Liverpool (Away)
Premier League

Sunday 15th May 2011

After the battle for the Champions League place now comes the Europa League play-off as we face fifth placed Liverpool, who have come at the end of the season with a charge given anew lease of life by Kenny Dalglish.  Having lost at Eastlands on Tuesday, it opened the door for the Reds to pip Spurs to European football and nick the Thursday night Channel Five slot.

Since Liverpool have had a resurgence, it has almost coincided with Tottenham's end of season slump.  A good run of results has seen them move above Spurs and will be aiming to stay there with another win in this match.

Dalglish's return has proved a master-stroke and he has the club right behind him, with a number of players who have come through the Academy making it into the first eleven and they have responded with energetic performances.  It is something Tottenham's don't tend to do unless in a one off situation - normally in an insignificant cup game.

Jay Spearing is the name being shouted the loudest at the moment and he is proving a tenacious midfielder who can do a man-marking job, while John Flanagan also featuring in the team.  Having had a successful youth team, the benefits are now being reaped and while Spurs sign top young players, they do not make into into the senior side very quickly.  It helps the youngsters to be playing alongside experienced old heads like Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel, but both of those can be caught out by being pulled out of position and by pace.  That means they may have to rely on Glen Johnson and Flangan to cover them, but if Spurs go to attack, it might put pressure on the back four that they haven't been too used to in the last few matches.  However, they wobbled against Fulham in midweek and could have been pegged back when they scored their first.

But the goals have been flowing and none more than from Maxi Rodriguez, who has hit six in six games.  In the absence of Steven Gerrard, Maxi has flourished and taken on the goal-scoring mantle from midfield that the former club captain used to don.  Two hat-tricks have marked the Argentinian as a player who needs to be picked up and Spurs cannot allow him space or unmarked runs as they are having enough trouble scoring, without having to come from behind like they used to in the first half of the season.  Raul Meireles has been a hard-working midfield player for the team and while not much has been said about him, he has been quietly effective and has scored some cracking goals.

With Spearing running down opponents, Lucas has had the ability to impress more than in his earlier Liverpool career.  The Brazilian can move the ball around and he is quite mobile.  Willing to tackle, although he is not that good at it, he picks up his quota of yellow cards.

Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt are striking up a partnership understanding in the void left after Fernando Torres left.  Dutchman Kuyt was always hard working, but now he is playing in a pair up top, he looks more like the striker the Reds signed than the wide midfielder he had been turned into.  Suarez cost a lot of money, although not as much as Andy Carroll, who cannot oust him from the starting line-up.  The Uruguay striker looks unfit, but he has the movement to lose markers and to take up a natural goal-scorer's position in the area, where he more than often scores from.  Not only is he a scorer, but he creates goals as well and has good control in tight situations, making him one that the defence might have trouble with.  A different striker to Torres, he is powerfully built and while maybe not as quick, he is fast thinking and has the ability to score the same sort of goals out of nothing that the Spaniard did.

Andy Carroll might find a place in the team, as Spurs tend not to deal with traditional centre-forwards that well and his aerial ability might persuade Kenny Dalglish to start with the big money singing from Newcastle.  Still quite raw, he was totally ineffectual at White Hart Lane at the turn of the year when he played for the Geordies.  He was too intent on trying to impose his physical presence on Dawson and conceded a string of free-kicks.  Maybe now he is learning how to channel his aggression.

At the back of the team, Pepe Reina is a fine keeper, who makes only the rare mistake and it will be interesting to see if Harry Redknapp plays Gomes in this game, or if we have seen the last of the Brazilian keeper for this season (or any other if you listen to some sources).  Reina has had a few nervous moments in the Liverpool goal, but he makes himself big to stop shots and his only weakness is in coming for crosses he shouldn't come for.

The way the last 13 games have gone, I cannot see Tottenham winning this game, as they failed to turn a whole load of possession into goals on Tuesday night, so it will be difficult again at Anfield.  So another disappointing result as the season peters out ...

PREDICTION : -    Liverpool    2      Tottenham Hotspur    0

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


LIVERPOOL :  - Milan Jovanovic (out - knee); Martin Kelly (doubtful - hamstring); Fabio Aurelio (out - thigh); Daniel Agger (out - knee); Steven Gerrard (out - groin); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Wilson Palacios (out - knee); Alan Hutton (out - knee); Luka Modric (doubtful - hip); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (out - hamstring); Tom Huddlestone (doubtful - ankle); Bongani Khumalo (out - foot); Gareth Bale (out - ankle); Jermaine Jenas (doubtful - thigh); Heurelho Gomes (doubtful - back); William Gallas (out - calf);  - (-); - (-); 


Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.00 (highlights)  Also available online.
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)

Commentary may be found on on
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>  TalkSport (DAB or 1089 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 :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

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Liverpool   0    Tottenham Hotspur   2      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League
Venue :  -  Anfield
Sunday 15th May 2011
Kick Off :  4.00 p.m.
Crowd :   44,893
Referee :  Howard Webb (West Workshire)
Liverpool kicked off and played towards the Anfield Road end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Chilly, breezy - rain earlier in day
Teams : - 
Liverpool :

25  Reina

  2  Johnson
23  Carragher (c)
37  Skrtel
38  Flanagan     

17  Maxi Rodriguez  (24  Ngog 75)
21  Lucas
26  Spearing  (33  Shelvey 64)
18  Kuyt

  7  Suarez     
  9  Carroll  (10  Cole 88)

Unused subs: 
42  Gulasci

16  Kyrgiakos
49  Robinson
28  Poulsen

Tottenham Hotspur :

23  Cudicini

  4  Kaboul
26  King
20  Dawson (c)
25  Rose (29  Bassong 83)

  7  Lennon
14  Modric 
30  Sandro     
40  Pienaar  (21 Kranjcar 90)

11  van der Vaart    (16  Defoe 53)

15  Crouch

Unused subs: 
37  Pletikosa

29  Livermore
41  Bostock
  9  Pavlyuchenko

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  


Tottenham Hotspur

van der Vaart 9
Modric (p) 56

Cards : -  

Suarez (unsporting behaviour)  20
Flanagan (foul)  70


Tottenham Hotspur  

Sandro (foul)  45+1 


Match Report : -  
Never a happy hunting ground, it was a pleasant change for the Spurs fans to be the ones with grins on their faces as they left Anfield after a comprehensive 2-0 victory over a Liverpool side that failed to live up to the hype of Kenny Dalglish's dream return to the club.

In truth, the form book would have lead you to think that the points were already in the bag for the Scousers, but the way Tottenham passed the ball around and looked for all the world the home team on a ground they historically find it hard to win at was a revelation.  Liverpool rarely threatened the Spurs goal and there could have been more than the two goals for Tottenham had they made more of the possession around the home team's penalty area.

With Ledley King restored at the back in place of William Gallas, who tweaked his hamstring last week, Spurs were set up in typical away formation of Crouch up front, with van der Vaart just behind.  Steven Pienaar got a start on the left of midfield, while Danny Rose continued at left back behind him.  With Liverpool starting the game, as soon as Tottenham got possession, they set about moving the ball forward.

Early crosses were played into the box intended for Peter Crouch and although they came to nothing, Rafael van der Vaart had a couple of shots, one blocked and one too wide of the goal.  But the combination of the two lead to an early Tottenham goal.  A ball was cleared out for a corner and Luka Modric put it into the box, looking for Crouch's head.  The Reds' defence won the header away. but the ball fell to Rafa, on the edge of the box a few yards to the left of centre.  The ball bounced up, but he took a touch and struck a shot that flew into Pepe Reina's top left corner out of the Spaniard's reach.  It was a precise shot, although it might have flicked Glen Johnson on the way through, but the Dutchman's joy in scoring in front of the Kop could not be restrained.

So, it was nine minutes into the game and Tottenham were 1-0 up.  Surely, we had just caught Liverpool cold this afternoon, on what had been a drizzly run up to the match.  Expecting a response from Liverpool, Ledley King and Michael Dawson showed calm defending to prevent Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt from doing any damage at our end of the pitch with some intelligent defending.  Liverpool were trying to move the ball through the Spurs midfield, but Sandro was putting in a sterling shift with some timely tackles and Modric was scuttling back to cover for his team-mates.  This produced a half-chance, when Crouch's shot took a deflection off Skrtel and went just wide, with Reina nervously trying to cover in case it went inside the post.

The effort Tottenham were putting in was paying off, as the home crowd were very quiet and the players were becoming frustrated.  New boy John Flanagan was crashing into tackles and you felt that he only had to mis-time one before he received a booking and Suarez showed his nasty side, when he shouldered Dawson to the floor and then, indicating that he thought the Spurs defender should just get up and get on with the game, took a snidey kick at him while he was on the floor.  Howard Webb saw it, but only cautioned the Uruguayan.

Suarez had a chance in the 22nd minute, when Sandro put a square pass straight to him about 30 yards out, but his intended chip went nowhere near clearing Cudicini, who saved comfortably.  This came in a fifteen minute spell when Liverpool saw more of the ball and Tottenham were working hard to prevent balls into the box find a red shirt.  One good shooting chance was made when a passing move between Rodriguez and Spearing ended with the youngster not getting hold of his shot and it being pulled wide of the post. An even better chance came in the 38th minute, when Skrtel's cross took out Cudicini and Carroll was set at the far post to head the ball without even having to jump, but he got his header all wrong and the ball went harmlessly over the crossbar.

Crouch had a half chance with a header on Modric's corner, but a defender put him off sufficiently to force the header to go wide and then Liverpool came back with Rodriguez throwing himself to the floor in the penalty area to the disgust of Dawson and Kaboul and then a late free-kick in added time when Sandro got a booking for a foul on Carroll, which Suarez fired powerfully at goal, but it went a couple of feet wide of Carlo's right hand post.

With the half-time whistle, Spurs went in to the cheers of our fans.  Expecting a reaction from Liverpool, when the second half kicked off, the pattern of the game was much the same as the first, although after a few minutes, Tottenham had to change things around, with van der Vaart limping off and Jermain Defoe replaced him. 

It didn't disrupt the way Tottenham were playing and Danny Rose looked to get away on the left, but was stopped by a fierce tackle from Flanagan.  From the throw, the ball was worked to Pienaar, who turned Flanagan on the left edge of the box and as he went past him, the Liverpool defender appeared to go shoulder to shoulder with him and knock the South African to the floor.  Placed nearby, Howard Webb proved even further that he is the Manchester United's friend, by pointing to the spot.  It looked a little generous and the first contact might have been outside the box, but the challenge typified the young defender's rash interventions.

With van der Vaart off the pitch and Defoe not being that successful in his last few attempts, Luka Modric grabbed the ball and from 12 yards out, he put the ball straight down the middle of the goal as Reina dived to the right.  The Spurs fans behind that goal celebrated a 2-0 lead with vigour.

With this being Liverpool's last home game of the season, they wanted to finish with a flourish, but that became ever more desperate, as players joined the ranks of the knowledgeable fans in the Kop in claiming a penalty as the ball popped up in the box, but it came off Danny Rose's chin - not his hand.  In the next phase of play, Flanagan shot into the side-netting from a sharp angle and in the next attack, his cross was knocked over the bar from just inside the box by Suarez.  As Tottenham were subjected to crosses played into the area, Sandro produced a Brazilian overhead kick to clear the ball, but it dropped to substitute Jonjo Shlevey, who had just come on, to lash a shot that flew quickly but a couple of yards off target.

Flanagan finally got his yellow card for a crude dive in on Danny Rose and for all the hyperbole about him and Spearing, neither did much to justify the rave notices they have been getting.  Dirk Kuyt had spent a lot of the match getting involved in petty pushing and shoving, but when he turned away from Ledley King about 30 yards from goal, it looked like he might create something.  However, without a game for many months, Ledley showed a turn of pace to get back and block the cross that the Dutchman put in to avert any danger.  King's fellow central defender Michael Dawson was doing what he does best, with a fine block to get in the way of Glen Johnson's drive.

With fifteen minutes left, Liverpool nearly got back in the game with a freak goal.  Luis Suarez played a corner in from their left wing.  The low ball spat off the turf inside the six yard box and with no Liverpool player getting a touch on it, Michael Dawson was surprised when it hit him and came off his knee a couple of yards in front of goal.  While it would normally have flown past his own keeper and nestled in the net, this time the ball shot up and went over the bar for another corner, as the Spurs defence breathed a sigh of relief.

Danny Rose went down and couldn't carry on, so Sebastien Bassong made his entry, with a streaker do the same and his runs around the pitch had more energy and purpose than some of the Liverpool players. 

Three minutes from time, Cudicini had a save to make (at last), but it was simple to gather a weak curling effort from big money signing Andy Carroll and at the other end, a low curling shot gave Reina a few more worries when Pienaar's effort missed the keeper's left hand post by inches, with a hint of a helping hand from the goalie.

With time running out, Defoe hit a quickly taken shot that Johnson blocked and then Kuyt tried to beat Cudicini at his near post as he cut in from their right wing, but the keeper smothered the drive.  Then, with Liverpool fans streaming out, the whistle blew on Tottenham's second win at Anfield in 18 years.

With a consummate performance like this, it is hard to see where we lost all those points from draws this season.  Sandro was immense and Modric was darting here and there to prompt the team to move forward.  Dawson and King were a fine partnership at the back and while Crouch did not score or assist, his presence was annoying for the Liverpool back four.

It was a good team performance and pushes Spurs back into fifth above Liverpool with a game left to play for both teams.  For Spurs, a home game against relegation threatened Birmingham City, while Liverpool travel to Aston Villa, who are slightly Jekyll and Hyde, having beaten the Gooners at Highbury today.

Knowing Spurs, we still have the propensity to blow it, but hopefully, the team will be focused and with Birmingham needing a win to make sure of survival, it might give us the opportunity to get behind them.

Brian O'Hanrahanrahan


Fan Reaction : -



Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric can now sit proudly alongside Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmann and Garth Crooks in the limited list of players who have scored in Tottenham wins at Anfield.

His hooked volley set Spurs on the way and when Pienaar was barged to the ground by Flanagan's hasty shoulder charge, Luka Modric coolly slotted home from 12 yards from the resulting penalty. 

But it was a team effort that saw Ledley King back in the side and reminded us all who important he would have been to the side had he been fit for more than the seven games he has played.  Danny Rose is doing well at left back, having moved back from midfield and he will get better the more he plays there.

But the star of the show for me was Sandro ... a player how has matured incredibly quickly in his first season with the club and who will be the presence in the midfield we have yearned for since the days of Steve Perryman (who, I know, moved to full back).  His tenacity in not wanting to let the opposition past allied with his passing ability makes him the ideal modern day Premier League footballer and I am so pleased that he came here.

With players like him, Bale and Modric, it is important that we establish some consistency to make sure we get into the Champions league the season after next.  With a couple of additions, I reckon it might be possible.

Freddie, Harlow




Other scores this weekend :
Blackburn Rovers 1 Manchester United 1 Saturday
Blackpool 4 Bolton Wanderers 3 Saturday
Sunderland 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Everton 0 Saturday
Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 2 Sunday
Birmingham City 0 Fulham 2 Sunday
Chelsea 2 Newcastle United 2 Sunday
Wigan Athletic 3 West Ham United 2 Sunday
FA Cup Final :
Manchester City 1 Stoke City 0 Saturday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 37 22 11 4 74 35 77 +39
2 Chelsea 37 21 8 8 69 32 71 +37
3 Arsenal 37 19 10 8 69 41 67 +28
4 Manchester City 36 19 8 9 55 33 65 +22
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 37 15 14 8 54 46 59 +8
6 Liverpool 37 17 7 14 59 43 58 +16
7 Everton 37 12 15 10 50 45 51 +5
8 Stoke City 36 13 7 16 46 44 46 +2
9 Bolton Wanderers 37 12 10 15 52 54 46 -2
10 West Bromwich Albion 37 12 10 15 53 68 46 -15
11 Fulham 37 11 15 11 47 41 45 +6
12 Newcastle United 37 11 12 14 53 54 45 -1
13 Aston Villa 37 11 12 14 47 59 45 -13
14 Sunderland 37 11 11 15 42 56 44 -14
15 Blackburn Rovers 37 10 10 17 43 57 40 -14
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37 11 7 19 44 63 40 -19
17 Birmingham City 37 8 15 14 36 56 39 -20
18 Blackpool 37 10 9 18 53 74 39 -21
19 Wigan Athletic 37 8 15 14 39 61 39 -22
20 West Ham United 37 7 12 18 43 67 33 -24

Position before the match :  6th
Position after the match :  5th
Position after the weekend :  5th


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