With eleven days and a few changes to both sides separating the league
match from this League Cup tie, Harry Redknapp managed to gee Tottenham
up to keep Liverpool from getting revenge for the loss in the league and
this game saw Spurs go 3-0 up before running out 4-2 winners.
From the off Spurs were quicker off the mark
than the Reds and could have been ahead well before Pavlyuchenko's first
goal. Roman almost got a decent contact with his head to a Lennon
cross and then Aaron nearly replicated his goal against Chelsea in the
league last season, as he switched Bale's low ball from his right to his
left foot and only Degen's block stopped his effort going in in the 19th
minute. From the corner, Jamie O'Hara hit his shot into the floor
and as it came up, Vedran Corluka reacted quickly, but could not divert
the ball past Cavalieri.
At the other end, Liverpool failed to
penetrate the Spurs defence, even though both Bale and Hutton were
giving the ball away in wide areas, as they both seemed to be tenderly
finding their way back into the team's pattern of play. Gareth
made a good run down the left and pulled his cross back behind the two
strikers and Hutton tried to get up in support on the right, but had
less success getting the ball into the box. In the 36th minute,
Bale played Frazier Campbell in down the left wing and the loan striker
did well to get to the ball and pull it back low across the box to find
Pavlyuchenko in the middle of the six yard box, where he drove the ball
through the keeper's legs to give Tottenham the lead.
1-0 almost became 2-0 straight away, as
Campbell put Jamie O'Hara away through the middle and from a position
reminiscent of that he scored the second Spurs goal up at Newcastle in
the previous round, he was this time denied by the Brazilian keeper.
This action brought a bout a spell of four yellow cards in less than two
minutes. Babel hacked down Lennon and got a yellow, as did Torres
for moaning about it. Roman slid in on Agger and saw yellow.
The next caution was a joke, as Frazier
Campbell celebrated his first goal for Tottenham. Going into the
crowd was enough for Mike Riley to pull out a card, but his joy was
justified, when he took O'Hara's through ball and with Cavalieri coming
out and clattering Dossena, Campbell only had to tap the ball into an
empty net. He nearly didn't manage that, as he mis-kicked and the
ball went in nearer the right hand post than he might have intended, but
it put Tottenham 2-0 ahead three minutes before the break.
But that wasn't the end of it. As
the last minute of the first half was being played, O'Hara worked a ball
on the left back for Lennon, who produced a right foot cross to the far
post, where Campbell was alone and headed in from close range to give
Tottenham a 3-0 lead at half-time.
What Spurs didn't need to do was to let a
goal in shortly after the interval, so what do they do ? Let
Plessis jump highest at the far post to head downwards and past Gomes,
who was diving from a position on his line, with the ball going through
him on the way in. It was another poorly defended set-piece, which
Tottenham still keep getting caught out at.
However, the worry didn't last for too
ling, as Zokora went on a long run into the left hand side of the
penalty box and his final ball (a shot or a cross I am not sure) came
off the keeper and Pavlyuchenko tucked away his latest goal in our
colours from inside the six yard box. He looks to be recovering
his goalscoring form of his international and club reputation and is
fitting into the side nicely.
With a free-kick from Bale whistling just
past the post off the wall shortly after the fourth goal, it looked like
the next goal might be Tottenham's. However, it took a good block
from Alan Hutton to stop Insua's drive after being set up by El Zhar and
it was the Egyptian who brought a save out of Gomes in the 67th minute,
but that was after Liverpool had got a second goal. Another
set-piece undone Tottenham, with Babel's corner headed home by Hyypia as
Gomes did not get near the ball as it came in.
The Spurs keeper showed no concern for
himself as Degen raced onto a through pass from Alonso and went very
still holding his face after the two hit the floor. Some time was
spent inspecting the damage before he went off to allow Cesar Sanchez
his debut as he came on between the sticks for the last 15 minutes.
his first action was taking a low cross, which he did capably, but there
was a ball in that he patted down before grabbing at the second attempt,
but otherwise, he looked solid.
Spurs made the man at the other end work
harder, although Huddlestone's volley flew over and another shot went
well wide, it was left to Pavlyuchenko to hit Tom's pass at goal and
Cavalieri stopped it, but it was his presence rather than a considered
advance that kept it out.
Liverpool's last chance came when a ball
down the right side of the penalty area was chased by Degen with Gareth
Bale in close attention. As the ball ran on, Bale slid in and
appeared to touch it before his follow-through brought the defender
down. Penalty appeals were waved away and Degen stayed down, but
play went on until Degen hopped off the pitch to receive attention,
before limping off to be substituted.
O'Hara poked the ball over Darby's head
before trying to lob the ball over the keeper, but was off target, then
a couple of attacks at both ends failed to produce anything seriously
dangerous, the whistle went to see Spurs through to the quarter finals
and well worth their win over a weakened and dis-jointed Liverpool side,
although Tottenham were less than 100% with a number of players out too.
With the competition reaching the serious
stages and with some bigger names hitting the buffers, it might be
another good campaign for Spurs, despite the league worries they