Tottenham Hotspur 2
Skrtel og (65), Lennon (90)
Argh the injustice of it all!
Penalty claims, penalty misses, missed chances, a last gasp winner but at the end, despite a much improved effort, we come away with nothing. Oh and to add insult to Jamie Carragher’s dislocated shoulder injury, we get The Mancs in the FA Cup!
This is going to sound a bit mad but even though we lost we can perhaps take more from this defeat than we can from some of our victories this season? A 2-1 win to Spurs does not lie but at least, and at last, we made more of positive stand in this game, coming out as if we wanted to win it rather than just survive it. From Maxi’s early chance right through to his blazing shot over the bar at the end!
Of course it does help if you take your chances and in truth this game could have been decided in our favour before haft time. We had three great chances one we took and the other two we missed. Hopefully as Torres gets fitter and, as a whole we get more confident, it will come?
The opener game from Meireles’ free kick. Skrtel, jumping up with a group of players managed to get his head to it and, as he landed, found it sitting invitingly. Skrtel isn’t known for his finishing prowess but even he couldn’t miss this one, toe poking it past Gomes.
This was no more than we deserved. We were lucky not to go 1-0 down after Reina pawed Modric’s cross into the path of Defoe, Jamie Carragher got his body in the way however Spurs, perhaps still feeling the effects of their midweek exertions, hadn’t proved too troublesome. They allowed us to assert ourselves, find space and put some nice passing moves together. So it was disappointing that Maxi, latching onto Torres’ understated but exquisite turn and pass failed to increase out lead just before the break. With the goal offering plenty of space, either side of Gomes he just well, delayed and delayed allowing the keeper to eventually collect. Then it was Torres turn to be set free. You would have put a sizeable sum on him to score has he homed in on Gomes however seeming from no where Bassong managed to knock the ball to safety.
One wondered if we would be more defensive after the break and shut up shop in an attempt to protect the lead however, thankfully we remained positive. Torres again was denied by Bassong this time on the right. Spurs had their moments too. Meireles cleared off the line from Bale and we rode our luck when Konchesky pushed Crouch in the area. This was wiped out by Assou-Ekotto lunge on Kuyt later on.
Inevitably Spurs came at us and we were made to work hard as they searched for an equaliser. Bale’s free kick, awarded for a block by Carragher, seemingly gave them the opening they needed when Ngog inexplicably raised his hands to protect his face. No doubt it was an instinctive reaction but if you are not prepared to get hurt, in the face or elsewhere, then don’t get in the wall! Thankfully Defoe added to an increasingly unimpressive record from the penalty spot by completely missing the target.
May be this was the break we needed? The luck that had deserted us for so long? Sadly it was not to be as Modric’s cross from the left was sliced into his own net by Skrtel. I guess no blame should be attached to Skrtel particularly as he had scored at the right end earlier. He had to make the interception as Crouch would have almost certainly scored had failed to do so however what of the three Liverpool players Modric breezed past before he made his cross?
Even though the home side had established a foothold I felt confident we’d get something as we remained positive and confident. Meireles had a close effort from distance and Torres header, from Johnson’s cross, was denied by Gomes’ interception. However, Spurs are not the pushovers of the past. They now have a steely resilience in their game together with a refreshing positiveness and Lennon, one of the quickest players in the league, made Konchesky look like one the slowest and most unalert by out pacing and out anticipating him to prod it past Reina for the winner.
It was basic, route one stuff and an inappropriate end to the game in terms of the football we saw, the chances created by both sides and the points, or lack of them, we accrued. One just hopes that in future outings we have the same approach. If we do then surely we will eventually get our just desserts?
Spurs: Gomes, Hutton, Bale, Kaboul (Bassong 36), Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Van der Vaart (Defoe 12) (Sandro 90+3), Palacios, Modric, Crouch, Substitutes: Cudicini, Bassong, Corluka, Kranjcar, Sandro, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Konchesky, Carragher (Kyrgiakos 86), Skrtel, Raul Meireles, Maxi, Lucas, Torres, Kuyt, Ngog (Aurelio 74) Substitutes: Jones, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, C Poulsen, Shelvey, Jovanovic, Babel