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March 30, 2014
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 44762
Y. Kaboul 2' (own goal)
L. Suárez 25'
Philippe Coutinho 55'
J. Henderson 75'
Tottenham's Champions League hopes are all but over now, with them trailing Arsenal by eight points with six matches to play, and Sherwood can have no complaints regarding today's performance. They can now just look on in envy as their hosts today continue to defy all their doubters. For now I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
The full-time whistle blows and Liverpool climb to the top of the Premier League table. Six matches to go and the Reds can see the title on the horizon. This was yet another impressive showing from Rodgers' side, and the fans are showing their appreciation to the players.
90' + 2'
Mignolet shows he is still aware as Eriksen cuts inside before getting away a left-footed shot that is deflected. The Liverpool goalkeeper does well to get down to his left and keep the effort out.
90' + 1'
Tottenham will play the final few minutes with ten men as Soldado is stretchered off. There will be three minutes of stoppage time.
Into the final minute of normal time now, and Soldado again needs treatment after coming second in an aerial battle with Skrtel. The striker has been totally nullified this afternoon.
Tottenham continue their search for a consolation and they almost find the net as Eriksen swings over a corner that Dawson just heads over the top.
Skrtel has been mightily impressive, and he is alive to the danger again as Dawson heads down an Eriksen corner into Kaboul's path, but the Slovakia defender gets it clear.
Liverpool make their final substitution as Sterling is replaced by Moses for the final few minutes.
Spurs haven't given this one up and Soldado suddenly finds himself with the goal at his mercy. He shapes to shoot but all of a sudden Flanagan flies across and makes a superb tackle that leaves the Spain international on the turf.
Liverpool again threaten as Henderson crosses from near the halfway line for Sturridge. Lloris is aware of the danger though and comes off limits to punch clear. He then clatters into Sturridge, but is straight back on his feet.
The Tottenham fans are still singing but in truth this match was lost inside the opening seconds when Kaboul put through his own net. That was just the confidence boost Liverpool required and they haven't looked back.
Spurs almost find a consolation as Chadli finds space in the Liverpool area, but Agger gets across to make a great block and keep the hosts' clean sheet intact.
GOAL!!! And in it goes! It is in fact Henderson that whips in the set-piece along the ground, and even though Suarez almost gets a touch, it goes straight in and the midfielder can celebrate.
Suarez wins a free-kick on the left and has an opportunity to add to his account...
Liverpool are denied another opportunity as Johnson is penalised for a push on Rose as he looked to latch onto a pass from Henderson. That looked soft but Tottenham breath again.
Rodgers makes a second change, and no surprise it is Gerrard who is replaced, with the captain a booking away from a two-match ban. Lucas is on in his place.
GOOD SAVE! Liverpool are almost gifted a fourth as Rose slips inside his own box, and Sturridge is able to send a backheel goalwards, only for Lloris to show good reactions and parry.
Some concern here for the hosts as Suarez pulls up after catching Lloris as he went through on goal. He is limping but wants to carry on, and why wouldn't he given his form?
The hosts have almost started winding down the clock already, with the midfield players keeping the ball with little urgency to get it forward. This has been all too comfortable for Rodgers' side.
Coutinho has had quite the week, and he receives a standing ovation as he is replaced by Allen.
There is a carnival atmosphere inside Anfield now, though the home fans will still want more goals. The title could come down to goal difference in the end, after all.
That was Bentaleb's last act as he is replaced by Dembele while Townsend comes on for Lennon.
Tottenham look short of all confidence, though Bentaleb is still going, and he again tries his luck with a long range effort that flies over the bar.
The home fans are in buoyant mood now, with 'We're going to win the league' ringing out around Anfield. They're certainly the team in form heading into the run-in.
GOAL!!! Game, set and match, Liverpool. Coutinho is the man to find the net as the hosts break with devastating effect. Flanagan brings the ball out of defence before feeding the Brazilian, and with the Spurs backline retreating, he has time to pick his spot from 25 yards. Lloris has no chance and the Reds are heading for the top of the Premier League table.
WHAT A MISS! Liverpool should have this wrapped up after Sturridge and Sterling trade passes to put the winger in behind the defence. With Lloris out to meet him he squares for Henderson, but the midfielder can only fire over with the goal gaping. The former Sunderland man should have done better.
Agger gets himself into all sorts of bother as a ball over the top sees him left in Soldado's wake. There is little support for the striker, however, and Agger fights hard recover and force a goal kick.
Almost an opening for the hosts as Suarez plays a delightful first time pass looking for Henderson, but the midfielder cannot quite reach it in time before Dawson gets it clear.
Liverpool again start the brighter after the restart, with Tottenham struggling to get out of their own half. The hosts will be looking to kill this match off sooner rather than later.
Yellow CardGylfi Sigurdsson
Sigurdsson picks up a yellow card inside 30 seconds of the second period as he pulls back Coutinho as the Brazilian broke forward.
Liverpool kick-off and we are back underway...
The players are making their way back out onto the pitch at Anfield. Can Liverpool stretch their lead? Or will Spurs launch a fightback? We're about to find out...
Sherwood's team talk was praised as Spurs came back from 2-0 down last week, and he will have to lift his team again if they are to get back into this one. I'll be back in ten minutes to see if the visitors can claw their way back into the match.
Referee Phil Dowd blows the half-time whistle and Liverpool are well on their way to the top of the Premier League table. Kaboul's own goal and yet another strike from Suarez have given them breathing space, and in truth it could have been more.
45' + 1'
Spurs launch one final attack as Lennon gets to the byline on the right, but Agger does well to close him down and win a goal kick for his side.
JUST WIDE! Liverpool again go close as Naughton concedes a free-kick on the edge of the area, but Suarez cannot get the necessary bend on his strike and the ball floats just wide of the upright with Lloris beaten this time.
Tottenham are certainly playing with more confidence but they would dearly love a goal before half-time. Liverpool can get rather nervy at the back, and a one goal deficit at the break could create some tension in the Reds' defence.
GREAT SAVE!! Liverpool should be three up, and would be if not for Lloris. Sterling robs Kaboul on the right before standing up a cross for Suarez at the back post. The striker heads powerfully goalwards, but somehow the France goalkeeper gets across to keep it out on the line. A super stop.
GOOD SAVE! Tottenham are enjoying their best period of the match and after Skrtel fails to sufficiently clear Rose's cross, Soldado has time to curl an effort towards the top corner that Mignolet has to push away from the danger zone.
Mignolet is properly tested for the first time as Bentaleb hits a swerving effort from 30 yards, but the Belgian is equal to it and holds on well as the ball moves in front of him.
The Liverpool fans sing the name of Brendan Rodgers, and the Liverpool boss has certainly got his tactics right today. The pace of Sterling has added an extra dimension to the hosts' attacking play and Tottenham are struggling to cope.
With the kick favouring a left footer, Sturridge is charged with striking the set-piece.He goes for precision over power but it always too high and Lloris can just watch it over his crossbar.
Yellow CardYounes Kaboul
Another chance now for Liverpool to strike as Sturridge breaks through the Spurs midfield and Kaboul is forced to bring him down. The Tottenham skipper picks up a booking for his trouble.
Some concern here for the hosts as Johnson stays down clutching his knee after clashing with Kaboul. The England full-back is eventually back on his feet and is fit to continue.
Liverpool look rampant with every attack, and Dawson's lack of pace is already being shown up by the likes of Sterling and Suarez. This could be a long afternoon for the visiting supporters.
GREAT BLOCK! Tottenham finally come to life, and they almost grab a lifeline as Naughton finds Eriksen in the box, and after he works some space, his shot is brilliantly blocked by the sprawling Skrtel. Mignolet then holds Sigurdsson's header from the rebound.
GOAL!!! Dawson is straight into the action, but he and Kaboul cannot get organised after Agger's long ball, and Suarez pounces on their uncertainty to run through on goal and slide the ball past Lloris. That's 29 goals for the season for the Uruguayan striker.
Prior to that free-kick, Vertonghen was receiving treatment on the pitch, and it seems he cannot continue, with Dawson on in his place.
Suarez steps up but his right-footed effort is always too high and Lloris can watch it over the bar. Relief for the visitors.
Opportunity for Liverpool as Sigurdsson is penalised for handball around 25 yards from the Tottenham goal. This is certainly within Suarez and Gerrard's range.
Gerrard delivers a low cross but the Liverpool attack aren't quite on the same wavelength and Spurs get the ball clear.
Coutinho comes to life in midfield and looks for Sturridge in the middle, with Tottenham forced to concede a corner on the left...
Gerrard gets his first chance to deliver a set-piece as Liverpool win a corner on the right. The captain's ball looks for Agger, but Vertonghen does well to clear.
Liverpool threaten again as Suarez this time pops up on the right and chips in a cross to Coutinho on the edge of the box. The midfielder catches his volley fairly well, but he cannot get his direction right, with the shot flying just wide of the post.
There been a dearth of possession for Tottenham in the opening minutes, and they won't help themselves with loose passes. Chadli is the latest culpable party as he plays a simple ball straight out of play for a throw-in.
Suarez is certainly beginning to have more of an influence on the game, first crossing just over the top of Sturridge before finding Sterling at the back post, but the youngster in turn failed to find a team-mate.
The game finally seems to have settled down after a frantic opening, with Liverpool happy to be patient with possession in midfield. Tottenham are certainly playing a deeper line than normal, meaning Sturridge and Suarez are having to come short to pick up the ball.
Tottenham show for the first time in attack as Chadli and Eriksen combine well to get in behind the hosts' defence, but Flanagan gets across well to clear. Liverpool then break down the other end, but Suarez cannot wriggle free after being found by Sturridge.
Suarez is involved for the first time as he picks up the ball on the edge of the box, but he cannot get enough bend on his shot and it floats harmlessly wide.
Tottenham are understandably rattled by falling behind so early, and Liverpool are having plenty of joy down the right-hand side. Henderson this time gets to the byline but his cross is a poor one and the visitors can clear.
Own GoalYounes Kaboul
OWN GOAL!!! The perfect start for Liverpool in their quest to reach the Premier League summit. Johnson crosses from the right after holding off Eriksen, and after Vertonghen fails to clear, Kaboul can only divert the ball into his own net. Anfield is alive after less than two minutes.
Tottenham kick-off and we are underway on Merseyside...
'You'll never walk alone' blares out around Anfield and we are almost ready for kick-off. A win for Liverpool takes them top, while a Tottenham victory would help them keep pace with Arsenal in fourth. It promises to be a fantastic match...
The two teams are making their way out of the tunnel and Anfield greets them with a wall of noise. The Liverpool fans are certainly dreaming of glory, and they will be doing their all to help the team along this afternoon.
The Kop are certainly in good voice ahead of kick-off. There was a party atmosphere at Anfield on Wednesday against Sunderland, and if the Reds can get an early goal today then their could again be a carnival feel inside the ground.
Liverpool will certainly be confident of victory after the way in which they dismantled Tottenham in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Two goals from Luis Suarez helped the Reds to a 5-0 win in North London, and after scoring five goals in his last four appearances, the Uruguayan will certainly be a key figure again this afternoon.
If Tottenham are to pick up a shock win this afternoon they may well need Christian Eriksen to again step up and prove he can be the man to replace Gareth Bale. The Dane scored twice against Southampton and is certainly showing the form that attracted the White Hart Lane hierarchy. Up against Glen Johnson today, he could thrive if Spurs can get the ball to him in space.
A win for Liverpool today could lead to history repeating itself in what is a remarkable coincidence. Fifty years ago to the day the Reds beat Tottenham at Anfield to move to the top of the First Division table. Bill Shankly's side stayed at the summit for the remainder of the campaign to seal the league title, and Rodgers will be hopeful his side can repeat the success of their predecessors in 1964.
Sherwood also makes one change to his line-up as the matchwinner against Southampton, Gylfi Sigurdsson, is rewarded with a start. Moussa Dembele is the man to miss out while 18-year-old midfielder Harry Winks makes his first appearance in the matchday squad. Top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor remains on the sidelines with a heel injury.
Rodgers makes one change to the Liverpool side that beat Sunderland as Raheem Sterling replaces Joe Allen in midfield. Sterling's pace will be key in unlocking a Tottenham defence that looked particularly vulnerable to the counter attack against Southampton last week.
Tottenham subs: Friedel, Dawson, Dembele, Sandro, Townsend, Winks, Kane.
Tottenham: Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Sigurdsson; Lennon, Chadli, Eriksen; Soldado.
Liverpool subs: Jones, Allen, Aspas, Sakho, Lucas, Cissokho, Moses.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan; Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho; Sterling, Sturridge, Suarez.
Before we go any further, the two team line-ups are in ahead of kick-off...
Tottenham, meanwhile, still believe they can usurp Arsenal and Everton in the battle for the fourth Champions League place, and they are also riding the crest of a wave after their dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton last time out. Tim Sherwood continues to split opinion, but a win over Rodgers' title challengers would silence some of his detractors for now.
After Chelsea and Manchester City both dropped points on Saturday, Liverpool now know that wins from each of their final eight matches would see them claim their first league title for 25 years. A battling win over Sunderland in midweek maintained their momentum, and with the chance to go top they surely won't take their foot off the pedal today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The Reds can go top of the table with a victory, and Brendan Rodgers' side are gathering momentum just at the right time. Seven wins on the bounce have thrust them into the title race, and another three points today would be huge in their fight for domestic silverware. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the action from Anfield.
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