Tottenham Hotspur 2
Lennon (7) Bale (16)
Bale (og) (72)
They say get your retaliation in first. The last time Gareth Bale played against Liverpool, on our per seoson tour of the US, he was injured after a tackle from Charlie Adam. Bale’s reaction was to call Adam a coward. It was a response that did Bale no favours and perhaps he should have just remained silent. Surely the opportunity for revenge would come along and it did tonight with the Welshman having a hand in all three goals, two of them decisive!
For us we played our part with some nice intricate stuff however after Spurs’ double blow it was always going to be too late? No doubt BR will chose to rue our luck and yes we did deserve more however, you have to take the opportunities you create and sadly, yet again, we didn’t. Scoring goals and taking chances are as much as part of the game as dominating possession and carving them out. BR isn’t stupid and must realise that and the sooner he tries to address this missing part of his jigsaw, the better.
BR preserved with the Swansea line up which still meant Downing at left back and Henderson in midfield two picks that were as disappointing as it was pleasing to see the ever improving Jose Enrique in midfield.
Liverpool wearing their black grey away kit because their all red clearly clashed with Spur’s all white (ridiculous and cynical), kicked off. However it was Spurs who made the pace with Gareth Bale seemingly having a hand in everything.
The first was a free kick that moved and swerved in the air meaning that Reina could only parry it upwards, we managed to win the resulting goal month scramble. Next Bale fired right across Reina’s goal after Gerrard had lost the ball to Defoe. The signs were there and it was no surprise that Lennon converted at Reina’s far post with Downing, who should been tracking him, in dreamland. Bale again was involved supplying the cross goal pass after a long, barnstorming run that evaded four of our players.
We had our moments. Enrique fed the, in his eyes, the improving Henderson who, with Lloris committed, proceeded to fire wide with the goal gaping. Such wastefulness was bound to be punished, it was. Henderson again apparently upending Dempsey without even touching him! Bale stepped up to take the free kick this time Reina didn’t even sniff it let alone get any part his body near it.
So damage done. Who would bet on us getting back into the game given our lack of consistency in front of goal? Full marks to us for holding our nerve and not being put off our game however, as seems to be the norm now, chances were created, enough of them to at least get back on level terms but not taken. Enrique, after good work from Johnson, produced a nice turn and shot that was easily saved by Lloris. Then a great move involving Suarez and Gerrard saw us carve out an excellent chance. However before Gerrard could pull the trigger Dembele felled him. As we were appealing for a penalty Suarez’s effort was cleared off the line by Walker. A penalty? I don’t think so football is a contact sport and it was simply fair rough and tumble in going for the ball?
The second half was more of the same as we impressively pulled Spurs around the pitch and frustrated the home crowd with our possession however, we were lacking the class to administer the killer blow either that or Spurs got bodies in the way Walker (again) on Enrique’s effort after a nice move involving Johnson and Sterling on the right. Nonetheless our recovery deserved some recognition but given our lack of accuracy it was no surprise that Spurs provided it! Shelvey’s corner was flicked on to Gerrard by Agger. Gerrard header was goal bound however Lennon was on the line to stop it only to see his clearance ricochet off Bale back into his net.
The pressing continued Suarez blazed over after dogged work by Agger and then Enrique, from distance, produced an excellent half volley that blazed past Lloris’ right hand post. Suarez nearly had the final say with a penalty appeal after a tussle with Gallas. A penalty? Well it’s Suarez so the answer, rightly or wrongly, was always going to be “no”!
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Vertonghen, Gallas, Dawson, Walker, Dempsey (Sigurdsson – 63′ ), Lennon, Bale Booked, Sandro, Defoe, Dembele (Huddlestone – 88′ ) Substitutes: Friedel, Naughton, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend, Carroll
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique Booked, Agger, Skrtel Booked, Gerrard, Henderson (Shelvey – 63′ ), Downing (Assaidi – 78′ ), Allen, Sterling, Suarez Substitutes: Jones. Carragher, Wisdom, Sahin, Shelvey, Assaidi, Suso