Tottenham take the lead early and try to use dark arts to keep it but lose out in the end at Anfield.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool: Henderson 52’, Salah 75’ (pen)
Tottenham Hotspur: Kane 1’
Time to face Spurs at Anfield, with our lead atop the table cut to three points currently. Trent Alexander-Arnold returns to the side and Jurgen Klopp goes with his preferred midfield of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum. Hopefully the Reds will be able to use the midweek win as momentum to carry them as they attempt to wash off last week’s disappointing draw, but with Dejan Lovren back in the side, things are a little more up in the air as Joel Matip is still out. Trying not to have some flashbacks to another Spurs game.
And off we go! Liverpool breakaway early on and Sadio Mane sends a shot directly at Tottenham’s keeper but the control is short lived as Tottenham dispossess the midfield and Virgil Van Dijk poorly heads the ball right to Son. Son shoots and hits the post and there’s an early goal for the Spurs from Harry Kane as he heads in the rebound. The same kind of lapse that led me to lock my keys in my apartment yesterday – what would’ve possessed anyone to do any of that? Now we have an uphill battle from the first minute and things are looking sloppy in these first five minutes.
Liverpool take back a modicum of control and finally get back into the penalty area, Mane just taps it towards Andrew Robertson who crosses it towards goal, but it’s smothered easily. It’s taken fifteen minutes but Liverpool are easing into this game, while Tottenham has already been swimming and testing the waters. Liverpool win a corner at the 18th minute but aren’t able to make it into anything, and in the scramble win another corner. Mane tries to get on it but sends his effort over the bar.
There was a scary bit when our defense was incredibly wide open for whatever reason – Tottenham are really enjoying stretching us out and taking advantage of our space and we’re only closing down in their box as everyone tries to get a goal. It’s really frustrating to watch. We finally get a break when Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah team up to make something happen, but Salah’s shot is saved and Bobby’s hits the post. We at least get a free kick in a nice area for Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Virgil heads it high and ruins it. Liverpool are trying really hard to get into the net, with Trent firing a rocket that was saved, and every other attempt going off target. The good news is that we’re able to keep the ball enough to try – the bad news is that we haven’t been able to capitalize, but the Reds are trying at least.
Tottenham, on the other hand, are getting desperate and tricksy, as Moussa Sissoko tackles Andy Robertson and gets only a yellow for his efforts, and Danny Rose tackles Jordan Henderson in a pretty ugly way to earn his yellow too. With Anthony Taylor the Mancunian overseeing this game, though, I’m pretty surprised there’s been that many yellows for the opposition today.
It’d be really nice to find an equalizer before the break, and it looks like we might have a chance, but we need to figure out where the goals are because we keep shooting like they’re bigger than they are. That chance comes in the 40th minute as Spurs give away another free kick, this time on the edge of the box — and Trent hits the wall. We’ll try again in the same spot as ten minutes ago, and hopefully Virgil doesn’t mess this one up. (He doesn’t, it gets shot once again right at a Spurs player).
Klopp’s not going to make any halftime changes, but there definitely needs to be a stern talking to happening in the dressing room during the break.
We’re back! As assumed, Klopp didn’t make any halftime changes, but Liverpool are looking to continue their form because at least they were playing honestly in the first half. They win a corner early on and have a chance to equalize but the lofted shot goes into Gazzaniga’s arms. Tottenham take advantage of a classic Dejan Lovren brain blip and Son is able to get around Alisson, but his shit hits the post with no one around to get that rebound. Harry Kane gets a classic dive in as he acts like he was hit in the face right in front of the linesman and wins his side a free kick that isn’t able to go anywhere either.
LIVERPOOL FIND AN EQUALIZER AND IT’S OUR CAPTAIN JORDAN HENDERSON WHO SENDS IT HOME THROUGH THE LEGS OF A SPURS DEFENDER! His first goal at Anfield since December 2015! No service, did it all on his own!!! Now with that out of the way, there’s plenty of time to settle in and find a second that they’ve been fighting for.
The Reds are looking a little more comfortable now that we’re level and are finding it a little easier to stay in Tottenham’s half, but their keeper is having a great day to his credit and being in the right place to pick nearly every shot from us. Bobby, Mo, and Gini have all had chances since Hendo’s goal and it’s been Gazzaniga that’s kept it from being 5-1. Trent wins the first yellow for Liverpool after Harry Kane dives once again, giving Spurs another advantageous free kick, but it ends up offside.
Tottenham are trying to get back into it, and we’re giving them the space once again, unfortunately. They’ve gotten forward in scary ways and we’ve barely been able to close them down, but were able to come back to the other side and take control. It’d be nice if yellow cards came out for simulation, though. Wasn’t that a thing once upon a time? Isn’t that what a dive is? When a player goes down without a foul or contact? Really makes you think. Of course things aren’t helped by us passing directly to Spurs players, but what do I know. I’m just a writer.
MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, WE’VE WON A PENALTY AT ANFIELD. Serge Aurier clips Sadio Mane on the calf, in the penalty box, and Liverpool have a chance to go 2 up. Mohamed Salah steps up to take it and SCORES FROM THE SPOT! Liverpool are up 2-1! Jurgen Klopp takes this chance to make his first change, bringing on James Milner for Georginio Wijnaldum, as we look to maintain this thin lead. Turns out to be the only miracle we’ll get, though, as Hendo is shoved down in the box and Anthony Taylor decides nah, one penalty is enough.
There’s a nervy little moment as Mo needs some treatment, and Klopp decides to take him off as a precaution, bringing on Joe Gomez in these last minutes of the match. Four minutes of added time, James Milner gets a yellow for god knows what, and Spurs continue their shithousery. Alisson is finally called into service as Son shoots through Robbo and he makes a great save to keep things ahead. Klopp makes his last change, bringing on Divock Origi for Bobby Firmino in the last minute.
THEY DID THE THING AND JORDAN HENDERSON STARTED IT.