Liverpool (Away)
Premier League

Sunday 7th October 2007

 
 

In some respects, you never know what you are going to get with these two sides.  With Spurs, it is in how they play and with Liverpool, it is how much tinkering with the side Rafael Benitez decides to make.  Both sides will be looking for better midweek performances than they put in for their European matches, with Liverpool able to call on a larger of players who were omitted from their match.

With Pepe Reina having kept five clean sheets out of seven league games and having played every minute of every Liverpool game this season, I guess you could say his is the first name on the team sheet.  But the defence in front of him is just as important in the defensive record the Reds have built up.  With Arbeloa being a fixture at right back, the central pairing of Hyypia and Carragher provide an experienced core to the back four, while Finnan might slip into the left back slot if Fabio Aurelio is missing through injury.  If Lennon plays and turns on the style, he could make life uncomfortable for Finnan, who is not blessed with the greatest pace, so it might have to tie up the left midfield ... probably John Arne Riise to stop his raids forward from that side of the pitch.

The midfield of Liverpool has a range of talents, which complement each other.  The trickery of Jermaine Pennant; the power and domination of Steven Gerrard; the dictation of pace and the astute passing of Javier Mascherano; the shrewd running and creation of chances by Yossi Benayoun; the athletic industry of Mohamed Sissoko and the blistering pace of Ryan Babel.  With the Spurs midfield not quite finding the consistency of last season, they might well get over-run by the Scousers engine room and with them having a problem keeping the ball away from the Spurs area, it could mean that these players make it a busy game for Robinson, as they like getting long-range efforts on goal, while Robbo has been beaten from distance this season (and last season too).

If that wasn't enough, the four players available for selection up front - Fernando Torres, Andrey Voronin, Peter Crouch and Dirk Kuyt - are probably the only four strikers who can challenge Tottenham for their strength in the attacking department.  I reckon we might "get away" with facing Kuyt and Crouch, but they always cause us problems and it will be interesting to see who Younes Kaboul matches up to Peter Crouch.

Whichever combination of the four play, Spurs must have 100% concentration for the whole game and while there is a degree of help needed from the midfield to shut down space in front of them, the defence need to be sharp enough to keep the Liverpool player quiet by not allowing them space to turn.

The major problem for Tottenham is that they have to out-score the opposition at the moment, as they cannot keep a clean sheet.  With too many players not playing at the top of their game, it is difficult to see us testing Liverpool too much.  If the team do click, I believe they might be able to get a point from the game, but more realistically, it will be a stroll for Liverpool ...

PREDICTION : -  Liverpool  3   Tottenham Hotspur   1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.

 
 
PLAYERS UNAVAILABLE

LIVERPOOL :  -  Daniel Agger (foot); Xabi Alonso (foot); Harry Kewell (groin)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (knee); Ricardo Rocha (knee); Wayne Routledge (knee)

 
 
Coverage

TV
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.00 - 23.20 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here
.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

 
 
 

 

 

Liverpool   2   Tottenham Hotspur    2      (Half-time score : 1-1)

Premier League
Venue : -  Anfield
Sunday 7th October 2007
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   43,986
Referee :  Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Kop end in the first half.
Weather :  - 
Teams : - 
Liverpool :

Reina

Finnan
Carragher
Hyypia
Arbeloa (Babel 63)

Pennant (Kuyt 69)
Mascherano
Gerrard (c)
Riise

Voronin (Benayoun 77)
Torres

Unused subs: 
Itandje
Lucas

Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson

Chimbonda
Dawson     
Kaboul
YP Lee

Tainio (Malbranque 75)
Jenas
Zokora
Bale

Keane (c)
Berbatov

Unused subs: 
Cerny
Defoe
Huddlestone
Gardner

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Liverpool

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Liverpool

Voronin 12
Torres 90

Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 45
Keane 47

Cards : -  
Liverpool

       
 

    

Tottenham Hotspur 

     
Dawson (foul) 63  

     

Match Report : -  
Yet another last minute goal leading to an equaliser, but this time against Spurs and the team suffer with late goals being conceded which is costing us points, when we need to be climbing the table.

While Tottenham might have been fortunate to be only one goal down approaching half-time, they rode their luck to grab an equaliser just before the whistle for the interval and then snatched another two minutes after the break.  Both times, Robinson's long balls upfield found the head of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane nicked between two Liverpool defenders to flick the ball past Pepe Reina.

A bright start by Spurs saw Voronin penalised for a foul on Zokora as he ran towards the penalty area and Gareth Bale stepped up to curve a free kick just inches wide of Reina's goal.  Liverpool responded with a Riise header over the bar and Robinson needed to be strong to punch away a corner under heavy pressure as the Reds tried to nibble away at his confidence after the tough time he has been having.  After 11 minutes, his confidence took another dive as his own dive to stop Gerrard's free-kick was fierce and low, but ENO got to the ball and should have held it.  A deflection might have unsettled him, but spilling it right in front of the goal in the six yard box left Voronin the easy task of putting it into an unguarded net.

The Tottenham side looked as if it had resigned itself to another Anfield defeat, but Keane's flicked header to a whipped in Jenas free-kick flew just wide, as it looked like Tottenham wanted to get back into the match.  Shortly after a dropping ball fell to Hyypia and it was lucky for Spurs it was him, as he sliced the volley wildly.  He was also involved in the next incident when he blocked off Bale's run on goal and no free-kick was given.  It was one of a number of decisions the frankly pathetic Halsey and his assistants got wrong.

Fernando Torres had been reasonably quiet, but burst into life taking on Kaboul outside the area before sliding a left foot shot a yard wide of the goal, but Liverpool went even closer when Gerrard thumped a free-kick past Robinson and it bounced away off the post to safety.  Spurs were equally as close to an equaliser, but when Keane's back-heel was toe-ended towards goal by Berbatov, Carragher was there to save the day with a timely clearance off the goal-line.  Jenas broke forward to dip one over the bar from long range when he should have done better, then Torres struck a tame shot at Robinson when through, before he, Gerrard and Voronin conspired to mess up a three on two break on the Spurs goal, only being stopped by the flailing leg of a prostrate Michael Dawson, who had fallen over on the edge of the six yard box as he got back to cover !!

Dimitar and Robbie linked to set up Teemu Tainio with a volley that Hyypia got in the way of just before the pair worked the flick on for Keane to get in between Carragher and Finnan to slip the ball past the advancing Reina to make it 1-1 seconds before the break.

The second Spurs goal was a carbon copy but at the other end, as the teams had swapped round by then and this time Keano got in between Carragher and Arbeloa to lift the ball over the goalie.  Tottenham looked as if they might get a third, as a long ball saw Berbatov chase it down and Reina came a long way out and just about made the sliding challenge to win the ball after he had thought about heading it.

John Arne Riise twice hit shots that usually rip into our net, but this time they went a long way wide, while Tottenham were still creating opportunities, with Keane and Berbatov not getting enough on their shots to make Reina work hard to save.  Dawson saved Robbo's blushes by clearing from in front of goal when the keeper spilled Finnan's low shot, although the keeper was on his toes when a low ball into the near post saw Mascherano turn it towards goal and Robinson was down to it quickly to turn it away.  The Argentinian hit a screamer from 30 yards that flew wide, with Robinson flying after it, as Liverpool's attempts got more desperate.

Spurs still had their moments to win it.  Bale went through on goal and Reina came out to take him down, but the referee, in his wisdom, gave a free-kick against our Welshman and Liverpool breathed a sigh of relief.

Even more so, when in jury time Finnan hoisted up a high cross that fell to Torres at the far post and he got above two Spurs defenders to head down into the corner of the net past Robinson.

So many last minute goals are costing us, especially when the game should have been well won by then.

I suppose most Spurs fans might have settled for a point before the game, seeing the form we have been in, but once more, having engineered a good winning situation, we let it slip.  It seems that winning mentality Jol looked for is still not in place.

BENNY THE BALL

 

 

 
 

Reaction : -

 
 

LAST MINUTE POINTS GONE

 
 
With minutes remaining Tottenham still tried to play football rather than hoof the ball out of harm's way.

Having lost last minute goals and last minute points to Sunderland, Arsenal and Fulham, to do so again was more than careless.  And it was not just the conceding of a last minute goal, it was the chances we missed to finish Liverpool off and produce a hostile atmosphere for them in the silent cauldron that is Anfield.

Nobody else to blame but ourselves and the side once more did not help Martin Jol, although they did help establish a 2-1 lead over the home side when it looked like they might crumble in front of an onslaught that saw Voronin score and shave a post, while Gerrard cracked a free-kick against one.  But then Spurs could have had a goal or two themselves, but the ref did not help and the last ditch defending stopped a goal or two.

The performance was a disappointment in the end, but was sharp and full of good movement and a mix of short ,quick passing and a longer game to the head of Dimitar Berbatov.  For once, he and Keane played close together and the flick-ons (Alan Gilzean like) found Keane timing his runs to perfection.

If we can replicate the level of performance on a regular basis, then we should start to climb the league soon.  But then we might need many sides to be as poor as Liverpool were today.

STEVE BANNISTER

 
   
   
 

 

Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 3 Sunderland 2 Sunday
Aston Villa 1 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 2 Birmingham City 1 Sunday
Bolton Wanderers 0 Chelsea 1 Sunday
Fulham 0 Portsmouth 2 Sunday
Manchester City 3 Middlesbrough 1 Sunday
Manchester United 4 Wigan Athletic 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 3 Everton 2 Sunday
Reading 1 Derby County 0 Sunday

   

League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 8 7 1 0 19 6 22 +13
2 Manchester United 9 6 2 1 11 2 20 +9
3 Manchester City 9 6 1 2 14 7 19 +7
4 Liverpool 8 4 4 0 14 4 16 +10
5 Portsmouth 9 4 3 2 19 12 15 +5
6 Aston Villa 8 4 2 2 12 8 15 +4
7 Blackburn Rovers 8 4 3 1 9 6 15 +3
8 Chelsea 9 4 3 2 8 8 15 0
9 Newcastle United 8 4 2 2 13 10 14 +3
10 Everton 9 4 1 4 12 11 13 +1
11 West Ham United 8 3 1 4 9 8 10 +1
12 Reading 9 3 1 5 10 18 10 -8
13 Wigan Athletic 9 2 2 5 8 12 8 -4
14 Birmingham City 9 2 2 5 8 12 8 -4
15 Middlesbrough 9 2 2 5 10 16 8 -6
16 Sunderland 9 2 2 5 10 16 8 -6
17 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 9 1 4 4 16 18 7 -2
18 Fulham 9 1 4 4 12 16 7 -4
19 Bolton Wanderers 9 1 2 6 9 14 5 -5
20 Derby County 9 1 2 6 5 22 5 -17

 

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