Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reds Succumbed To First Defeat

English Premiership

Tottenham 2 - 1 Liverpool

TOT - Carragher (og 69min), Pavluychenko (90+1min);
LIV - Kuyt (2min);

A week after defeating Chelsea, probably the highest point a Liverpool fan could've felt in decades, the Reds were brought back down to earth by a resurging Tottenham side, who looked anything but the team that was trapped in the basement of the Premiership only a week ago.

They looked like a wounded animal, in for a kill.

It's unfortunate for the Reds to be in their path this time. After Arsenal let slip a 4-2 lead at the Emirates on Thursday, the Lily Whites were definitely on an emotional high and confidence that was inevident for months were suddenly brewing within White Hart Lane.

But the home side couldn't wish for a worst start when Dirk Kuyt fired home from acute angle, Robbie Keane being the provider. An emotional home coming for the Irish striker who spent 8 fruitful years but all he received was chorus of jeers.

Though it wasn't meant to be a day where he would silence the Spurs fan with a goal, he was operated fairly effective upfront on his own. When Rafa Benitez made his first mistake by taking Keane off, the match tilted in favour of Spurs suddenly. It wasn't coincidence.

It was in all honesty, a game which Liverpool threw away. They controlled large parts of the game and were in the driving seat throughout. Spurs didn't threaten much and it was as if Liverpool were the home side at times.

But large quantity of possession means nothing in football. It was a same old story for Liverpool and it was an accident waiting to happen. After so many numerous lucky escapes this season, the Reds were finally found out.

A lack of cutting edge and some nervy defending at times cost the side the chance to go clear off the top again. With Chelsea thumping Sunderland, Liverpool were expected to put up another professional performance but they lost their way in the last 20 minutes.

Harry Redknapp made vital changes after half time by sending Pavluychenko to partner an isolated Darren Bent while replacing a beleaguered Assou-Ekotto. It made the game a very open one and Liverpool were found scratching their head as to why they didn't double the lead with several glittering chances missed.

Profligacy at best.

After the removal of Keane, Liverpool didn't have control of their final third and pressure began to mount. Spurs began to gain the upperhand as the Reds looked tired and suddenly, devoid of any ideas.

Ryan Babel was absolutely annonymous after his introduction while Yossi Benayoun was brought on for Riera. Another wrong decision on Rafa's part.

Carragher then inexplicably headed a corner past a despairing Pepe Reina and suddenly, Spurs were right back in the game, with much time left still. Belief flooded right back into White Hart Lane and Spurs fan were singing again.

The inevitable in football happened. Sod's law they call it. If chances are not taken, your opponents will surely score. Roman Pavluychenko sent the crowd wild with an exquisite finish after good work from David Bentley.

To the frustration of the Liverpool fans, old problems were resurfaced again. The inability to finish teams off when given the opportunity and the lack of cutting edge.

Fernando Torres was sorely missed in matches such as this. Liverpool have been lucky for many games this season but this time, lady luck decided to turn her face away. It's time for Liverpool t learn the lesson and move on.

A loss is frustrating but sometimes necessary. Being brought back to earth, it's time to regroup and venture on another journey.


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