|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)||LIVERPOOL 3 (1)|
|Date : – 28th January 2021||Kick off : – 20.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 0,000|
|Referee : – Martin Atkinson (South Yorkshire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Lee Betts; Mr. Hatzidakis|
|Fourth official : – Kevin Friend|
|VAR official : – Jon Moss||VAR Assistant : – Dan Robothan|
|Weather : – Mild, rainy getting worse as the second half progressed|
|Liverpool kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 11 minutes
|Hojbjerg 48m 06s||Firmino 45+3m 13s|
|Alexander-Arnold 46m 11s|
|Mane 64m 38s|
|Bergwijn (foul on Alexander-Arnold) 30||Thiago (foul on Hojbjerg) 24|
|Phillips (foul on Bergwijn) 50|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||ALISSON Becker|
|14.||Joe RODON||66.||Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD|
|15.||Eric DIER||32.||Joel MATIP (47. Nathaniel PHILLIPS 46 )|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||14.||Jordan HENDERSON (c)|
|24.||Serge AURIER (8. Harry WINKS 46)|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||6.||THIAGO Alcantara (17. Curtis JONES 78)|
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE||5.||Georginio WIJNALDUM|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||7.||James MILNER|
|23.||Steven BERGWIJN (9. Gareth BALE 81)||11.||Mohamed SALAH|
|10.||Harry KANE (11. Erik LAMELA 46)||9.
||Roberto FIRMINO (27. Divock ORIGI 87)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||10.||Sadio MANE|
|12.||Joe HART||62.||Caoimhin KELLEHER|
|4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD||21.||Konstantinos TSIMIKAS|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||26.||Rhys WILLIAMS|
|17.||Moussa SISSOKO||15.||Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN|
|27.||Lucas MOURA||18.||Takumi MINAMINO|
|45.||Carlos VINICIUS||23.||Xherdan SHAQIRI|
|Manager : – Jose Mourinho||Manager : – Jurgen Klopp|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Standard Chartered
|Colours : –
|Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
Tottenham’s good run came to an end at the hands of Liverpool, whose win ended their bad run and the 3-1 score-line broke their goal drought of nearly eight hours in the Premier League. It was an insipid display by Spurs, who were set up in a 3-4-3 formation that morphed as the game went on, seemingly confounding the players. But in the end, it was the defensive errors that cast Tottenham, which was surprising considering our decent record of goals conceded.
It was a strange line-up saw the returning Matt Doherty start on the left in midfield in front of a three-man defence, with Joe Rodon on the right alongside Dier and Davies. Liverpool had to play Henderson at centre-half with Fabinho picking up an injury in training.
The visitors kicked off and it took only until the second minute for Salah put Mane in beyond Aurier and he inexplicably shot with his left foot as the ball came across him and put it wide, with a shot on target looking certain. It was a bad miss and one that almost came to cost Liverpool dearly. As Tottenham took the ball forward, Ndombele played it up to Son, who took it back from Kane and stroked it to Allison’s right and inside the post for a very good finish. It all looked good until VAR got their eyes on it and gave Son offside by a heel when he received Ndombele’s pass. Three minutes in and we were back to square one.
Firmino was throwing himself to the ground inside and outside the box, forgetting he wasn’t at Anfield. Hojbjerg easily dispossessed Thiago, but the Spaniard decided he would seek revenge and took Kane out to give away a free-kick. More worrying was the fact that Harry took a while to get to his feet after treatment on his ankle. Around the 15-minute mark, the Reds enjoyed a spell of possession, but Matip had to be alert to deny Son as he burst onto a long pass into the box. Firmino had Liverpool’s first shot in the 21 st minute straight at Lloris and Spurs then broke thanks to Kane’s touch in the centre circle allowing Bergwijn to play Son in on the left and his shot this time was at Allison at his near post, when going across him might have brought more reward. With a Liverpool attack that saw Henderson play the ball into Mane, who moved it onto Salah and took the return on the volley beyond Dier and Hugo made a fine save low down as it looked like a goal was on the cards. The Spurs skipper was up in arms with the linesman as Mane was well offside earlier in the move, but you never know with VAR.
Mane was being free with the use of his arms having chopped Rodon across the throat, he then put his hand in Hojbjerg’s face, but nothing caught the referee’s eye. Thiago got booked for his second needless foul and then Bergwijn brought down Alexander-Arnold to receive a yellow card. The game was a bit cat and mouse, with both sides set up to make it difficult for the other. Mane then took Dier down when he couldn’t reach the ball and then as the ball was cleared, Kane went down with his ankle the problem again as he landed after jumping for the ball. After being looked at by the physio he re-joined the game after initially having to leave the pitch and put Son through, but Allison came out to grab the ball with some debate about whether he was outside his area when he handled it.
Joe Rodon made a perfectly timed tackle on Mane as he got freed in the penalty area and then Lloris had to be out of his area to clear away from Salah, looking to capitalise on the long ball forward. Bergwijn then took a kick to his Achilles with Atkinson seeing nothing. When Spurs had the ball, they were happy to play it around, but lacked a telling pass to open Liverpool up.
Three minutes before the break Mane had another chance and under pressure from Aurier, he managed to get his shot away, but Hugo made a very good save, although the shot was close to him. Liverpool were having more of the ball as the press high up the field was hindered by the injuries to Harry Kane and Bergwijn. Then, three minutes into added time, Mane was played in on the left side of the box and his square ball saw Firmino coming in behind Dier to scramble the ball home from very close range. It was a simple goal and one that Spurs should really have dealt with, as Aurier let Mane have space behind him and neither Dier or Lloris went for the ball as it came in.
There were changes at half-time with Aurier withdrawn and Winks coming in on his place, but with Doherty moving to right back and Lamela replacing the injured Kane, which was not just as concern for this game, but for those to come. Rain started falling as the play started. Salah had a good chance after Rodon challenged Firmino and he regained possession to set up the Egyptian, but he put the ball over the top. It didn’t really matter as Mane’s shot straightaway saw Lloris push the ball out to his left, where Alexander-Arnold came in to drive it back past the Spurs keeper. I’m not sure what Hugo was trying to achieve, but maybe with the ball skidding off the rainy surface, he felt he just had to get it out and maybe on another day it wouldn’t have been into the path of the Liverpool defender.
Tottenham worked the ball well and Lamela spread it left to Bergwijn, who held the ball up on the left hand corner of the penalty area and played it square to Hojbjerg. The Great Dane ran onto it and from the edge of the D struck a shot that was always going away from Allison as it flew to the keeper’s left and into the inside of the side-netting to get Tottenham back into the match, when it appeared to be slipping away from them.
A nasty challenge by substitute Phillips on Bergwijn got him a caution and then a nasty clash of heads between Rodon and Thiago saw the Liverpool midfielder leave the field to get some stitches. Thiago had just come back on and immediately played the ball left to Mane and Salah received it on the right to fire it past Lloris with a flick off Winks. However, a long look at the incident by VAR passed the responsibility to Atkinson by looking at it on the screen and a handball by Firmino in the build-up on the halfway line wiped the “goal” out. Even though the goal was ruled out, it was sloppy defending again and Salah had too much room to turn and shoot. Klopp wouldn’t have been as happy then with VAR as he had been when he clapped the decision to rule out Son’s goal in the first half.
Lloris took a goal-kick that caused Doherty to stretch to keep the ball in, but only to present it to Mane. Luckily Hojbjerg was there to tidy up. It was an example of the nervousness and risky play the defence were engaging in and when a simple cross from the right by Alexander-Arnold came in, it was allowed to go through by Rodon. He might have been worried about handling it as it popped up off the wet turf and that left Mane in behind him to fire it high into the net from five yards out. The game was up for Spurs really, as they were finding it hard to find a killer pass to the forwards when we were on the attack and Liverpool’s finishing was clinical, which was surprising considering they hadn’t scored a league goal for seven hours before tonight.
The game looked dead as Spurs failed to show a determination to win the ball and Liverpool were happy to keep the ball and hit on the break when they could. Without a focal point in Kane, Tottenham were a bit clueless and failed so produce any threat to the Liverpool goal. While Tottenham didn’t give up, there was a look of a side who didn’t think they would be able to get anything out of the match.
These sort of games really disappoint me, when Tottenham fail to turn up. Whether that is Mourinho’s tactics that prevent the goals that have come against lesser teams (as Guardiola sometimes employs) or whether the players feel that they are inferior, but it seems to happen especially against other “top six” sides. It was only fleetingly that we threatened the Liverpool defence, while we could have lost about five or six. With Chelsea up next with the new manager in place, I’m not hopeful.
James Milner played his 550th Premier League match.
|Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Fulham||0|
|Manchester United||1||Sheffield United||2|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Manchester City||5|
|Crystal Palace||2||West Ham United London||3|
|Newcastle United||1||Leeds United||2|
|South Coast Big Club||1||Woolwich Wanderers||3|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|5||West Ham United London||20||10||5||5||30||24||35||+6|
|11||South Coast Big Club||19||8||5||6||27||24||29||+3|
|17||Brighton & Hove Albion||20||3||9||8||22||29||18||-7|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||20||2||5||13||15||48||11||-33|