|DATE||Sunday 22nd October 2017|
2. Nathaniel CLYNE
5. Georginio WIJNALDUM
6. Dejan LOVREN
7. James MILNER
9. Roberto FIRMINO
10. Philippe COUTINHO
11. Mohamed SALAH
12. Joe GOMEZ
14. Jordan HENDERSON
15. Daniel STURRIDGE
16. Marko GRUJIC
17. Ragnar KLAVAN
18. Alberto MORENO
19. Sadio MANE
20. Adam LALLANA
21. Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN
22. Simon MIGNOLET
23. Emre CAN
26. Andrew ROBERTSON
28. Danny INGS
29. Dominic SOLANKE
32. Joel MATIP
34. Adam BOGDAN
38. Jon FLANAGAN
50. Lazar MARKOVIC
52. Danny WARD
53. Ovie EJARIA
58. Ben WOODBURN
59. Harry WILSON
66. Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD
Liverpool are a bunch of talented players, who do not seem to be
able to perform to their potential often enough to be a threat at
the top of the table. Jurgen Klopp's task is to try and change
that, but at the moment, the lack of defensive discipline is letting
down the undoubted quality of the team's offensive line.
With Philippe Countinho having been denied his dream move to Barcelona, he might find that by the time Liverpool are willing to let him move, the Catalan club might have shopped elsewhere. A creative influence on the side, he can score goals too, especially from long range, but Liverpool are a different side when he fails to function. Players like Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all good players, but lack the spark of Countinho. Ahead of him, he has Roberto Firmino, Dominic Solanke and Ben Woodburn to make chances for. The last two are youngsters, who Liverpool hope will come good in the long term, while Firmino has the ability to score goals out of nothing, but also can and does manage to miss good openings.
The biggest concern for the German manager is the back four. His Dortmund side was based on a solid back four, but at Anfield, he has been unable to form a tight defence. Among those tried have been Joe Gomez, Alberto Moreno, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner. All have had their lapses that have cost goals and points for the Reds. Last week's clean sheet against a "park the bus" Man United might have shown they have a resilience when they put their minds to it, but keeping that going is not quite second nature. Behind them, the goalkeeping situation has been a little farcical, with the rotation of Mignolet and Karius now ended, but they were taking it in turns to let goals in at one stage. Both have their faults and have more work to do because of the frailty of the back line, but sometimes need to do their own job better.
A 7-0 Champions League win over Maribor will give them confidence, but the quality of the opposition will be a step up from the Slovenian champions, while Spurs drew at Real Madrid and will not be facing as tricky opposition as that. However, they cannot relax and need the points to make the break from Chelsea in fourth place, so tempo will be the key to getting at Liverpool, who will massively miss the presence of Sadio Mane. They are still capable of breaking quickly, but not as quick as Mane can prove, so Spurs might be able to break back.
last words, but I think there will be goals in the game, with the
majority hopefully for Spurs, but like all small teams coming to
Wembley, they will raise their game for this one and might snatch a
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Liverpool 2|
|LAST SEASON'S MEETING||For a look back at the match report, click here.|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Liverpool|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Victor Wanyama (knee), Erik Lamela (hips) and Mousa Dembele (hip) are all missing, but Ben Davies is fit after being ill and Danny Rose is back in the squad.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS :
Liverpool will be without Sadio Mane (hamstring), Adam Lallana (thigh), Nathaniel Clyne (back) and Adam Bogdan (knee) for the match at Wembley.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Sunday 22nd October 2017
Kick off 16:00
Kane 03m 59s
Son 11m 28s
Dele 45+2m 19s
Kane 55m 17s
|Salah 23m 38s|
Can (foul on Dele) 45+3
|Crowd : 80,827||Weather : Mild, dry|
|Referee : Andre Marriner (West Midlands)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Beck; Mr. S. Ledger|
|Fourth Official : Mike Jones|
|Liverpool kicked off and played towards the West Stand in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Liverpool :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Jurgen Klopp|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Standard Chartered|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : New Balance|
What, on paper, looked like a tricky encounter, with a Liverpool side rampant in midweek against Maribor of Slovenia, seemed like a walk in the park, as Spurs cemented Wembley as their home turf, putting away the Merseysiders 4-1 with a display of total football. As usual Harry Kane was at the forefront of the performance, but everyone played their part, with no player having a bad game.
The Jurgen Klopp managed side came to Wembley in good spirits having scored seven in the Champions League, but Spurs also were full of confidence after holding Real Madrid to a draw in Spain. However, this were very different displays by both sides against very different opposition. Liverpool failed to realise that they were up against a side who were a few places above them in the Premier League and not several ladders below them in the Champions League, while Spurs had faces the CL holders and matched them. Hugo Lloris had been crucial to that point in the Bernabeu, showing again today why he is one of the top goalkeepers in the world. Again, in contrast, Simon Mingolet displayed that his anxiety at playing behind an error-prone back four has brought that to his game too.
A record Premier League crowd witnessed Tottenham put in a performance that was at a very high level all across the team. Starting without illness hit Eric Dier, Harry Winks came in to sit in between Eriksen and Alli, flanked by Trippier and Aurier, playing on the left to use his speed and physicality to counter the pace of Salah. Son was played up alongside Harry Kane, with our now accustomed three at the back. Liverpool had a distinctly dodgy looking back four in Gomez, Lovren, Matip and Moreno. Missing Sane was going to be a big miss for them, but they had a replacement in the shape of Salah, so his pairing with Firmino had been working well previously.
Having complained about Mourinho parking the bus last week, Liverpool must have been overjoyed at Spurs attacking them, although they had a go from the off. However, the exact reason that Aurier was in the side was demonstrated early on, when Salah seemed to have got away form him, but he got back to slide the ball off. Ironically, it was on Aurier's usual side that the opening goal came from, with Spurs winning a couple of throw-ins on the right wing, with the ball ending up at Trippier's feet and his little lofted ball was left by Lovren, who either thought that Kane was offside behind him or someone was covering for him. The ball allowed Harry to run onto it. take it to his left, as Mingolet raced out at him and despite being off balance and with two defenders ahead of him, he got his left foot over the ball to hit the net and put Spurs into the lead in the fifth minute.
Worse was to come for Liverpool and Lovren, when Lloris picked off Milner's right wing cross and threw out quickly to the Spurs right. The Reds centre-half came rushing into try and win it ahead of Kane and missed the ball completely, with it sailing over his head giving Kane a free run to look up and pick out a sumptuous pass across the box for Son to run onto and hit in his stride past Mingolet to double the lead with 12 minutes of the game played. It was a shocking error by the Liverpool defender, but Kane's ball to Son showed that he is much more than just a goal-scorer, but Son also showed a real turn of pace to allow him (Tottenham's number 7) to race away from Milner (the Liverpool number 7) to put Spurs fans in seventh heaven.
It was the South Korean striker who almost put the game even further beyond Liverpool's reach in the 16th minute, as Eriksen laid a ball beyond the Liverpool defence and Son raced onto it, beating Matip to it and the defender failing to try too hard to stop his shot that left the crossbar juddering, with Mingolet helpless. Spurs were cutting through the Reds' defence at will and it looked as though it was they who might be on the receiving end of a heavy beating. Another Eriksen pass from a quick free kick put Son away and this time, only a fortunate block by Matip stopped the ball reaching Kane free on the left.
Liverpool's response was a Can effort from long range that sailed into the "Park Lane" end. It did get better for them, when Kane took the ball on the edge of his own box and then turned Can to run the ball up to halfway, where he was bundled off the ball by Moreno and then Henderson switched it from left to right, where Salah beat Aurier and Vertonghen to the ball and scuffed a shot past Lloris and into the goal off the inside of the far post. The goal had come against the run of play, but Spurs looked to get the second goal advantage back straight away, with Dele Alli, playing a deeper role today, playing a fine straight pass between the Liverpool centre-halves for Son to try to toe-poke past Mingolet, but he was just a bit too far behind the pass to get a decent contact on the ball, then Kane forced Lovren to block a shot after Dele had found his England team-mate.
That was the last thing Lovren did in the game, with Klopp unceremoniously hooking him for Oxlade-Chamberlain as he tried to change the system. Now Oxlade-Chamberlain came on to a chorus of boos, as you would expect any ex-Gooner to, but few people realise why he has the nickname "The Ox". It is not because of his bovine-like strength, it is because his reputation is built on bullshit. I can hardly remember him doing anything in the game, so whether he changed it any more than Lovren would (or had before he went off), I doubt it. I suppose he was there had Hugo failed to hold a low Salah cross from the right, but Lloris isn't Mingolet.
Trippier needed treatment after he was caught with a knee, but he soon ran off the knock and after Dele had blocked a shot from Can, Spurs had a good opportunity, when Kane held off three red shirts to turn and shoot wide, slightly dragging his shot rather than hitting it cleanly. Liverpool won a couple of corners and Vertonghen did well to get in the way of a Henderson shot with his head. Lloris had to be alert to run out and head the ball clear outside his box, with it nearly turning defence into attack, as Eriksen played it through for Son again, but Moreno got to it first. As the half-time whistle approached, Liverpool lost their discipline a bit. Milner slid in unnecessarily on Dele, then the Spurs midfielder robbed Can of the ball and because he couldn't catch him, the German hacked him down cynically from behind. It was a costly foul and was punished as it deserved to be because Eriksen's free kick saw Gomez head the ball up in the air and back across his box to where Dele ran in to bury a low volley that bounced before it went in from the edge of the box. 3-1 in injury time and a great time psychologically to score a goal. And once more Liverpool's defence was at fault.
It set the crowd buzzing at half-time, as there wasn't enough time to restart the game and then Diego Maradona came out as the half-time guest ! Mostly applause but some boos for the Argentine legend of World Cup fame and infamy, but a Spurs for one night and protected by wearing a Spurs scarf, he was more or less among friends here. However, I am not sure who was least understandable. Maradona who spoke no English or Ossie, who still carries a heavy accent to the English he does speak !!
The half started and again, some sort of response was expected from Liverpool, but their start to the second half had the look of a beaten side. That was confirmed when Matip needlessly fouled Kane as he turned away form goal on the right hand corner of the box. Trippier whipped the ball in and with Mignolet not trusting the defenders in front of him, he came for the ball and tried to fist it away. He could only get it to skid off his fists and it went to Jan Vertonghen behind him. Jan took one touch and hit a volley that was heading in until Firmino blocked it on the goal-line, but he cold only flick it up to Kane, who showed his poaching intuition by knocking it in from close range to make the score 4-1. Jan wa sleft shaking his head, as he hasn't scored for such a long time, but a goal's a goal and that was four of them.
The closest Liverpool came to getting a goal back was after 20 minutes of the second half, when they moved the ball to the edge of the Spurs box and Countinho manoeuvred himself into a shooting position, hitting a rising shot at goal. It seemed to be heading into the top corner of the net, but Hugo threw himself to the right and then his right hand to get a large amount of hand on the ball to divert it onto the crossbar. It was a real world class save coming after his performance against Real Madrid last week and must cement him as one of the top keepers in the world. He had less trouble getting behind Moreno's low drive as Liverpool sought to make another breakthrough.
Hard working Sonny was replaced by Sissoko and Lloris was back in action as he kicked out a low angled shot from Salah from the right, then plucked an easy Coutinho curler out of the air. While the visitors were struggling, Dele started enjoying himself, selling two players with a back-heel to Winks as he was running back towards his own corner and then dragging the ball back under the sole of his boot to bamboozle Can, who was having a shocker. Eric Dier came on to give Christian a rest and Can was saved further embarrassment by being taken off by Klopp. Moussa got a heavy challenge and got up after a bit of attention from the physios and then he lead a breakaway, but Trippier's final cross was headed out. Llorente for Kane was the final change and allowed Harry to go off, as he had been holding the back of his thigh for a little while.
The game was played out with only Salah getting excited when Aurier tackled him in the box. The game had been won long before the end and Liverpool will be glad to get back home and rather than lick their wounds, Klopp needs to lick them into shape. They were shockingly bad, bad, bad at the back and in the second half, Countinho who everyone raves about and Barcelona want to sing was hitting aimless passes into the crowd. Players they have spent good money on have not repaid them - Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Ings, Lovren, Matip, Can - so where does the blame for their situation lie ? With the board or is the manager the one behind the signings ? At Tottenham, it is clear that Pochettino drives the transfer policy and Daniel Levy ahs to go out and get the players, wherever they are on the wish list. Look at Sanchez. Imperious today, while the combined Liverpool defence looked like they were throw onto the pitch at the last minute. If Virgil van Dijk was watching, I would be thinking of a move somewhere else. An he alone won't solve their issues.
For Spurs, the only issue is that the next game can't some soon enough. Playing with confidence (especially now the supposed "hoodoo" has been well and truly broken) and with a refreshing vitality to show they are better than the opposition rather than trying to stop them playing. Next week at Old Trafford will be a clash of styles and an interesting battle to see who comes out on top. Pochettino has the chance to rest players midweek, while United may do the same, but off the back of a surprise defeat at Huddersfield.
Level with United on points, but just behind on goal difference, it will be an interesting match-up on Saturday.
Gus from Berkhamsted
Liverpool were the first
team to play with subtitles.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Ham United London||0||Brighton & Hove Albion||3||Friday|
|Huddersfield Town||2||Manchester United||1||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||1||Crystal Palace||0||Saturday|
|Southampton||1||West Bromwich Albion||0||Saturday|
|Swansea City||1||Leicester City||2||Saturday|
|League Table 2017-18|
|12||Brighton & Hove Albion||9||3||2||4||9||10||11||-1|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||9||2||4||3||7||10||10||-3|
|16||West Ham United London||9||2||2||5||8||17||8||-9|
Position before match :
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.
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