|DATE||Saturday 27th August 2016|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
2. Nathaniel CLYNE
3. Mamadou SAKHO
5. Georginio WIJNALDUM
6. Dejan LOVREN
7. James MILNER
10. Phillipe COUTINHO
11. Roberto FIRMINO
12. Joe GOMEZ
13. Alex MANNINGER
14. Jordan HENDERSON
15. Daniel STURRIDGE
16. Marko GRUJIC
17. Ragnar KLAVAN
18. Alberto MORENO
19. Sadio MANE
20. Adam LALLANA
21. Lucas LEIVA
22. Simon MINGOLET
23. Emre CAN
26. Tiago ILLORI
27. Divock ORIGI
28. Danny INGS
32. Joel MATIP
47. Andre WISDOM
35. Kevin STEWART
50. Lazar MARKOVIC
45. Mario BALOTELLI
54. Sheyi OJO
56. Connor RANDALL
68. Pedro CHIRIVELLA
-. Cameron BRANNAGAN
-. Luis ALBERTO
-. Taiwo AWONIYI
Liverpool's season has been up and down in the space of two games.
An opening 4-3 win away at Arsenal at one stage had them 4-1 ahead,
while at Burnley last week, they succumbed 0-2, with a defensive
display that was verging on the chaotic.
Having signed Sadio Mane, Klopp's style to press hard and hit on the break has a new outlet, which has put Daniel Sturridge's nose out of joint (but then he is injury prone). The former Southampton wide man has speed and skill, but, sometimes, finishing is not his best asset. In fact, with Roberto Firmino finishing last season well on the scoring front, it is a surprise that the forwards haven't done better for the club, as many goals come from midfield. Adam Lallana likes to get forward to support the front two and Phillipe Coutinho is the creative instigator behind the forwards. Danny Ings hasn't had much of a look in since he signed from Burnley last summer, through injury mostly, but he had a good scoring record with the Clarets and Georginio Wijnaldum similarly got among the scorers when at Newcastle United, before Liverpool signed him this summer, with Tottenham one of the other clubs reportedly interested in the Dutch midfielder.
The back four are decent enough defenders, but tend to enjoy the attacking side of the game, without enough focus on the main duty of their position, but after last week, I expect Klopp has worked extensively on that aspect of the team to firm things up in front of Mingolet. Moreno has been slaughtered in the media (both public and social), so don't expect him to have as bad game again, while Clyne, Sakho and Lovren have both had their critics. New signing Klavan might still be settling into the team pattern, so any hesitation in the away defence must be taken advantage of by Spurs.
Not that we are firing on all cylinders quite yet, having deserved the results we have achieved at Everton and at home to Palace, while not hitting the level of performance Pochettino got out of the team last season. The structure of the team is still being formulated to get the best out of Kane and Janssen, while Lamela, Eriksen and Dele all vie for games in the three behind them. When it clicks, it could prove a decisive change in plans, but until then, we have to get results how we can. Tottenham haven't played badly, but need to impose themselves on the opposition, rather than sit back at times.
One thing is for sure and
that is Liverpool will be up for the game, as they have always
seemed to be over the last few years. While they are good
going forward and somewhat suspect in defence, they will battle
extra hard to prove they can match a top three side and therefore,
they might take a point from the meeting at the Lane.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Liverpool 1|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs will be missing Hugo Lloris with a hamstring injury and Mousa Dembele, who serves the penultimate match of his suspension from last season.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS :
Several players are missing with injury, namely, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez (leg), Lucas Leiva (hamstring), Loris Marius (hand), Sheyi Ojo (back) - while three players face late decisions on their conditions - Phillipe Coutinho (hamstring), Emre Can (ankle) and Divock Origi (cramp)
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Saturday 27th August 2016
White Hart Lane
Kick off 12:30
|Rose 71m 25s||Milner (p) 42m 47s|
Rose (persistent fouling) 29
Vertonghen (foul on Mane) 51
Alli (kicking ball away) 77
Mane (persistent fouling) 32
Coutinho (not retreating 10 yards) 45+1
Lovren (kicking ball away) 63
Henderson (dissent) 86
Matip (holding onto ball) 90+4
|Crowd : 31,211||Weather : Warm, sunny|
|Referee : Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. P. Kirkup; Mr. M. Perry|
|Fourth Official : Craig Pawson|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 8 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Liverpool :||kit|
10 Harry KANE (c) (25 Josh ONOMAH 83)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Jurgen Klopp|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Chartered Standard|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : New Balance|
In a game where neither team shone, a penalty for Liverpool handed them the lead, but Danny Rose proved the thorn in the side of the Merseyside Reds, with an equaliser in a game made more difficult than it needed to be by a poor display of refereeing by Robert Madley.
Spurs brought back Dele Alli in place of Vincent Janssen, with the rest of the side the same as that which started against Palace last week. Liverpool had a number of players out injured, but Countinho made the starting line-up despite being a hamstring worry for the match, while Matip came in for Moreno, who had a shocker last week. The game kicked off in the lunchtime sunshine, with there being more than a few empty seats, which were perhaps the victims of Bank Holiday weekend absentees.
From that kick-off, it was clear how Liverpool were going to play. When the ball was played back, Mane was on it straight away, using his pace to make it difficult for Spurs players to settle. Tottenham looked OK on the ball for the first couple of minutes, but when Jan played a ball to Eriksen 35 yards out, with two players on him, it was stolen, played to Firmino, who squared it to his left to Coutinho, in acres of penalty area space. When it looked odds on that Liverpool would take a fourth minute lead, his low shot to Vorm's right from five yards out, the keeper had moved the other way, but stuck out a foot and the outside of his right boot trapped the ball. He was quick to then pounce on the ball to grab it ahead of the Brazilian midfielder, as he tried to get a second bite.
While Mane was showing his pace up front, the Liverpool defence were giving early indications that they wouldn't be giving Spurs the benefit of their slackness that Burnley were afforded. Lovren went right through Kane when going for an aerial challenge and other rash interventions were over-looked by the match official. When he did give an early free-kick, out on the left after Rose had been unceremoniously taken out, Eriksen curled a shot in on goal, which Mingolet did well to fist the ball away. While Liverpool were looking to utilise Mane's pace on the break, Spurs created the next chance, with Kane out-muscling Lovren near the halfway line and then when a cross came in and was cleared to the edge of the box, Dele met it with his left foot, but sliced it a bit wide of the mark.
After this, Liverpool started moving the ball more effectively, ending in Coutinho drilling a shot wide and then looking to play Mane through, only for Vorm to make a perfectly timed sliding tackle inside the box. His sweeper-keeping seems to have improved since he joined Spurs and he later had to make another sprint, when Vertonghen's interception of a through ball could only put Mane away again. This time, Michel's tackle was even better timed and the ball was taken cleanly, leaving the Liverpool fans who claimed a penalty for his first one, once more yelling for punishment. The knowledgeable Scouse supporters were letting themselves down.
There was little quarter being given and when Rose went into a full bloodied tackle on Lallana in front of the East Stand. It looked as though the Liverpool man was going to react, but there was a slap of hands and both players got up and got on with the game. Others might well have made more of it and it was good to see that some players can take a tough challenge without rolling around a million times.
Coutinho got away from Walker and shot straight at Vorm. Walker then went down looking injured, having the physios come on, but walk off, with later information saying he was taken ill. It was odd, as just before kick off, it looked as though Jan had been sick on the pitch, having doubled up and spat a lot something out. Kyle's departure brought Vincent Janssen on. Not at right back, but up front, with Kane dropping into the number 10 role. Dier dropped back into the slot vacated by Walker and Alli deeper into defensive midfield and it disrupted Tottenham's shape for the rest of the game really and allowed Liverpool to dominate, as our game wasn't flowing and passes were not finding their targets. Some of this was due to the pressing game of Klopp's side, but others were sloppy play. Loose control meant the ball was picked off, but it wasn't just Tottenham who were guilty of misplacing passes and while the match stats showed there were over 70% of passes found their intended targets, it didn't seem like it when the game was on.
Tottenham broke through Kane and Alli, with the latter having a shot that was blocked as red shirts swarmed in front of him, before Janssen made a run from right to left along the 18 yard line looking for a pass, being pulled all the way by Matip. Two fouls at the other end by Danny Rose saw him pick up a yellow card, with Mane diving in on Alli to pick up a booking and then going over the ball on Rose in the Spurs penalty area a moment later, but whereas two fouls in quick succession for Rose saw a card, two by Mane would have meant sending him off, so the referee settled for a talking to.
When Spurs approached the Liverpool box, there final ball was not incisive enough. There were numbers of red shorts back between Spurs and the goal, but the movement to pull the defence about was not there. It was movement that was Tottenham's undoing at the other end, as Firmino got away on the left dead ball line, getting past Lamela, who caught his trailing leg and he went over to allow Madley to point to the spot. Milner stepped up to put the ball to Vorm's right as the keeper went the other way and give Liverpool the lead. It was probably just about justified on chances, but on the balance of play, it wasn't.
Another heavy Lovren foul on Kane was overlooked, but when Coutinho blocked the free-kick from being quickly by not getting ten yards back, the yellow card was quick to come out. When referees prime concern should be for the safety of players, the protection they are given is not in proportion to the number of cards given for trivial offences.
Half-time saw an interview with Ossie Ardiles, but soon enough, the second half was underway, with Wijnaldum whistling a 20 yard effort just over the angle of crossbar and post. Eriksen then pulled a shot wide without making a clean connection, while a corner at the other end saw Matip rise highest to meet the ball with his head, but it glanced the top of the bar as it went over. An example of our loose play around the Liverpool box came in the 55th minute, when Dier's short square ball from the right wing 20 yards out ended with the ball in the Spurs net. Wijnaldum was released in the box on their left wing and his cross picked out Mane running in to volley home from close range, but the linesman had picked up on the Dutch midfielder just having strayed ahead of the last defender and gave offside. He was much more on the ball than the linesman in front of the East Stand, who hadn't noticed Coutinho might have been offside in the build up to Liverpool's penalty.
Spurs were beginning to find a bit of space as the Liverpool press started to falter and when Alderweireld played a precise chipped pass out to the right, where Dier was getting forward, the make-shift defender pulled the ball back low for Eriksen to run in and hit the ball just inside the penalty area, but he really should have hit the target to test Mingolet instead of putting his effort over the bar just past the hour mark. Lovren finally went into the book for kicking the ball away after having a free-kick awarded against him for hacking through Janssen from behind. Referees never cease to amaze. The free-kick was outside the box to the right side and Lamela took it, whipping in a shot that the keeper helped over, even though it looked as though it didn't need any help. From the corner, Eriksen's ball in was met by Alderweireld and his header down towards the near post brought a sprawling save from Mingolet to palm the ball around for another corner.
Klopp brought on Origi for Coutinho, which may have disturbed the balance of the Liverpool side for a moment, as Toby played another fine lofted ball into Dier's path on the right and this time he looked for a higher cross to pick out Lamela in an area similar to the goal he scored against Everton. Sandwiched by two red shirts, he was unable to reach the ball, but it glanced to the far post, where Danny Rose took a touch and then drove past Mingolet at the near post from ten yards out to level the score. It was a very well taken goal, with the left back showing good composure to bury it under pressure.
With about 20 minutes left, could Spurs go on to win it ?
There had to be a bit of caution about Tottenham's play, as Origi was now another threat on a quick break and Spurs produced a good block when Firmino was well placed on the left. Clyne blazed a second effort of the game well wide before Harry Kane made way for Josh Onomah, probably in an attempt to shore up the midfield with fresh legs. Another corner routine for Tottenham saw Toby win another header, but this time couldn't keep it down, with Tottenham pressing towards the Liverpool goal without making any clear chances. When Daniel Sturridge came on for Mane, who had gone down rather easily under a challenge from Rose and it could have been construed as a dive if he hadn't been booked already, it looked as though Liverpool were going for it. But Spurs created a shooting opportunity for Victor Wanyama, but it went wide. When Liverpool went forward in the next attack, Firmino set up Wijnaldum for a shot from the edge of the area that took a deflection. Luckily, Vorm was alive to it and reacted well to grab the ball.
Even better was Toby's block in added time, when Firmino was released on a break, when we had given the ball away again and squared to Lallana, who looked like he would bury the ball past Vorm, but out of nowhere Alderweireld appeared to get in the way and help the ball over for a corner. From it, the winner nearly came. Rose headed clear and Spurs were three on two on the halfway line, but Alli's pass picked out Josh Onomah, who's run had been a little early and he was offside, otherwise he would have had a clear run on goal. There was still time for Matip to be booked for hanging onto the ball (the first time he hadn't been hanging onto a Spurs shirt) to stop a throw-in being taken, as Spurs ended on the attack.
Liverpool perhaps just shaded the match on chances, but it was a close run thing. Spurs were upset by Walker's substitution and failed to work hard enough off the ball to make the Reds get stretched, as Kyle's attacking is more of a threat than Dier's although that was where our goal came from. Liverpool tried to exploit the right back position and that was where their goal came from, so tactically, there was plusses and negatives from both situations.
In the end, it looked as though Spurs might be the ones who would win it, with Liverpool having tired from the effort they put in during the first period. The problem was that Liverpool couldn't finish the chances they made and Spurs did not make enough chances to have the opportunity to finish them. Mingolet has a gaffe in him and Spurs failed to test him enough to see if it was today that he was going to foul up. As it was, he made a couple of good saves when we did get shots on target, but the rest of the time, our decision making and quality of pass around the oppo's penalty area left a lot to be desired.
Spurs were indebted to Toby's late challenge on Lallana and Vorm's saves, with the keeper being the man of the match for Tottenham. Still picking up points while not playing well is a good trait, but last season, it was the draws that killed us. The need to sort out a way of getting the best out of Kane and Janssen needs to be found and some of the team don't fully seem up to speed, whether that is because of the lack of match preparation in pre-season or the effect of the Euros, I don't know, but the international break might not help the development of a pattern of play by the time they return. Which might involve some new faces, as the transfer window will be done by then.
A new season has started better than the last few, so perhaps when the time clicks, they will kick on to better things.
Liverpool once championed
European football in 1911 by stowing aboard a cargo ship from
Liverpool docks to Greenock, having intended on cadging a ride to
tour Australia on a different ship.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
appears that inconsistency is not the sole domain of Robert Madley.
BBC's Match of the Day proved that through their presentation of the match and their interview of Jurgen Klopp.
Little was said about Matip's dragging down of Janssen in the area (albeit not from a corner, so perhaps it didn't fit in with their agenda) by Klopp, nor of Lovren's block on Vertonghen to throw him off balance by the analysis of the game by Shearer. Yes, he was holding Matip's shirt, but why is this an issue when Madley was not even giving blatant shirt pulling outside the area. Usually, it is ones given outside, but not inside the box that are common.
Neither was the coverage of the game itself a true reflection of the play. I know that condensing it into a few minutes means that not everything can be included, but when some incidents that were important in the match are missed out, then it skews the opinion of people who did not see the 90+ minutes. I will have arguments with a Liverpool supporter at work on Tuesday, as he has seen the potted version and didn't witness Eriksen's early free-kick being well saved by Mingolet nor Alderweireld's magnificent block in the closing minutes to deny Firmino, when it looked like he must score.
Neither will the general viewing public know that Mane might not have been on the pitch, when he committed a second foul in a couple of minutes, having already been booked. A similar couple of fouls earned Rose a yellow and the Liverpool man was only given a warning. Thus, it is the context for what happens afterwards that is missed by the MoTD viewer, as then Vertonghen's talking to, which Shearer objected to so much, may have avoided a penalty being given to the visitors, but Mane's kept him on the pitch.
Also, they were quick to suggest Dier might have been offside before he crossed for Rose's goal, but made no mention of Coutinho's involvement in the penalty that gave Liverpool the lead, when he might have strayed offside before Firmino got the ball.
I always thought the BBC was
the bastion of balanced reporting. Having left out Lamela's nutmeg
last week, perhaps the balance is now turning against the top teams.
What is it with Klopp ? He moans about not getting another
penalty and the disallowed goal not being offside, but his side got
almost every other decision. It was like watching Liverpool of
the 1980s !!
|Other scores during this week :|
|Hull City||0||Manchester United||1||Saturday|
|Leicester City||2||Swansea City||1||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Middlesbrough||0||Sunday|
|Manchester City||3||West Ham United||1||Sunday|
|League Table 2016-17|
|10||West Bromwich Albion||3||1||1||1||2||2||4||0|
|12||West Ham United||3||1||0||2||3||5||3||-2|
Position before match : 7th
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend : 7th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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