Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur
1-0 Suarez (21), 1-1 Vertonghen (45), 1-2 (53), 2-2 Downing (66), 3-2 Gerrard (82) (pen)
Argh that’s better. Apologies for lack of activity in recent weeks but work and touch of “man flu” have seen to that!
I guess with no European or other cup involvement there isn’t as much to say anyway or may be BECAUSE there is no European or other cup football there is plenty to say? Things on the pitch appear, at first site to have improved, we’ve had a couple of good wins recently, against Swansea and Wigan, a sense of perspective needs to be retained. However, that is for another time as on Sunday the forward momentum was maintained in what looked, on paper at least, an unlikely victory.
Before this game much was made of the duel between Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez apparently both had scored fourteen goals in as many games. Totally irrelevant as there are other players in both teams but it gives the pundits something to hang their hat on? As it was both players played an integral part however, they were more than ably assisted by the defences of both teams. Thankfully for us Spurs were quicker than we were on the self destruct button although we ran them pretty close!
BR was forced to make one major change due to Jose Reina’s calf injury, in came Brad Jones. Daniel Sturridge also came back from injury. All this was eclipsed by Jamie Carragher making his 500th league appearance.
Bale was at right from the start with a free kick that swerved and had Brad Jones working hard to deal with. However it was Suarez who dealt the first telling blow.
Paul Simon has a song called “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” in which he advises us that one of the ways you achieve this potentially tricky task is to “… slip out the back, Jack”. There are probably more than 50 ways to score your 50th goal for Liverpool (can you see where I’m going with this now?) and slipping out the back is just what Luis Suarez did to secure this milestone (yes I know, but I’ve started now!). Coutinho picked up Johnson’s long clearance and set up Enrique with cheeky back heel. While everyone was watching Luis E the other Luis slipped through the back picked up the pass to pop it home from an acute angle on the left… there, not too painful was it. Next week I’ll try and crow bar in some Neil Young!
We might have made it two had the referee been alert enough to spot Walker dragging down Coutinho. This was part of a move that saw Suarez threaten again when he picked up Gerrard’s pass and forced Loris to parry his shot. After that things got a tad fractious between Suarez and Parker (over nothing really – it’s a contact sport guys) Then Gerrard appeared to elbow Bale. It was fairly run of the mill, typical, cut and thrust challenge however Bale did his increasing reputation no favours by going down and dramatically tapping of his boot on the floor as if Gerrard has decapitated him and this was a final death throw. Later, in the second half his protestations about being a marked man were given further incredibility. Lucas hit him on the side of the head but he went down clutching his face. This features, a cross between Mark Kermode and Johnny Test, remained injured and football’s latest pre- Madonna was able to get up and cross to Vertonghen who headed home with Glen Johnson, his marker, turning his back as if the Belgium had halitosis … another one for the long and extensive collection Glen?
The second half saw more swings. Bale, after the aforementioned challenge from Lucas, fired in a free kick and again we didn’t deal with it again Vertonghen was on hand to stab it home with Johnson, this time choosing to sit on the deck and watch his man score.. Spurs then threatened to take over, Sigurdsson hit the post after Baler tried to outrun Gerrard and Carragher and failed
Things finally swung our way when Spurs lost their concentration and went walkabout. Walker’s back pass was fluffed by Lloris as he rushed out to meet it. Downing seized on the loose ball, managed to keep his head and stick it home via Vertonghen’s legs. Later Gerarrd’s free kick was cleared and inexplicably knocked back into the danger zone by Defoe as far as Suarez who was barged over by Assou-Ekotto. The referee made no mistake with the decision and neither did Gerrard with the penalty.
BRs’ post match comments were suitably complementary. However, in the morning papers his quote, upon taking over the reigns last summer now seems to have curious, back to front ring.
“… the biggest thing is goals. We’re defensively strong. They need some goals, that’s the key”
Funny how things turn out!
Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Carragher Booked, Gerrard, Phillippe Coutinho (Allen – 59′ ), Downing, Lucas, Suarez, Sturridge (Henderson – 88′ ) Substitutes: Gulacsi, Skrtel, Wisdom, Henderson, Allen, Sterling, Shelvey
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Vertonghen Booked, Dawson, Walker, Assou-Ekotto (Carroll – 90′ ), Parker, Bale, Sigurdsson, Livermore (Holtby – 84′ ), Defoe, Dembele Substitutes: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Huddlestone, Holtby, Carroll, Coulthirst