White Hart Pain For Luckless Liverpool

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By Arun Nair – (@Nair_39)

Liverpool were left frustrated after a dominant display against Tottenham was left unrewarded as the home side gained a narrow victory in a pulsating encounter at White Hart Lane. Goals from Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale secured the win, with the Reds reply, an own goal by Bale, proving the only consolation.

Tottenham began the game full of gusto. Gareth Bale forced a save from Pepe Reina with a powerful free kick, with the goalkeeper grateful to his defenders for stopping Jermain Defoe from converting the rebound.

Bale drove wide from an angle, before creating the opener with his next foray forward. His pace took him past several weak challenges, and his cross was turned in at the far post by Lennon.

Luis Suarez had a low shot saved and Jordan Henderson – under heavy pressure from Kyle Walker – missed an open goal from 20 yards as the Reds pushed for a reply.

But it was Spurs who added a second. Clint Dempsey won a free kick under minimal, if any, contact from Henderson, and Bale’s free kick left Reina motionless as the ball nestled in the net.

Liverpool were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty as they responded to going two goals down. Steven Gerrard burst into the area before tumbling under Moussa Dembele’s challenge, and referee Phil Dowd waved the Reds appeals away, while Suarez poked the loose ball goalwards only for Walker to charge back to clear off the line.

The away side probed for a goal to get them back in the game, but unfortunately most of the chances fell to Jose Enrique, whose general play was impressive but finishing askew.

The Reds dominated the second half for long spells, with Spurs unable to pose the same kind of threat that had brought two goals early on, but still couldn’t find a goal. Enrique was wasteful when well-placed, twice his final ball lacking. Unfortunately, for all the possession, Liverpool hadn’t unduly troubled Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.

A welcome stroke of luck saw them pull a goal back. Sub Jonjo Shelvey’s corner was flicked on by Daniel Agger towards Gerrard whose header was destined for the bottom corner before Lennon intervened. However, the winger could only watch as his attempted clearance comically hit his teammate Bale and ricocheted into the net while the Welshman fell to the ground clutching his face.

The goal buoyed the Reds, who continued to push for an equaliser, roared on by their travelling support. Suarez blazed over on the volley, before Enrique fired narrowly wide from distance.

After the anguish of not being given a penalty earlier on, both Rodgers and Liverpool were furious to see a strong penalty appeal turned down when William Gallas’ challenge sent Suarez over in the area. They continued to press, but a combination of ill-fortune, throughout the match, and good defending meant that the Reds left White Hart Lane empty-handed after a performance that warranted so much more. A feeling that has become all too familiar in recent years, but Reds fans will be optimistic that this problem can, and will, be eradicated.


    1. In all honesty mate, at the time I thought the second one was, although this was on a poor quality stream. I looked at them again, I agree with you(and MOTD) on the first appeal, second one I think could have gone either way. Either way, if we were more clinical the penalty claims would have been irrelevant :(

  1. Luckless, they never looked like scoring and the goal they did score was Lennon clearing onto bales face. Liverpool got what they deserved. It’s amazing that one of the greats are now average with no money to spend

  2. Unbelievable, you reds should stop bitching about nothing! Gallas clearly kicked the ball not player and Dembelle made a perfect tackle too. Garath Bale didn’t dive and was clearly clipped and so was Dempsey. I’d like to see you even run at that speed let alone keep your balance when someone makes the slightest bit of contact. I’ve played football, I’ve ran with the ball at speed and it’s hard to ride the clips and trips without going over, but it certainly changes your speed, rhythm or flow and that’s enough according to the rule book to warrant a foul. You don’t have to even make contact to foul. Read the rules yourself, if you try to hack someone down while they’re running with the ball and they have to take evasive action to avoid it it’s a foul. The only reason the ref gave Bale a yellow card for diving is because of the Liverpool defenders reaction to tripping him. He blagged the ref into thinking Bale had dived. Clear contact! Even with just a tiny clip from behind, Bale or any other player has the right to go over for a free kick as even with just a tiny clip it still changes the possible outcome by unbalancing the player etc.

    1. I didn’t even mention Bale’s ‘dive’. No reason to bring that up. I thought he was unlucky to be given a yellow.

  3. @Bog, they did seem like scoring. The goal line clearance? Henderson’s sitter? Suarez missing after Agger’s layoff? All could have gone in. Besides them, Lloris made a couple of crucial saves. In fact, in the 2nd half and towards the end of first, Spurs didn’t look like scoring.

    @My Heart is White, Bale got an unfortunate card, but Dempsey’s was an obvious dive. Phil Dowd was way too far from where he was to see anything though. There was no clip that you mentioned an he had two feet on the ground before he fell.

    ‘You don’t have to even make contact to foul’
    Suarez has been branded a diver for doing what you mentioned. He gets clipped and knocked to prevent him from tricking his way through. Look back on all his dives, there were contact unlike Dempsey’s. Yes, he could have stayed on his feet, but why should he do that when the said actions have prevented him from reaching his runs? But well, you shall defend your players like we defend ours.

    Gallas went for the ball, but he ‘clipped’ Suarez’s foot. Could go either way. Dembele used his body, but if anything, he used it well.

    All in all, I believe Liverpool deserved more from this match and the defensive lapses and lack of composure lost them a point, or possibly 3. Dempsey’s dive didn’t help, but Bale’s own goal did.

    Despite that, I would say Spurs deserved the win. Lloris was pretty solid and the defense made a couple of important (and good) last ditch tackles.

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