Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hard Fought Victory At Rain Soaked Lane

Luis Garcia Seals All 3 Points

English Premiership

Tottenham 0 - 1 LIVERPOOL

LIV - Luis Garcia (45min);


Liverpool weathered the storm just like the one that came down on White Hart Lane when they held on to a Luis Garcia goal just before half time to halt Tottenham's run of 12 games unbeaten at home record. Like many other Liverpool fans, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. For the last 15 minutes, we're bombarded left, right and centre by Spurs with their long ball tactics and we managed to dug in and hold on to the slender lead.

Jamie Carragher and his defence were commendable. They stood firm in face of the aerial threat that came from players like Dimitar Berbatov and Mido. The constant bombardment of long balls into the Liverpool penalty box were mostly dealt with properly although there were a few scares here and there.

Steve Finnan was forced to head against his own bar but otherwise, put up with a brilliant performance at the right back slot. He provided much width and I for one, thought his crossing ability has improved tremendously.

Earlier on, Mido spared Liverpool when he skyrocketed a one on one chance presented to him. Against a top side, it was a costly miss and soon, Liverpool punished them as they seemed to have learned their lesson.

Didier Zokora dilly dallied with the ball and he was caught out of possesion by a brilliant Steven Gerrard. He played a one-two with Dirk Kuyt and placed the ball in the path of Luis Garcia who didn't strike the ball cleanly, but managed to crept under the legs of Paul Robinson. That was an important goal just before half time and Liverpool drew confidence.

Liverpool controlled the first half well and restricted Spurs to only a couple of half chances. The passing was good with Gerrard and Alonso doing well in the middle and Craig Bellamy in his usual all out running style. Spurs meanwhile were sloppy in their passing and were caught out on a couple of times with Liverpool midfielders intercepting their passes.

Second half was altogether a different case with Spurs pinning Liverpool back into their own half. With Craig Bellamy withdrawn after picking up a slight knock, the team lacked the pace to trouble the Tottenham defence when we had the chance to counter-attack.

With Spurs bringing on the dangerous and on-form Dimitar Berbatov and former Reds player, Danny Murphy, they started to threaten. The sheer pace and power of Berbatov causes some problems to the Liverpool defence with Dan Agger struggling a bit with his body strength.

But somehow Liverpool remained composed, didn't lose concentration and held on to an important win which will take us to fourth place temporarily. This is what I talk about being able to bounce back from setbacks and this showing is an encouraging one. We showed plenty of character and resilience to hang on and defended together as a team.

Steven Gerrard was particularly impressive with his disciplined performance. He played as an attacking midfielder but tracked back diligently to stop the Spurs midfield. Perhaps being commended with the MBE (Member of the British Empire), he was inspired and put up a good show.

But to be honest, the whole team deserve the praise and we can safely say we deserved all 3 points. Hard earned it was in the rain soaked stadium. It was a good end to our campaign in the year of 2006 and we can look back and smile a little. But tough fights ahead and the players must remain focused.


psychohare said...

yup, the win ends this year's campaign on a winning note... im more relieved now... good to see Chelski dropping points... we can only hope for them to drop more starting next year!


Hopefully John Terry takes longer to recover, maybe he won't be able to play in the match against us and we deffo have a chance against them!