Taking enough chances when they came and hanging on to a lead to see it out for the victory. Doesn’t make for pleasant viewing until after the final whistle.
Bit of a smash and grab job by Spurs at home to Liverpool, to get the three points. But it looked like the only way the visitors would score was by accident, no surprise it was so comical.
Those that should have been in red – where’s there the colour clash between Liverpool and Spurs? – had all the ball in the opening couple of minutes but once they gave up possession they paid the price. Bale’s charge down the left, cracking cross across the 6 yard box and Lennon has a tap in on the far post as the hapless £20 million Downing dawdles.
The Welshman looked up for it. He’d already had Reina flapping in goal with one free kick and wasn’t far off with a shot just prior to Lennon opening the score. He was to be heavily involved in all three goals on the night.
The second was a free-kick – won by Dempsey?. Now did it deflect off Henderson in the wall or did it just completely mug Reina with swing? Who cares.
After that Spurs dropped off and Liverpool had all the ball – helpfully aided by Spurs giving them it. While possession may be nine tenths of the law in football it really doesn’t matter if you do bugger all with it. And Liverpool are expertly adept at both keeping the ball and doing bugger all with it. Stop Suarez and you can basically stop them from getting into a game goal wise.
Spurs were doing that as the best chances fell to a converted left-back and another high priced flop, Henderson. And most of those came from Spurs errors. Lloris flying out of his area. Gallas looking jittery. Slack pass from the back by Dawson.
And when a team does bugger all the manager tends towards delusional straw clutching.
I don’t know what Gerrard and Suarez have to do to get a pen asked Brendan Rodgers. Well being fouled might have helped. Gerrard throwing himself to the ground as the returning Dembele took the ball off him. Suarez just collapsing under no pressure from Gallas. The irony being Bale’s yellow card for diving when he was clearly clipped by the defender.
The former of those two penalty shouts bringing a heart stopping clearance off the line from Walker. A clearance that just missed cannoning off the advancing Gallas that would have gone in the net. When Dawson batter another clearance off the same player again almost scoring it really came as no shock when Lennon’s goal line clearance battered off Bale’s face to give Liverpool their goal.
Somehow though Spurs held on for the next twenty minutes.
The play wasn’t good, needed more composure in the middle of the park, while it was great to have Dembele back – gliding past players, keeping the ball safe – Sandro’s passing and ball retention was pretty poor, though his blocking and tackling were again top notch. Dempsey reverted back to the player of old, rather than the one from the weekend, best things he did on the night were being fouled. And Defoe, well he could have been playing for them the amount he contributed. Gallas creates the jitters, while Walker looks to be getting better. The boss could have made better substitutions and at better times, maybe a bit earlier strengthening the midfield would have helped.
But it’s a victory and three points, back up to 5th in the table and don’t the likes of Alan Hansen and company bang on about picking up wins when not playing at your best.