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West Ham United
28 November 2012
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 36162
A. Lennon 7'
G. Bale 16'
G. Bale 72' (own goal)
Tottenham record back-to-back wins and extend their winning streak over Liverpool at White Hart Lane to five games. Bale was sensational in the first half, but Spurs sat back in the second and were fortunate to escape with three points, even if there was an element of luck about Bale's own goal.
Liverpool's run of eight games unbeaten comes to an end, but they went down swinging. Suarez was a constant nuissance, and Shelvey made an impact off the bench. The Reds were thwarted by some fantastic last-ditch defending by the home side and their own wayward finishing.
FULL-TIME! It's all over at White Hart Lane and Tottenham have survived. After two early goals from Lennon and Bale, it was all one-way traffic. Liverpool spurned numerous chances and will count themselves unlucky to have left north London without at least a point.
90' + 4'
Johnson takes a heavy first touch and the ball bounces out of play. Tottenham are almost there...
90' + 3'
Liverpool continue to push forward and are mounting considerable pressure, until Johnson dribbles the ball out of play.
90' + 2'
Suarez drops very deep and plays a poor pass across goal which is intercepted by Defoe. He feeds Sigurdsson, but the Icelandic midfielder's shot is straight at Reina.
90' + 1'
Lennon attacks Enrique, now at left-back, and wins a free-kick near the corner flag which is cheered almost as loudly as Spurs' two early goals.
90' + 1'
There will be four minutes of added time.
Yellow Card José Enrique
Enrique plays a superb pass between Gallas and Dawson for Suarez, who is clean through on goal. The Frenchman manages to get back and get a toe on the ball though, and Spurs escape again. Backs to the wall now.
Dembele, who has made his first start since returning from injury, is replaced by Huddlestone, who'll bring additional height to thwart Liverpool's aerial attacks.
Agger launches a long throw into the box which is cleared to Enrique about 35-yards out. Lloris spanks the ball back towards goal and his shot just misses Lloris' near post. Kitchen sink time.
Suarez chips a through-ball over Dawson for the onrushing Shelvey, but Gallas recovers and hoofs the ball clear. It can only be a matter of time before Liverpool score.
Suarez is causing mayhem amongst the Spurs back-line now. This time he feeds Sterling by the byeline, who pulls the ball back for Shelvey but Lloris grabs the ball gratefully.
While Dembele receives treatment, here's Jay Jaffa: "Liverpool should be level and somehow Luis Suarez has fluffed his lines. Daniel Agger takes advantage of some lax defending in the Tottenham box to hook the ball back into play for the Uruguayan but he smashes his volley from 12 yards over the bar. Meanwhile Mousa Dembele is down with a head injury."
Liverpool play a long pass to Agger, deep in Spurs' box. The ball looks to have bounced up and over the byeline, but Agger acrobatically keeps the ball in play and Suarez volleys over the bar, in space, from 10-yards.
Johnson plays Suarez in behind the Spurs back-line, who attempts a cross to the back post where Enrique is unmarked, but Sandro tracks back and intercepts.
Yellow Card Gareth Bale
Bale drives forward yet again and pushes the ball past Agger. The Welshman is floored and asks for a free-kick, but the referee deems it a dive and awards a yellow card.
Enrique robs Sandro on the half-way line and the ball bounces to Suarez, who tries a 50-yard chip. Lloris wasn't even off his line, and the ball goes out for a throw-in.
Spurs look very nervy now and have forfeited the lead a number of times this season. Liverpool are on the ascendancy, can Spurs hold out? 15 minutes to play...
Own Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL!! How unlucky! Gerrard heads a corner towards goal which Lennon blasts off the line and right into the face of Bale. The ball bounces off the Welshman's face and into the back of the net. Game on at White Hart Lane!
Johnson bursts forward from full-back, playing a cute one-two with Suarez before pulling the ball back for Enrique, but Walker intercepts.
The ball bounces kindly to Suarez who tries a speculative volley. The ball deflects off Gallas and veers towards goal, but Lloris collects with ease.
The game has become a tad scrappy now. Shelvey's high tackle on Lennon gives Bale another chance to shoot from range. His crisp strike just evades the top corner.
Bale wins and takes a free-kick on the left flank, but his cross doesn't beat the first man.
The ferocity and intensity of Liverpool's play has reduced, but the away side are still pressing for a way back into the game.
Here's Jay Jaffa again: "The second half has started in much the way the first ended - Liverpool in control. The Reds have squeezed Spurs, asking questions of their composure in tight spaces. More often than not they have failed the inquisition and Brendan Rodgers' team have subsequently had much more of the ball. The next goal is massive."
Henderson, who has spurned a number of chances, is replaced by Shelvey. In turn, Spurs swap Dempsey for Sigurdsson - both of whom Liverpool tried to sign.
Shouts for a penalty. Dempsey jinks and side-steps inside the box before Allen barges him over. Contact looked to have been initiated inside the box but the referee awards a free-kick, which Dempsey blasts into the wall.
Tottenham enjoy a really good spell of pressure around Liverpool's box, but struggle to breach the Reds' organised defence. Finally Spurs feed Bale, who drives at the heart of the back-line but loses possession.
Enrique squeezes between Lennon and Walker and drives towards goal, before eventually being stopped by Sandro. Vertonghen collects the ball but loses possession on the edge of his own box. Fortunately for the Belgian, Henderson wasted the chance. In response, Rodgers tells Shelvey to warm-up.
Tottenham are struggling to hold onto the ball and are going far too direct to Defoe, while Liverpool are keeping possession well and probing with real danger.
Skrtel fails to read the bounce of Bale's pass and Defoe looks to be in. Dempsey nicks the ball off him and bursts towards goal before blazing over with his weaker foot.
Suarez is fed near the Spurs box and runs at Dawson. The Uruguayan makes the centre-back look very immobile, turning him with ease and forcing Lloris into a save.
Both sides have started the second half like they finished the first, Tottenham under pressure and Liverpool rampant.
Bale tries to shepherd the ball out for a throw-in but Johnson robs the ball and crosses, forcing Gallas to head the ball behind for a corner which Spurs clear.
Dawson plays a poor pass straight to Suarez. Liverpool are deep in Spurs' half and counter quickly. Johnson floats a cross to Enrique, unmarked at the back post, who inexplicably tries to head back across goal. Spurs clear their lines and Liverpool waste another good chance.
Suarez tricks Gallas not once but twice and runs towards goal before feeding Sterling. The winger fires in a low cross which Dawson clears. It's as you were in the second half, with no change in tempo from the first half.
Suarez releases Enrique in behind the Spurs defence, but his cross rolls into the arms of Lloris.
Tottenham get the second half underway.
Liverpool have had chances to score themselves, notably through Henderson, while Enrique and Downing have formed a dangerous double-act down the left. If the Reds can take one of the many chances they're creating, they could yet win the match.
Bale has been in sparkling form, worrying Liverpool every time he's touched the ball. His mazing run and cross set-up Lennon for the opener, before a swerving, unpredictable free-kick bewildered Reina and doubled Spurs' lead.
HALF-TIME! The whistle goes to bring the first half to a close. Though the 2-0 scoreline suggests a degree of comfort for the home side, it's been anything but. It's been an action-packed, end-to-end half and, but for wayward finishing, Liverpool ought to have scored.
Tottenham counter again, this time through Bale. The Liverpool defence back off and the Welshman fires a rasping low drive towards the far post, which Reina saves well.
Downing beats Walker and whips a cross into the box. Dawson decides to whack the ball clear but it bounces off Gallas and almost into the Spurs net. Lloris claims the resulting corner.
Spurs break with Vertonghen who feeds Defoe. The Tottenham striker plays the ball out wide to Lennon who has four white shirts in the box to aim at, but his cross is easily cleared.
Spurs just cannot keep the ball and are holding on at the moment, anxiously awaiting the half-time whistle. Liverpool on top and pressing for an equaliser.
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Tottenham at long last manage to relieve the Liverpool pressure and break with Dempsey, but the American is cynically brought now by Skrtel, who is a tad lucky to escape with only a yellow card.
OFF THE LINE! Wow! Gerrard looks to have been brought down in the box by Dembele, but the ball bounces to Suarez who looks to have tapped the ball into an empty net but Walker appears out of nowhere to make a brilliant goal-line clearance.
Johnson gets forward again and plays a fantastic cross into the box which looks to be finding the forehead of Suarez until Dawson rises to head clear. Liverpool on top at the moment.
Johnson runs forward from deep and cuts inside past Vertonghen. The England full-back nudges the ball towards Enrique who swivels and hits the ball, but it's straight at Lloris.
Both sides are defending well now, and are struggling to break the other down. Liverpool have a ridden out the Bale storm and are controlling possession once again.
There are cheers from the home crowd as Lennon nutmegs Gerrard.
Enrique tricks past Walker, who looks vulnerable, but his cross to the edge of the area is poor. Liverpool need to improve their final ball.
Liverpool win possession and release Suarez. The Uruguayan jinks past Dawson and tries an ambitious shot from an accute angle, which Lloris saves with ease.
Downing bursts down the left flank and beats Walker before pulling the ball back for an unmarked Enrique, but the pass is just behind the Spaniard.
Gallas presents the ball to Sterling on the edge of his own 'D', but Dembele is on hand to tackle the young winger.
Downing is struggling in his unfamiliar left-back role. This time Sandro bursts down the flank and crosses, but his pass is over-hit. Bale recovers the ball and plays an equally poor cross.
Dembele robs Allen in midfield and drives towards goal before launching a wayward shot towards Reina's goal.
Bale is causing panic in the Liverpool back-line. He dribbles forwards and offloads to Defoe, who fires a shot just wide of Reina's near post.
What an awful couple of minutes for Henderson. The ex-Sunderland midfielder missed an open goal before conceding the free-kick that led to Spurs' second.
Tottenham, aided by the returning Dembele and a two-goal cushion, have improved their ball retention and have enjoyed 74% possession in the last five minutes.
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL!! Bale is on fire. Dempsey is fouled by Henderson and the referee awards a free-kick 20-yards out from goal. Spurs' Welshman stands over the ball and powers another effort at goal which deflects off the wall and wrong-foots Reina.
Defoe is caught on the ball and Liverpool break. Suarez feeds Enrique and Lloris leaves his line to try and halt the Spaniard's run, but the ball falls to Henderson who has an empty goal to aim at, but he drags his shot wide. Poor goalkeeping from the French number one.
The match has started at a frantic pace, and Tottenham are struggling to hold onto the ball while Allen is dictating play for the away side.
Here's Jay Jaffa's take on the goal, who is at White Hart Lane for us tonight: "Tottenham race into the lead and it's all a product of Gareth Bale. The Welshman collects the ball on the halfway line and glides past Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard before sizing up Joe Allen and Martin Skrtel and firing the ball low to the back post. Aaron Lennon is there right on cue to tap past Jose Reina to give Spurs the lead."
Spurs' fail to tackle Henderson on the edge of the box and the ball breaks to Suarez. The Uruguayan is through on goal and tries an early shot which Lloris saves. End-to-end action at White Hart Lane.
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Aaron Lennon
GOAL!! Bale has turned up to play today! The Welsh wizard dribbles past four Liverpool players, running from his own half into the Reds' penalty area and drives a cross-cum-shot across goal which Lennon pokes in at the far post. A brutal, swift counter from the home side.
Tottenham break again, with Defoe feeding Bale. The Welshman takes his shot early, firing across goal, and misses Reina's far post by inches.
Allen gives away a free-kick roughly 30-yards out from goal. Bale stands over the ball, adopting a Ronaldo-esque pose, and fires a swerving shot at goal which Reina parries straight up and Defoe almost pounces on the rebound. Liverpool clear the following corner.
Spurs win the ball and break with speed, and Dempsey almost plays Lennon through on goal, but the winger's first touch is slightly heavy.
Tottenham have barely touched the ball yet, with Liverpool immediately getting on the ball and controlling possession. Reina has seen a lot of the ball already.
Liverpool get the game underway.
The players are on the pitch and we're just minutes away from kick-off.
The two sides’ forwards, Jermain Defoe and Luis Suarez, are the least shot-shy strikers in the league, firing 56 and 77 efforts at goal respectively.
There is some cause for optimism though, particularly Jamie Carragher’s omission from the starting XI; the defender has scored as many (own) goals in the league for Tottenham as he has for Liverpool (three). Only Robbie Keane (four) and Teddy Sheringham (five) have scored more Premier League goals for Spurs against Liverpool.
Look away Liverpool fans, the Reds have lost on each of their last four league visits to White Hart Lane.
Brendan Rodgers sticks with the same side that drew 0-0 against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Stewart Downing continues at left-back with Andre Wisdom unable to shake off the knock that forced him off against Young Boys. Jordan Henderson is preferred to Nuri Sahin once again.
Andre Villas-Boas makes two changes to the side that beat West Ham 3-1 on Sunday, with William Gallas partnering Michael Dawson in defence due to Stephen Caulker’s absence. Mousa Dembele has been passed fit to start after overcoming a hip injury, so he replaces Tom Huddlestone in midfield.
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Downing; Allen, Henderson; Sterling, Gerrard, Enrique; Suarez. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Assaidi, Carragher, Shelvey, Suso, Wisdom.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Gallas, Vertonghen; Dembele, Sandro; Lennon, Dempsey, Bale; Defoe. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Carroll, Huddlestone, Livermore, Sigurdsson, Townsend.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's live play-by-play coverage of Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool. I’m Ewan Roberts and I’ll be guiding you through the next 90 minutes. First up, tonight’s line-ups…
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