LIVERPOOL 2-2 Tottenham Hotspurs
Liverpool claim a draw and 1 point this time around going up against Spurs, as the Premier League action continues and teams keep fighting for points and perhaps a place in the top 4 or 5 by the end of the season.
Liverpool’s manager had to deal with Adam Lallana being recently injured (a thigh problem but he’s already recovering and should be back in February). He’s gone and chosen Karius for a Premier League fixture which has only just recently started happening. Mignolet’s been pushed out from this duty by Klopp, partly because of the rotation system he uses and partly because Champions League football won’t start up again for a while and Karius needs to stay fresh before he inevitably is chosen for the European fixtures against Porto.
Nobody would have predicted how this game started. Even those of you who like to bet and already know that Salah’s our best goalscorer may not have picked the 3rd minute for him to get Liverpool’s first goal in. The game had barely started but The Egyptian King didn’t waste the chance he was given when the ball ended up at his feet on the edge of the penalty area and calmly slotted his shot past Hugo Lloris in front of the Kop. Having said that, Tottenham are no stranger to early leads either. In their last fixture against Manchester United, Christian Eriksen took only 11 seconds to score a goal past David De Gea. He could not recreate that event against Liverpool though. Spurs had 45 minutes of the first half to score in and were still 1-0 down by half time.
The second half
Where to start? This wasn’t your typical half where the team that’s behind needs to play catch up. SO many things happened and all were quite unexpected.
Loris Karius was very involved in the game. He had 4 defenders in front of him and still he had to make saves against some of the best Premier League players and was frequently stopping them from getting what they needed (goals) for a long time.
Liverpool were struggling for possession (which generally saw a 30% to 70% ratio between the home and away side) and a double substitution just after the hour mark saw Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replace Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mané. For once, at least Klopp wasn’t waiting until the 80th minute and then giving some subs 10 minutes of play. He’s actually giving a couple of players a good half hour to start making a difference for Liverpool, with time enough to do it. Still, Liverpool’s changes didn’t seem to have the impact that Tottenham’s changes did.
Spurs’ sub Victor Wanyama was only just introduced to the game before he had gotten a goal. A quick attack from Tottenham had seen Liverpool forced to make yet another save but the quick and accurate response from Tottenham was just too much to stop. Their substitution who had only just come on was able to change the game, giving the away side their equaliser.
Karius had been punching the ball a lot during the game and to be honest, it had made me quite nervous. I’d rather he caught the ball and had it held in hands, ready to throw or kick out to the Liverpool side rather than just giving the opposition a second chance to shoot again once the ball is back out of the penalty area once more. A punch from Karius went directly to Wanyama who blasted back towards goal a powerful shot that couldn’t be stopped. Karius had already committed his whole body in the first punch and wasn’t in a position to be getting back up for instantly saving the rebounded shot. Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham
Liverpool also introduced Joel Matip into the game and had 5 defenders at the back now trying to make sure that we didn’t lose 2 points. Liverpool had the drive and determination to win this game, but there was more going on than just players heading end to end with their attacks and counter attacks. Eventually, the referee and linesman would both change the game dramatically.
The 84th minute saw Tottenham make an attack, deep into the penalty area. Harry Kane had been provided with a ball that saw him clearly run into an offside position. He was brought down by Karius however and after some discussion with the linesman, the referee decided to award a penalty. By the way, the discussion that referee and linesman had was caught on camera with clear audio that allows me to tell you exactly what they debated, word for word. Here it was:
Linesman: “All i need to know is, did Harry Kane touch the ball before Karius brought him down to the ground. Because if he did touch that ball in his offside position, it’s NOT a penalty. If he didn’t touch the ball, then Karius has committed a foul and it IS a penalty”
Referee: “Oh, he didn’t touch the ball” *BLOWS WHISTLE AND POINTS TO PENALTY SPOT*.
By the way, in the instant replay (which referees or linesman don’t have the option of seeing like fans watching at home) showed that Kane had gotten to touch the ball before Karius brought him down in the penalty area. Basically, that means Kane had received the ball in an offside position and Karius’ foul shouldn’t have counted. You’re supposed to raise the offside flag and just continue with the game. That didn’t happen.
Kane would step up to take the penalty in the 87th minute (yes, it was at least 3 minutes debating this one event between players and referees and linesman – there was eventually 4 minutes of extra time added to the end of the half). Karius did amazing to stop the ball as Kane shot directly down the middle of the goal, right to where Karius had stayed (he hadn’t dived left or right which Kane had seemingly expected him to do).
NO GOAL!!!! Despite an unfair penalty being awarded, the scoreline hadn’t changed!!! Liverpool still were drawing 1-1 with Tottenham. This was a huge relief because honestly, it seemed fair that Liverpool hadn’t conceded to a debatable decision from match officials who made the wrong call. Tottenham didn’t deserve to go ahead from that, Kane was so offside in the initial attack which led to the penalty.
What could happen next?
Liverpool and Tottenham keep on attacking and counter attacking each other.
The 91st minute sees Liverpool get a throw in on the right hand side. Alexander-Arnold does well on the right wing to get a throw to Salah, and he has SO much to do from when he collects the ball.
He’s in a tight space, but Salah is running in multiple direction around Tottenham players, managing to get past Davies and then Vertonghen before finding a place he can shoot the ball past Lloris. IT’S IN!!! Liverpool are winning 2-1 in the 91st minute. Hell, it’s the 92nd minute by the time Liverpool are done celebrating and back to the center circle for a kick off to start the game again. 4 minutes of extra time were supposed to be played but surely we can stick this out for 2 more minutes and claim a win? We’ve got 5 defenders including Matip now, remember. We’re pretty tight at the back.
The 93rd minute saw Tottenham making another attack. Fine, we should be able to deal with it, especially as our new signing Virgil Van Dijk is the defender who’s having to deal with the attack by Lamela inside of the penalty area. What happens though?
Van Dijk is about to try to clear the ball. He’s not raising a knee, he’s raising a FOOT because he wants to kick the ball away! Although Lamela seems to back into Van Dijk, then goes down. At the time, the referee waves “play on” but the linesman is waving his flag like a crazy patriot waving their national flag and eventually, the referee goes over to debate his decision. The linesman convinces the referee that a penalty should be awarded as if he’s a Harry Kane fan who wants Kane to score his 100th Premier League goal. The referee points to the penalty spot.
This time, Harry Kane shoots right. I think Karius dived left, with no chance of saving it at all. I thought it might be the same as the first, but Kane didn’t shoot down the middle this time and Karius DID choose to dive in a direction instead of waiting the ball to come to him at the center of the goal. Totally different penalty with a totally different outcome. Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham
Well, thanks to horrible decisions by both the referee and linesman, Liverpool draw with Tottenham and can only claim 1 point instead of winning this game 2-1 as it should have been.
Man of the match
Mo Salah scored both of Liverpool’s goals and honestly, he pretty much got a “match-winner” in the 91st minute. Though Liverpool didn’t actually win the match eventually, if it wasn’t for the horrible calls by the linesman and referee awarding a penalty that never should have been given, Liverpool would have won 2-1 thanks to Salah’s late goal. He just continues to impress and increase his already very impressive goalscoring record. If he continues this way for many seasons, he’ll start breaking the records of more and more Legendary Liverpool goalscorers from our long history that goes back to 1892.
We already beat Southampton in Anfield at the end of November but now we need to travel down South and see if we can claim a 2nd victory, in more Premier League action. Here’s hoping (we can).
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.