LIVERPOOL 1-1 Tottenham Hotspurs
Liverpool come away from their latest fixture at Anfield with a single point to show for their efforts against Tottenham.
The international fixture list had stopped Liverpool and Tottenham playing for a while before this fixture arrived today. Liverpool hadn’t had a game since the defeat to Southampton on 20th March but were still seemingly ready to stop our opponents from getting a win at our home stadium, even as they chase Leicester up the table for the Premier League title.
Jürgen Klopp would have and use the choice of a fully fit Alberto Moreno for the left back position once again and put him back into the defence, where players like Jon Flanagan, Lucas Leiva and James Milner have been recently during Moreno’s absence due to injury.
With Roberto Firmino having sustained an injury during international duty, Adam Lallana would go straight into an attacking midfield position that’s usually reserved for the Brazilian. Coutinho and Sturridge would be our strikers, a rather enjoyable partnership to watch.
The game started as it was going to continue for the rest of the fixture. “End to End football”. Liverpool would attack, then Tottenham would counter attack. On and on that style of play would go. Both sides seemed equal, creating chances when they had the ball and neither was dominating. Decent defending from each team’s back line made sure it wasn’t a high scoring game. Credit to the defence, they did their jobs well at Anfield. By half time, it was goalless and fans could be forgiven for thinking it could end up as a goalless draw by full time.
Having said that, Daniel Sturridge was doing well and Coutinho was playing great. Sturridge had gotten into dangerous positions, tried a couple of shots. He’d shoot them directly at the keeper, mostly. It’s hard to understand why he’d do this as the keeper often wasn’t moving at all, so if the ball was shot either side of him it’d mean he’d have to dive for the ball but Sturridge somehow didn’t get to place it to a side – making the job easier to catch it. That kind of play can get a little frustrating when he tries to do all the work himself and doesn’t score but fortunately, Coutinho was there to help out also.
He’d create chances for Sturridge or he would run past defender and take a shot on goal. Coutinho almost scored about 4 times in the first 20 minutes, on average every 5 minutes he was making dangerous plays at our opponents. He did not give them a rest until finally, the referee showed Coutinho a yellow card at the 24th minute. This was a bit of a turning point in the game, where he had to slow down a little or possibly face a second yellow card and a sending off. His offence? A “dive”, the referee claimed. Though that’s not Liverpool style – we have always played fair. We’re well known for NOT being a team that cheats. Everything we’ve won, we’ve won fairly. That’s undeniable.
Coutinho had been given a shove by Alderweireld’s left hand though the referee was not in a good enough position to see it happen and would bring out the yellow card. In previous games when one of Liverpool’s players were booked, it didn’t go so well when we tried to replace the player who had received the yellow card. Martin Skrtel had replaced Dejan Lovren in the Southampton game which we had led 0-2 and Skrtel gave away a penalty and we’d end up conceding three times in the second half, eventually losing 3-2. So, we had to be careful if deciding to replace a player that had been playing very well and maybe we didn’t have anyone better on our substitute list, actually. To take Coutinho off the pitch would be a mistake but he’d just have to play a bit more carefully.
On and on the game went, as it was already. When the half time whistle was blown, it was still just as equal as was from the first minute.
Klopp made the decision about whether to bring Coutinho off at half time or not… he did not bring Coutinho off, we’d find out. I was thankful for this and so were the rest of the Liverpool fans – especially since he’d score in the 2nd half.
It took only 6 minutes for Liverpool to take a lead in the second half as a “one-two” between Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho paid off, the Brazilian got his chance to take on defenders and the goalkeeper with his shot, put the ball past them and into the net, to make the score Liverpool 1-0 Tottenham.
This was a great assist by Sturridge (probably his best contribution to the game) and a great goal by Coutinho. His record isn’t “the best in the (Premier) league” but as far as club records go, he’s probably the leading goalscorer with at least 10 goals this season. He’s dependable for Liverpool. We can count on him for great performances, hard work and goals. Actually, I’m naming him Man Of The Match.
He worked hard to make sure we got some points. It could have been three points if Spurs just hadn’t scored their equalizer but we’ll take a draw and 1 point thanks to The Magician, too. Going up against a side that is in with a chance of winning the league this season and coming away with something instead of nothing is a good thing, better than some critical fans who wanted a win would give us credit for.
Liverpool are still inside of the top 10 teams in the league. That’s an achievement in itself. We’re also within 9 points of a top 4 team and only 6 points from the 5th placed team. If Southampton or Stoke lose while Liverpool win, we can go up above them too. There’s positives about our current standing, if you’re willing to see them. Try not be too hard on your team. We tried our best. We got something because of that. We’re still up there in the top half of the table.
Tottenham’s goal was nothing to scoff at, by the way. Harry Kane has been tremendous for Spurs this season and the England international proved his worth as a goalscorer yet again in this game to give his team their equalizer in the 63rd minute. Liverpool had kept their lead only around 12 minutes.
If I had placed a bet on Spurs goalscorer, my money would undoubtedly have been on Kane. He’s their strongest goalscorer. One of the Premier League’s leading goalscorers now in fact, he’s up there with Jamie Vardy competing to see who can get the most Premier League goals this season. Making Coutinho’s 10 goals look like not enough almost! But that’s not fair to Coutinho, he’s been wonderful for us ever since he joined us and we do appreciate what’s he’s done and how he’s contributed with goals this season. What Kane’s done is rare. Not all players can become a potential “highest Premier League goalscorer”.Plenty of other clubs don’t have a goalscorer like Kane or Vardy. At least half (maybe even three quarters) of the Premier League teams don’t have that.
Liverpool will now move on. We’re still in the Europa League Quarter Finals and are about to face Borussia Dortmund in the first of two legs. We travel to Germany before the second leg is played at Anfield, so we’ve got an opportunity to get us some away goals! Those are important in this competition. We’ll do our best again. That’s all we can ask.
So walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.