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Liverpool v Spurs, 05.05.24

Many thanks to Declan Mulcahy for this report:-

Sunday 5 May 2024, 4:30pm
Premier League
Liverpool (2) 4 Tottenham Hotspur (0) 2

Liverpool scorers:-
Salah, 16
Robertson, 45
Gakpo, 50
Elliott, 59

Spurs scorers:-
Richarlison, 72
Son, 77

Liverpool (4-3-3): Jurgen Klopp
1 Alisson; 66 T Alexander-Arnold, 78 J Quansah; 4 V van Dijk (c), 26 A Robertson (2 J Gomez 64); 19 H Elliott (8 D Szoboszlai 83), 3 W Endo (43 S Bajcetic 65), 10 A Mac Allister (38 R Gravenberch 75); 11 M Salah, 18 C Gakpo, 7 L Diaz (9 D Nunez 75)

Subs not used: 62 C Kelleher, 84 C Bradley, 5 I Konate, 17 C Jones

Booked: Alexander-Arnold (90 time-wasting)

Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-3):
13 G Vicario; 23 Pedro Porro, 17 C Romero, 37 M van de Ven, 12 Emerson Royal (4 O Skipp 61); 8 Y Bissouma, 29 P Sarr (18 G Lo Celso 75), 30 R Bentancur (9 Richarlison 61); 21 D Kulusevski (10 J Maddison 61), 7 H-M Son (c), 22 B Johnson

Subs not used: 40 B Austin, 6 R Dragusin, 5 P-E Hojbjerg, 59 M Moore, 11 B Gil

Booked: Sarr (44 foul on Gakpo), van de Ven (47 pull-back), Emerson Royal (57 foul on Salah), Bissouma (63 foul on Elliott)

Anfield, Attendance: 60,075

Referee:- Paul Tierney
Assistants:- Scott Ledger, Mat Wilkes
Fourth official:- Tom Bramall
VAR:- John Brooks
Assistant VAR:- James Mainwaring

Another defeat as Spurs once again respond with too little too late

Liverpool v Spurs, 05.05.24

Thanks to Eugene Gasper for this picture

The omens going into this game were fairly ominous. Spurs had won only twice in the last 36 league visits to Anfield, most recently in 2011. Spurs had lost three league games in a row. A fourth defeat would be the worst run since the team lost six consecutive league matches between October and November 2004, almost twenty years ago, during the managerial transition from Jacques Santini to Martin Jol. Lastly in his ninth Premier League season Jurgen Klopp has never lost a game during the month of May.

Thus it came to pass that Liverpool beat Spurs. There were some parallels with the North London derby a week ago. The opposition was allowed to build up an insurmountable lead. Facing a heavy defeat the team once again found some inspiration later in the game. However once again while it seemed good at the time it was too little too late.

Postecoglou made one change from the team which started the Chelsea game. Bentancur replaced Richarlison. Instead of the customary 4-2-3-1 formation there were three midfielders and three up front. Maddison was again left on the substitutes bench. Son made his 300th Premier League appearance the first Asian player to achieve this milestone.

Liverpool also made one change from the draw against West Ham last weekend with Mo Salah replacing Ryan Gravenberch.

The opening few minutes were encouraging and it looked like Spurs might take the game to Liverpool in their own half however it didn't last.

Liverpool began to put a lot of pressure on Spurs in their own half. A Salah cross hit the bar. The move continued with van de Ven stopping Salah from having another attempt before Elliott had a shot from which Romero made a goal-line clearance.

Salah hit the bar again after a corner but he was offside.

An attack down the left saw Gakpo cross the ball towards the far post. Emerson appeared to move forward in an attempt to put Salah in an offside position but allowed him a free header from which he scored. It was his twelfth goal against Spurs.

When Liverpool had their first corner of the match they made a half-hearted attempt to crowd Vicario but the he cleared the ball and the tactic wasn't repeated.

Salah was a constant threat down the right wing and Emerson Royal was enduring a torrid time. Van de Ven tackled Gakpo in the box and Liverpool appealed for a penalty. The referee wasn't interested and VAR confirmed his decision.

Romero blocked shots on target by Robertson and Elliott. Vicario saved efforts by Gakpo and Elliott. An Alexander-Arnold shot was just too high.

Just before the break Alexander-Arnold launched another attack down the right before crossing. The ball was moved on by a couple of Liverpool players before Salah hit a shot which Vicario parried. Robertson reached the ball first and scored with a shot to the left post.

The final action of the half saw the ball directed towards Salah who would have been clear in the Spurs half but Vicario rushed out to clear the ball.

As the players went off at the interval Vicario had to keep Romero and Emerson Royal apart.

The numbers for the first half were instructive. Spurs had 55% possession compared to Liverpool's 45%. However Liverpool had 14 shots eight of which were on target. Spurs only had one shot which wasn't on target. This has been one of the unresolved issues this season. Spurs having more possession but not using the ball productively. The opposition having less of the ball but creating opportunities and scoring goals.

Given the one-way traffic it was surprising that Postecoglou elected to continue with an unchanged side.

Liverpool kept up the pressure for the first fifteen minutes. Vicario saved a shot from Salah after the restart. Van de Ven was booked for a pull-back on a Liverpool player off the ball.

Salah set off on another run down the right pressuring Emerson Royal. The ball fell to Elliott who crossed towards the far post where Gakpo scored with a header.

Porro crossed and Johnson produced a good header which was well-saved by Alisson. This was Spurs first attempt on target. Son made a run into the box but was stopped by Quansah.

However Liverpool weren't finished. Elliott outside the box made a cross-field run parallel to the box. Just outside the D he unleashed a powerful shot which rocketed into the top left-hand corner of the goal.

Postecoglou then made a triple change with Skipp, Richarlison and Maddison replacing Emerson Royal, Bentancur and Kulusevski.

The changes were positive and in Richarlison Spurs had a target to aim for in the box. A Maddison free kick hit the Liverpool wall and he followed that up with a shot saved by Alisson and another which was too high.

Ten minutes after the changes Johnson, who had a good game, crossed from the right for Richarlison to steer the ball into the far corner of the net. It was the second year in a row he had scored in this fixture.

Five minutes later Skipp set up Richarlison in the box. He cut the ball back to Son who scored with a shot towards the left post.

The remaining thirteen minutes plus added time saw both sides create chances but Spurs never really looked like drawing level. Salah shot wide with the goal at his mercy. Alisson blocked a Richarlison shot and Gomez prevented Johnson from converting the rebound.

The sequence of four defeats is disappointing. The one shining light is Christion Romero who continues to show courage and determination and never gives up. The other players need to respond to his example to turn things around.

This fixture has become the highest-scoring in Premier League history with a cumulative total of 191 goals over 64 games, an average of 2.98 goals per match.

Aston Villa had lost earlier in the day and so Spurs missed an opportunity to close the seven-point gap. At this stage it is extremely unlikely that Spurs can pip them for fourth position.

Newcastle have moved to within four points of Spurs now and Chelsea and Manchester United are a further two points behind, with Manchester United still to play on Monday. Spurs should be able to retain fifth place providing they take points from the two cellar dwellers Burnley (at home) and Sheffield United (away).

Postecoglou commented to Sky Sports "Obviously a hugely disappointing outcome for us but at least we were more like ourselves today in terms of our football." On whether Spurs have a confidence problem: "Maybe in the front third there is..It probably is a bit of a lack of confidence but again that's something the guys have to work through."

Jurgen Klopp felt that "Anfield was a special place today. We were 4-0 up, I made the changes and we lost organisation. Tottenham showed how good they could be. I was happy with the performance."

. Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
. Read the preview for this game.
. All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

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