to field a decent side.
Tottenham had given Liverpool a little too much respect in the first half, sitting off them, rather than getting in to let them know they weren’t going to get the space they wanted. It did let them build the pressure on the Spurs defence and eventually equalise. The second half was a different matter, with the game disrupted and nearly spoiled by the officials. But Tottenham showed that they were worthy of their point, with Klopp complaining about the way Conte set up and that we played the ball behind his defence to cause them problems. Once again, his arrogance that teams have the temerity not to roll over for his boys is beneath contempt. Apart from wanting every decision while he is on the side-line, he wants an F1 style re-arrangement of the match after it had finished to give his team a win. Like all “great” managers of modern times, he will deflect any negatives about his side onto the opposition or the referee or the crowd or the weather, rather than concentrate why the loss of van Dijk has such a big effect on the Liverpool defence.
For Spurs, there were promising performances from Winks, Dele, Sessgenon and Ndombele, hinting at a possible turnaround in their fortunes. One game is too soon to tell, but the team looked potent on the break and even if Klopp doesn’t like it, the way to get at his defence seems to be to use pace and good passing. A point is more than I thought we might get from this game a few days ago, so let’s add it to the total and move on.
|Heung-Min Son plays the 300th game of his Spurs career.
Tottenham’s second goal was their 200th against Liverpool in competitive matches.
|South Coast Big Club||P||Brentford||P|
|Manchester United||P||Brighton & Hove Albion||P|
|West Ham United London||P||Norwich City||P|
|Leeds United||1||Woolwich Wanderers||4|
|Newcastle United||0||Manchester City||4|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|5||West Ham United London||17||8||4||5||28||21||28||+7|
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||16||4||8||4||14||17||20||-3|
|15||South Coast Big Club||17||3||8||6||16||26||17||-10|