so much fun.
Spurs last minute winner against the nine men perpetual whiners made all those whines such a glorious occasion as they conveniently forgot all the times the officials gifted them while playing always the victim.
We won’t go into Diego Jota scoring the winner last season when he should have been sent off much earlier in the game, nor the penalty in that game Spurs should have had but didn’t get. Nor will we go on about that “handball” by Sissoko in the opening minutes of the Champions League final.
There are many more. Know doubt the scouse want all those games replayed, for fairness of the competition. Anyway… more of the red whine later.
While this game showed the fight of Angeball and good parts of it, it also highlighted the failings of the new manager’s way of playing. The beginning and end of the game being prime example.
Liverpool have been vulnerable early in games, three of their previous five league games they’ve gone behind to teams that attacked them. It should have been four of the games as the Spam had numerous chances to not only take the lead but increase it. Others also should have had a more than one goal lead before Liverpool got into the game.
But Spurs played that fannying about at the back, while not being quite at it and just getting the visitors into the game, filling them with confidence. Spurs stayed in things with a couple of cracking saves from Vicario in the space of a couple of seconds. It seems to be the way Ange wants them to start. On the back foot.
The winner came from the first real time Porro went wide of the perpetually cutting inside Kulusevski and got a cross in. For all the talk of fluid and dynamics a lot of it is very stationary and one dimensional. Porro stays inside in the midfield, while Kulu cuts inside. There’s acres of space out wide but no they cram it all in the middle.
With Liverpool down to 9 for the last 20 minutes, they played a flat back 8 and Spurs played into their hands. Confining everything into a space no wider than the box, it was easy, very easy, for Liverpool to shut down the space and block them off as the ball was just shuttled left and then shuttled right and then shuttled left.
It wasn’t until Porro came out of his midfield spot and got wider than the edge of the box that the winner was created.
The best moments for Spurs came from wide. Richarlison put in a decent cross from the left earlier on but it being Richarlison no one was expecting such a decent ball so no one was in on it in front of goal. It was his cross that brought the opener. That came ten minutes after the first red card of the day.
He touched the ball they screamed. Yes, his heel rolled over the ball because his foot was going over the ball, straight leg, studs up and endangering the player whose leg he bent in the process. Kloppo would be pulling out his hair transplant if a Spurs player had done this and only received a yellow.
They do have a legitimate complaint about the Diaz goal chalked off for offside. God alone knows what VAR were up to with that. It’s beyond belief that those in the booth and there’s enough of them could get something that simple so wrong.
But it wasn’t long before that opener. Glorious ball through by Maddison, Richarlison had made the run and put in the perfect cross for Son to finish. Width created chances, so why did they go narrow so often. And why do the wingers never swap sides? Richarlison stayed left, Solomon stayed left when he came on while Kulu stayed on the right. Why not switch it up every so often?
It didn’t last to the break though. Udogie with a perfectly good tackle on Gakpo, gets the ball and then the Liverpool player steps in front of him to make contact. Somehow they get a free-kick and Udogie gets a yellow. From that Gakpo scores the equaliser. There was enough bodies in there to stop that. In the dying seconds of the half they could have gone into the lead, Diaz missing a great chance.
Their goal scorer was replaced at the break by the one that should have been sent off last time but wasn’t and then scored the winner. Well, they were moaning about Jota’s first yellow – especially all those ex-Liverpool players who unfortunately fill the media. When a player runs behind and across the player who has just left him behind, they know what they’re doing, they know there’s a very good chance they’ll clip a heal and stop them. Followed by hands up and look of innocence. Dindu Nuffin. But when you’ve got a card for that you can have no complaints when you put in a stupid challenge that is nowhere near the ball and get a second yellow. Of course Jota moaned about it.
The second half was for the most part Spurs camped in front of the Liverpool area, with a few pot shots that Alisson was saving. Three quarters of the ball but only four shots on target.
Needing a goal Ange’s first substitution didn’t make much sense, but Son had been flagged up with an injury midweek and it was later confirmed he wasn’t going to take part in the full 90. But with 20 to go it looked strange as Solomon came on and Richy moved centrally. The injury excuses it. Bringing on Skipp and Davies a bit later just smelt a bit Conteish. Finally he brought on a striker with Veliz’s first outing in the first team – remember he wasn’t going to be ready until the new year – but in the same moment he took Maddison off. Why?
Before he left he played the same ball to Richarlison who played the same ball to Son, who finished off the same only for the Brazilian to flagged offside. Correctly.
Then five minutes into the added time for the scouser’s time wasting and sending off, Porro finally overlapped and finally banged a cross in. Always a dangerous ball, low hammered cross, anyone gets a touch and it can go anywhere, defenders in a panic and they’ll stick out a foot like Matip did to score the winner.
The Kloppo/scouse meltdown just wouldn’t have been the same without that winner…