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Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool: Mistakes cost Liverpool dear

Sourav Saha
764   //    29 Nov 2012, 12:40 IST

20 minutes. That’s all that Tottenham took to snatch the game away from Liverpool. Two quickfire goals within the space of the first 16 minutes was enough to give them the three points. Not that they didn’t deserve it, Liverpool won’t begrudge the fact that for the first 20 minutes, Tottenham were unplayable. As has been the story this season, Liverpool from thereon dominated the game and even deserved a draw but fine defending, some snatched chances were responsible for Tottenham hanging on to a victory.

Liverpool, for all their dominance, couldn’t find the goals which would have won them the match and it was an own goal which kept Liverpool in the hunt till the end. Not that Liverpool was outplayed; Tottenham were too wide at times and Liverpool dominated the centre of midfield. Liverpool created chances but either there was no one in the box, or it was some opportunistic defending which kept them at bay.

Lloris, for all the news he generates, wasn’t exactly convincing and if Henderson wouldn’t have been caught in two minds, then the game might have taken a different shape all together. Although not thoroughly convincing, he still showed great awareness and was off his line quickly to smother Liverpool’s shots on goal.

The game, from the start, was end to end stuff with both teams going for the goal. At times, the first half was breathless. The flying Welshman, Gareth Bale, didn’t disappoint as he provided the assist for the first goal, and soon after that, converted a free kick which, albeit a slight deflection, left Reina rooted to his spot. Liverpool, though, would blame themselves for the way the wall was setup as it failed to prevent the ball from going in.

Liverpool didn’t lose their composure and continued to attack and could have gone into the break probably a goal down as Kyle Walker expertly cleared a ball which was certainly heading for goal, even though there was close attention from Gallas. Andre Villas Boas has preferred Steve Caulker this season, and based on the inconsistent performances from both centre halves at different points in the game, Villas Boas would be keen for Caulker to heal at the earliest.

Tottenham’s main inspiration was the silky Moussa Dembele, as he always had the time and space to find the pass. Although Tottenham didn’t see much of the ball, when they did, they were quite threatening on the counter. For all the criticism Downing has been subject to, he and Enrique combined well and some of the attacking play from the Liverpool fullbacks and the wingers was quite imaginative.

The pattern continued in the second half, and Liverpool were rewarded with a goal off a corner from Jonjo Shelvey, which found Agger who in turn won the first header. Steven Gerrard was on hand to head the ball goal-wards, which was thumped by Lennon into Bale, resulting in the goal. After the first half, Bale’s impact on the game waned and there were no clear chances for Spurs.

Suarez got one of the better chances when Agger kept the ball in play via an overhead kick and the ball fell invitingly to Suarez who blazed it over. Not the cleanest of chances, but considering the ingenuity of the Uruguayan, it should have been a goal. Another fine ball by Enrique almost found Suarez and although it looked like a certain penalty, Gallas got the crucial nick on the ball.

The game eventually petered out and Defoe got a half chance towards the end, but Tottenham took all 3 points. The encouraging performances of Liverpool continue albeit the result, and Rogers hopes his wards can get a win at St. Mary’s against Southampton over the weekend, who are also an equally attacking team.

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