After inflicting Liverpool’s first defeat of the season two weeks ago, Tottenham knocked the Reds out of the League Cup after three goals in 6 minutes at the end of the first half put the game beyond Liverpool.
A quick reply early in the second half via a Damien Plessis header from a corner gave hope of a comeback but within minutes it was 4-1. A second arrived again from a corner, this time Sami Hyypia profiting from Spurs’ calamity keeper Gomes.
Gomes though was stretchered off soon after with a bad looking injury after colliding with full back Philipp Degen. It was Degen who created the next talking point when, with ten minutes of normal and ten minutes of stoppage time remaining, he strode into the box and was clearly tripped by Gareth Bale for a stone-wall penalty – one which Mike Riley of course didn’t give. It would have made it 4-3 with 20 minutes remaining and Liverpool on the ascendancy.
It wasn’t to be but the second half performance was much improved from the first; Nabil El Zhar was the Reds’ best performer, particularly once moved into the centre following Fernando Torres’ withdrawal at 4-1. It was a bad return for the Spaniard who hardly had an opportunity of note and looked somewhat frustrated at times.
Certain players let themselves down badly and defensively Benitez’s side looked incredibly vulnerable. Andrea Dossena did nothing to stem early season criticism and only once Emiliano Insua came in at left back did the left side of defence look more stable.
Man of the Match: Nabil El Zhar
Moan of the Match: Our defending
Irony of the Match: Gomes going off ending our hopes of a fightback
Media Reports [All media reports and video here]
Rafa Benitez: “We didn’t play well, that is clear. We made too many mistakes in defence and gave the ball away too easily. To concede three goals in the way we did at the end of the first half we must be disappointed.
“We were really poor at the end of the first half. If you make a mistake and concede just one, then okay you can change it and make things better in the second half, but to concede three goals made it very difficult for us.
“The commitment of the players was much better in the second half. We scored two goals and had other opportunities but it was difficult because they were playing well on the counter attack. The second half was better than the first.”
Tottenham: Gomes (Cesar 74), Hutton, Dawson, Corluka, Bale, Lennon, Zokora, Huddlestone, O’Hara, Pavlyuchenko (Boateng 90), Campbell (Bent 90).
Subs Not Used: Bentley, Modric, Gunter, Rocha.
Booked: Pavlyuchenko, Campbell.
Goals: Pavlyuchenko 38, Campbell 42, 45, Pavlyuchenko 52.
Liverpool: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Agger, Degen (Darby 84), Babel, Leiva Lucas, Ngog, Plessis (Alonso 66), Torres (Insua 56), El Zhar.
Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Riera, Benayoun, Carragher.
Booked: Plessis, Torres, Babel, Leiva Lucas.
Goals: Plessis 49, Hyypia 63.
Referee: Mike Riley
Weather: Clear, cold
Next Up: Bolton (a), Sat. 15th Nov, 12:45pm
Updated Player Stats