With Liverpool having a week to scratch their heads over how they managed to lose at Stoke last week, it was imperative that they bounced back away to Spurs today. Liverpool has started the season well, and was extremely unlucky at Stoke. But a good result against Spurs was needed as they will be one of Liverpool’s main challengers for a top four spot this season. Spurs had a very good away win at Wolves last week inflicting them with their first defeat of the season, so their confidence was high going into this match. Liverpool’s record in recent years is poor at White Hart Lane having lost there for the last three seasons. So a big performance would be needed.
Kenny made one change to the side which lost at Stoke with Carroll returning to the side in place of Kuyt. Skrtel once again deputised at right-back with Downing being switched to the right of midfield and Henderson moving over to the left. Dalglish posted an attacking threat with Suarez and Carroll being partnered up front. Lucas and Adam once again were paired in the middle of midfield, with Carragher and Agger in the centre of defence.
Spurs took the game to Liverpool from the first whistle and should have been one up inside a couple of minutes but Adebayor missed badly from ten yards out when clean through. Next Bale ghosted past Skrtel before his low cross was met by Defoe, but his effort was brilliantly blocked by Agger.
It was no surprise to see Spurs take the lead on 7 minutes and what a strike it was, Modric was the provider as he found the top left hand corner of Reina’s net from 25 yards. Agger picked up a knock in the lead up to the goal and eventually had to be replaced on 25 minutes with new signing Coates making his first appearance for Liverpool.
Liverpool did find the Spurs net against the run of play with Suarez prodding home following a mix up in the Spurs defence, but it was ruled out correctly for offside.
Then things got worse for Liverpool when Adam caught Parker with a high tackle on the edge of the box which saw the Scot receive his second yellow card and leaving Liverpool really up against it.
Spurs should have added to their lead before half-time as they dominated but Bale, Adebayor Kaboul were all guilty of missing good chances.
Seconds after the restart Liverpool should have been further behind when a good move down the right resulted in Defoe wasting a great chance from 10 yards out, shooting wide. Liverpool were struggling to stem the tide of Spurs attacks and Bale almost scored in the 57th minute after a good run and shot being saved by a stretching Reina.
Adebayor had the next chance but shot tamely at Reina. But just after the hour mark Liverpool’s slender hopes were dashed when Skrtel clattered into the back of Bale resulting in him seeing his second yellow card of the game and reducing Liverpool to nine men.
Moments later the inevitable happened when Spurs made it 2-0 with Defoe doing the damage after a sharp turn and powerful low shot beat Reina. Then on 67 minutes Reina spilled another Defoe shot which fell to Adebayor who coolly evaded Reina before tapping home from close range.
Liverpool’s dreadful day was capped with Adebayor making it 4-0 in stoppage time with a thumping volley.
This was a truly devastating defeat and by far the worst performance from Liverpool since Kenny took charge in January. Kenny must take a lot of the blame because Skrtel against Bale is a total mismatch and so it proved resulting in Skrtel being red carded. Skrtel will never be a full back and I hope that is the last time we see him there. Kuyt would have maybe gave Skrtel some help down the right but he was sacrificed for Carroll who gave everything but the jury is still out on him. Downing and Enrique have combined well down the left but Kenny swapped Downing over to the right with Henderson to the left and both were very ineffective. But Spurs were at least a yard sharper than us and that was with them playing midweek and us having a week to prepare. Adam was a bit unlucky with his second yellow as he seemed to be watching the ball as Parker nipped in ahead of him but when you raise your foot as high as he did you run the risk. The referee was very card happy to say the least, it seemed that every foul committed by a Liverpool player resulted in a card, whereas I can’t say the same went for the Spurs players. But overall it was a disastrous day for Liverpool all round and I hope we can just put it down to a bad day at the office.
Man Of The Match – Enrique – difficult to find one, but he was the only player that got pass marks as he tried to get forward and defended valiantly with little help around him.
written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com