SUNDAY 30TH APRIL, 2023
LIVERPOOL 4(3) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3(1)
Salah (pen), 15
Referee:- Paul Tierney
Assistants:- Richard West, Matthew Wilkes
Fourth official:- John Brooks
VAR:- David Coote
Assistant VAR:- Wade Smith
Liverpool (4-3-3):- Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk (Capt.), Robertson; Elliott (sub Henderson, 63), Fabinho, Jones (sub Milner, 86); Salah, Gakpo (sub Nunez, 73), Diaz (sub Jota, 63)
(Henderson took the armband)
Subs not used:- Kelleher; Gomez, Tsimikas, Matip; Carvalho
Booked:- Konate (foul on Son), Jota (foul on Skipp), Milner (foul on Kane)
Spurs (3-4-3):- Forster; Romero, Dier, Davies; Pedro Porro (sub Lucas Moura, 90), Skipp (sub Richarlison, 84), Hojbjerg, Perisic (sub Danjuma, 90); Kulusevski (sub Sarr, 66), Kane (Capt.), Son
Subs not used:- Austin; Sanchez, Tanganga, Lenglet; Devine
Booked:- Son (foul on Gakpo), Richarlison (over-celebrating)
Agony – ecstasy – agony
Thanks to Greg Smith for capturing this image
After a disastrous start in which Spurs conceded three goals in the first fifteen minutes, our players became heroes to ultimately equalise in the third of six minutes of added time. Some travelling fans had left after those three early goals. Those who stayed were overjoyed beyond their wildest dreams when Richarlison scored his first Premier League goal for the club, only to experience the extreme agony of a dreadful mistake by another late substitute Lucas Moura whose pass inside was into the path of Diogo Jota who regained the lead to give Liverpool a 4-3 win.
Ryan Mason made two changes with Davies in for Lenglet and Kulusevski starting in place of Richarlison. Jurgen Klopp’s changes included Luis Diaz, who had not started a game since suffering injury last October.
Spurs have conceded 7 goals in the first fifteen minutes of their last three games over the last week, and this game looked like being Newcastle all over again. Spurs had kicked off and didn’t put so many passes together again for a considerable while, nor did they reach the penalty area at The Kop end until later in the half.
Liverpool’s opener came in only the third minute. Alexander-Arnold swung in a cross from the right and the whole Spurs defence including Pedro Porro had been drawn towards that side of their area. An unmarked Curtis Jones met the cross and poked the ball past Forster. Two minutes later, the other side of the Spurs defence was at fault when Gakpo got to the bye-line and cut the ball back into the 6-yard box where Diaz finished well with the ball behind him.
The third goal arose from yet more reckless play by Romero, who fouled Jones just inside the Spurs area. Referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot and Mo Salah fired the ball centrally high into the net with Forster diving to his left.
Gakpo had a shot blocked to win a corner, but nothing came of that. Spurs actually managed an attack at last when Perisic sent Son away down the left, but his cross was held by Alisson. Salah was blocked off inside our box, but he ran after Harry Kane and stole the ball off our talisman!
Harry had a shot on goal after 28 minutes when Hojbjerg lifted a ball to him down the right channel. Harry fired wide across the goal but was flagged offside in any case. Son had a great chance, after receiving from Kane, but probably took too long over his shot which was cleared in front of the goal.
Kane did then score, giving us a little hope. Perisic had chased and collected Skipp’s ball down the left side and with Van Dijk slipping, Ivan’s cross was perfect for Kane who finished with a first-time right-footed shot beneath Alisson. It was Harry’s 25th Premier League goal of the season which put him level on 208 with Wayne Rooney. After the goal, Kulusevski had another great chance, but Alisson saved with his outstretched foot. In truth, both Son and Kulusevski should have scored either side of Kane’s goal.
Son hit Alisson’s right post with a left-footed curler, but he had been offside anyway.
Son was booked early in the second half for pulling back Gakpo as he threatened to break around the halfway line. After a cross by Kulusevski, Son hit a low right-footed shot which rebounded clear off the bottom of Alisson’s left post. Romero hit the other post from just inside the area after another attack which ended with Kane’s pass from the left. I believe Romero would also have been flagged offside but play continued.
Salah had an on-target shot blocked at the other end before a shot by Pedro Porro from outside the right edge of the box was tipped over for a corner by the goalkeeper. The corner was cleared, and Liverpool countered until Salah’s effort was again blocked inside the Spurs area.
Salah was fouled by Perisic just outside the box. Perisic headed Robertson’s free kick out for a corner too. Ryan Mason’s first change was to put on Sarr for Kulusevski. For a while it looked as if Spurs were playing 5-3-2. That didn’t stop our attacking intentions and Konate was booked for hauling back Son when he and Kane might have broken forward.
Sarr intercepted a Liverpool clearance and fed the ball to Pedro Porro, who overhit his cross. The travelling fans gave a rendition of "We want Levy out." Spurs responded by scoring a second goal when Son beat the offside trap and ran onto Romero’s long pass before beating Alisson with a low right-footed shot.
Skipp went down in the box and Spurs wanted a penalty to no avail. Hojbjerg also wanted a penalty when he headed a Pedro Porro cross wide, but Mr. Tierney gave that appeal short shrift.
Oliver Skipp had bravely gone into a challenge for the ball with his head first and his reward was to receive Jota’s boot studs in his face. Skipp needed treatment and was actually replaced by Richarlison. Jota got nothing more than a yellow card for what was clearly dangerous play, accidental or not. Richarlison was booed onto the pitch because of his Everton connection.
Richarlison had a fair penalty shout when he went down under Konate’s challenge. This came at the end of a move when Hojbjerg’s skill and determination took him forward towards the left flank. He passed to Kane, who moved the play to the right where Pedro Porro crossed.
Richarlison and Perisic combined down the left but Perisic overhit the ball when trying to reach the bye-line. Lucas Moura replaced Pedro Porro and Danjuma came on for Perisic. Spurs were committed to attack and there were six minutes of added time.
James Milner had been another late substitute for the home side, and he soon got a yellow card for a cynical foul on Kane. Ben Davies was sent off the field pf play for a blood injury sustained in a contretemps before the free kick could be taken. Son swung the ball in and Richarlison advanced from the back of the wall and managed to get his head on the ball which bounced down and over Alisson into the net. Cue deep joy in front of the Spurs fans and a booking for ripping off his shirt.
That joy was so short-lived. After the re-start Alisson hit a long kick down the left channel. Stand-in right wing-back Lucas Moura inadvertently passed the ball inside to Jota’s feet and the Portuguese striker beat Forster low to his left with a left foot shot. Cue deep woe and despondency in the Spurs camp and in the away end.
Jurgen Klopp had been upset with decisions not going his way at various stages and danced in front of the fourth official when Jota scored. His reward was a yellow card and a leg injury!
A draw would have been a marvellous result after our disgraceful start. We do remain in the hunt for a European place but with an away game against Villa in two weeks’ time, our away form needs to improve drastically. We might fail completely to gain any place in Europe, which for a club of Spurs’ stature would also be distressing, not to say financially damaging for the board led by Mr. Levy.
Spurs have never before scored three goals at Anfield in a League game, and the only time they did score three here was in the League Cup in 1998, on their way to the 1999 trophy. To say it’s a shame they got no reward for their achievement today is a gross understatement.
· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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