Sunday, November 2, 2008


Saturday 01 November 2008 17:30 , Barclays Premier League

Spurs Stun Pool With Late Pavlyuchenko Strike

Liverpool had started the day top of the Premier League following their 1-0 win away at Chelsea last Sunday. However, Liverpool began the game in second spot looking to return to the Premiership summit after Chelsea thrashed Sunderland 5-0 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

Tottenham went into the game bottom of the League with only one win to their name all season. However, since the appointment of Harry Redknapp Spurs had picked up four points from six and having come back from 4-2 down at Arsenal to earn a point with two late goals on Wednesday evening, were full of confidence.

First Half

Liverpool made a brighter start than Spurs, getting the ball down and controlling matters. Spurs' 'keeper Gomes has come in for criticism recently and was tested early on when Gerrard sent a free-kick into the penalty area from deep into the Spurs half, but the Brazilian showed safe hands.

Liverpool made the most of their early dominance when Robbie Keane found Dutch international Dirk Kuyt on the right hand side of the penalty area and he beat Gomes at his near post with a stunning shot in the third minute of play to give Liverpool an early 1-0 lead.

Liverpool maintained their dominance in the early stages and Gerrard once again tested Gomes with a free kick but the 'keeper was more than equal to it. From the resulting corner Spurs almost scored an own goal when Assou-Ekotto sliced his clearance, forcing Gomes to make another save.

Following a shaky start to the match, Spurs finally got a feel for the game getting a hold of the ball and stringing a few passes together. However, they rarely looked like scoring whereas Liverpool's much more direct approach was proving to be more of a threat.

In the 22nd minute after some good exchanging of passes, Modric found Corluka with a fantastic cross-field pass from left to right and the Croatian delivered a deadly cross along the Liverpool six yard box, but Darren Bent was nowhere near and a good chance went begging for the home side.

A minute before the half hour mark, Gerrard found some space just outside the Spurs penalty area and managed to walk his way through the Tottenham defence too easily but an uncharacteristically weak shot from the England international let the home side off.

Spurs were seeing more of the ball than Liverpool with around thirty minutes played, but their build-up was too slow and rarely troubled a well-organised Liverpool team. David Bentley had a chance to test Jose Reina with a free-kick, awarded for a foul on Luka Modric by Albert Riera, but the former Arsenal midfielder blasted high and wide typifying Spurs first half performance.

Robbie Keane finally got himself involved in the game with around ten minutes of the first half left to play and after doing well to find some space on the edge of the 18-yard box, had a decent effort blocked by Ledley King who was once again holding firm at the heart of the Spurs defence.

With five minutes of the first half left to play, Corluka found some space down the right hand side and won a corner when his shot was blocked. Although Bentley's corner was easily cleared, the ball worked its way back down towards the Liverpool end from a Gomes punt and just outside the area Modric managed to out-muscle Xabi Alonso and work himself enough room to get a shot away, but Reina once more proved reliable.

Steven Gerrard was shown a yellow card in the first minute of first half stoppage time when he lunged in on Jonathan Woodgate who was attempting to clear the ball down the left hand-side.

Second Half

The second half started in a similarly fast paced fashion to the first and with five minutes played Gomes produced a fantastic save from a Steven Gerrard shot which took a deflection off Ledley King's arm, after King had blocked a shot from Dirk Kuyt on the edge of the area.

In the 53rd minute a howler of a mistake by Gomes left Gerrard in acres of space down the right hand side with an open goal, but he failed to find the target from such a difficult angle. Liverpool continued to pile the pressure and came close once more from a header which flew just wide of the upright.

Gerrard caused Spurs more trouble in the 56th minute when his free-kick was almost turned in by Xabi Alonso, but Spurs were once again let off. Just two minutes later an Arbeloa cross from the right eventually fell to Gerrard after Alonso's shot was blocked, but the midfielder's drive flew just wide of the post.

Liverpool were completely dominating the game twenty minutes into the second half and in the 63rd minute, a Gerrard ball inside from the left to Xabi Alonso allowed the Spaniard to set himself up for a long range shot, but once again Liverpool failed to punish Spurs.

Tottenham enjoyed a better spell of football with just less than twenty minutes of play and while the ball seemed to be heading out of play, Darren Bent's hard work paid-off as he managed to get a cross in from which Spurs won a corner. Bentley swung the ball into the penalty area and Jamie Carragher, under pressure from Ledley King, unfortunately headed the ball into the back of his own net to make it 1-1.

A minute later Reina almost made a terrible error when he came to claim a high ball but got nowhere near it and was relieved to see the ball go out of play for a goal kick.

King was shown yellow in the 74th minute for a cynical challenge on Jose Reina. Reina had collected the ball and as he went to release the ball, King ran in front of the Spaniard doing enough to impede and knock him off balance.

A breakaway by Spurs in the 80th minute provided a good chance for Pavlyuchenko to give the London side a 2-1 lead. Bentley found plenty of space down the right hand side and although his ball into the box was not the best, Bent put Reina under pressure and the Spaniard failed to get any length on his clearance. The ball fell kindly to Roman Pavlyuchenko who had time and space to measure up a shot at goal, but his attempt was far too high and Liverpool escaped unscathed.

Tottenham took the lead just into stoppage time after an extraordinary effort from Bentley just outside the 18-yard box in the left hand to the bottom right hand corner of the goal was only parried by Reina as far as Darren Bent who squared the ball for Roman Pavlyuchenko to tap home from close range.

Liverpool replied by attacking and won a corner in the 92nd minute when Babel hit a cross-come-shot from the right hand side of the area. However, Gerrard's corner kick was poor and Liverpool missed the chance to grab an equaliser.

Having completely dominated at times, Liverpool will surely be feeling slightly aggrieved that they failed to make their chances count as they could have been three or four goals to the good by half time. However, although Spurs were not as direct as Liverpool when in possession they did pass the ball well at times and having held firm defensively might well feel that a victory was well justified, albeit a little surprising.


Liverpool: Reina, Dossena, Carragher, Agger, Arbeloa, Riera, Alonso, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard (captain), Keane. Subs - Hyypia, El Zhar, Babel, Leiva, Cavalieri, Aurelio, Benayoun

Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, King (captain), Woodgate, Corluka, O'Hara, Huddlestone, Zokora, Bentley, Bent, Modric. Subs - Lennon, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell, Gunter, Bale, Sanchez, Hutton

Referee: P Dowd

Man-of-the-Match: Steven Gerrard

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Goals Video Clip : Tottenham Hotspurs vs Liverpool 2 - 1
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Dirk Kuyt (3') | Rapidshare | Mediafire |

Jamie Carragher [OG] (68') | Rapidshare | Mediafire |
Roman Pavlyuchenko (90') | Rapidshare | Mediafire |

Highlights Video : Tottenham Hotspurs vs Liverpool 2 - 1
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Full Match Video : Tottenham Hotspurs vs Liverpool 2 - 1
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Tottenham Hotspurs vs Liverpool Picture's

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