The Reds revival scuttles Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Liverpool had only failed to score in one of their last twelve Premier League meetings with Tottenham Hotspur, as the Reds looked to improve on their Wembley record of two victories in their last seven visits, as Spurs played hosts in mid September. In the opening exchanges, a cross by James Milner was turned into the net from Roberto Firmino, but his goal was narrowly ruled out for offside on Sadio Mane. Then from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross, the fox in the box was again Firmino, whose strike deflected off Toby Alderweireld and narrowly wide of the right post. After Harry Winks appended Mane, a free kick by Alexander-Arnold, was driven into the clutches of Michel Vorm. Spurs responded in the ninth minute, after a foul on Lucas Moura by Virgil van Dijk, and from a free kick by Kieran Trippier, a header by Alderweireld flew over. In the twenty second minute, a poor back pass from Eric Dier, gave the ball away to Mohamed Salah, and it took a double handed block from Vorm, to prevent the Reds striker from scoring. After Mane pushed down Christian Eriksen, the Danes free kick was driven straight into Liverpool keeper, Alisson Becker, after twenty nine minutes. On the half hour mark through a Moura assist, a low drive by Dier, clipped Georgino Wijnaldum, and wide of the left post. In the thirty fifth minute, after collecting the ball from Firmino, a left footed strike by Mane was saved by Vorm. But in the thirty ninth minute, as Vorm fumbled a Milner corner, from a goal line clearance by Dier, the return header by Wijnaldum, narrowly crossed the line from under the crossbar, to give Liverpool a goal advantage. Another chance went the way of Wijnaldum, who after being put through by Salah, struck a low effort past the face of the goal in the forty third minute. Two minutes into the second half, as Mane and Naby Keita linked up play, an over the top delivery from Andrew Robertson, struck the Spurs crossbar. In the forty ninth minute, Vorm made an instinctive stop to deny Mane’s effort, who had been found unmarked by Salah. But Tottenham responded, through a looping ball over from Eriksen, and on the turn, Moura’s right footed strike struck the base of the left post. But in the fifty fourth minute, the Reds extended their lead, when Robertson’s pass, was crossed over on the left by Mane, and as Jan Vertonghen turned the ball onto his own left post, the rebound was put into net from very close range by Firmino. Spurs soon replaced Mousa Dembele with Erik Lamela. In the sixty third minute, Firmino and Sane combined, before a rising strike from Keita, was scooped over the upright from the palms of Vorm. In the sixty seventh minute, through Eriksen’s assist, from close distance a right footed strike by Kane, missed to the left. Soon there was a delay in play for an eye injury to Firmino sustained from Vertonghen, as then the Lilywhites brought on Heung-Min Son for Harry Winks, before the Reds replaced Firmino with Jordan Henderson. In the eightieth minute, an incisive pass by Milner, resulted in Salah’s strike being leapt upon from Vorm, before the ball was put over by Mane. Within a minute, Mane combined with Wijnaldum, before his soft shot was stopped by Vorm. The Lilywhites then switched Dier with Victor Wanyama while the Reds took off Keita for Daniel Sturridge. In the eighty fifth minute, Son assisted Lamela, who drove the ball wide of the right post. Then Son combined with Lamela, as a cushioned header by Kane was caught by Becker. Near the end, Joel Matip took over from Alexander-Arnold. In stoppage time a poor back pass from Kieran Trippier fell to Sturridge but his challenge on Vorm, was pulled up for a foul. Although after Danny Rose’s strike deflected off Joe Gomez for a corner, it was taken by Eriksen and as the ball flew over to the back stick, it was brought down on the chest by Lamela before from an acute angle he struck the ball into the bottom left corner. After Liverpool escaped a penalty appeal when Mane clipped Son in the box, the Reds held on for a 2-1 victory.