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July 28, 2012
• M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
Shots on Target
That's it, it's all over at the M & T Bank Stadium and it's finished goaless between Liverpool and Tottenham. It wasn't a classic but I'm sure both managers will have been pleased with the workout their players got. The closest we came to getting a goal was when Aaron Lennon somehow hit the post from two yards out when presented with an open goal apart from that chances were few and far between. Gareth Bale took a knock in the first-half following a heavy challenge from Charlie Adam he didn't seem happy with his fitness afterwards so that may be something to watch out for, as he was substituted at half-time.
Just like that Spurs are caught hot on their heels as Liverpool broke up field with Sterling who hit a dangerous ball looking Andy Carroll in the box but Michael Dawson was on hand to clear the danger with an excellent defensive header.
It's all Tottenham at the minute, they're seeing a lot of the ball but they just can't get it into useful positions which could leave them vulnerable on the break.
Oh dear! Tottenham had a free-kick in a decent position just outside the box, up steps Harry Kane who blasts the ball miles over the bar. On the bright side if the American Football posts were up it may have been good enough for a Field Goal.
I don't think either manager will be delighted with what they've seen today, defensively both teams have been solid apart from rare moments where there's been a lapse in concentration. But for the majority the play has been very pedestrian, which is to be expected in such a game.
Jan Vertonghen is on for Tottenham now, it's a good chance to see what he can do following his move from Ajax.
Steven Gerrard is starting pull the strings for Liverpool, he's spraying the ball around nicely from the centre of midfield, ironically like a quarter-back in the home of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
Liverpool are trying to get Fabio Borini into the game but he's been well marked so far, he tried to get past the challenge of Gallas after receiving the ball on the left but the Frenchman was too strong for him.
A long ball over the top from Huddlestone nearly unlocks the Reds defence as Gallas drives forward, he beats keeper Gulacsi to the ball but gets too much of the ball and lobs it over the bar.
Again Tottenham built up nicely down the left but as soon as they got into the final third they couldn't produce that final bit of magic to undo the Liverpool defence. Lennon had a couple of chances there to get a ball into the area but failed on both occasions.
Both teams are ringing the changes and the game's gone a bit flat at the moment perhaps one of these subs can provide a spark to bring it back life.
Chance!! Martin Skrtel raids forward into the Tottenham half and gets to the edge of the box before shooting, it's a decent effort but it's comfortably saved by Friedel.
Just to confirm Gareth Bale did go off at half-time whether he's just been rested or Spurs don't want to risk him following the knock he received in the first-half is to be determined.
Better from Liverpool in the second-half Jordan Henderson has made a lot of good runs into advanced positions and Spurs are having difficulty picking him up. Gallas and Kaboul have needed to be at their best this half to cope with an early onslaught from the Reds.
CHANCE!! Straight away there's a opening for Joe Cole after Spurs failed to clear the danger from a cross, the goal is gaping for the former Chelsea man but he misses his kick and the ball's cleared.
We're back underway at the M & T Bank Stadium. Both sides have made subs with Jordan Henderson taking the field for Liverpool while Andros Townsend comes on for Spurs.
Half-time at the M & T Bank Stadium and it's 0-0. Tottenham have had the best chance with Lennon hitting the post just before the whistle. Villas-Boas will be more concerned by an injury picked up by Bale who seemed to be troubled but produced some excellent football before the break hitting two sublime crosses. Liverpool started well but faded drastically Rodgers may need to make changes to freshen his side up.
Half-chance for Spurs this time for Sigurdsson who makes a late run into the box and heads an effort straight at Jones after he was picked out in the area by Bale with another sublime cross.
OFF THE POST!!!! Just when Bale looked to be in trouble he produces a moment of magic jinking in from the left he hit a cross to the back-post with his right foot which Kane flicked on. The ball looked to be going wide but Aaron Lennon got there and all he had to do was tap the ball in but his effort smacked the post and was cleared.
Gareth Bale doesn't look happy at all it seems as though that challenge from Adam is still affecting him, he's talking to the Spurs medical team it looks as though he could come off at half-time if not sooner.
The quality on show hasn't been great today, time again players like Downing and Bale are getting in advanced positions but aren't producing an effective ball in the final third of the pitch.
Another lull in the game which is expected to be seen in pre-season Spurs seem content to build patiently from the back but Liverpool are well organised and are pushing them back.
CHANCE!!! A real opportunity for Morgan after he beats the offside and is put through by a lovely ball from Spearing, he takes the ball in stride but can't beat Friedel from a tight angle.
A good last ditch tackle from Martin Skrtel stops a promising move from Spurs and allows Charlie Adam to counter-attack but he's brought down cynically by Livermore before he can get into the Tottenham half.
Tottenham have had the best chances but they haven't got into rhythm going forward. There's no fluidity in the passing game just yet, it looks a bit rigid and forced.
A good opportunity arises for Downing to get the ball in the area, after being played in down the right. He opts to try and knock a cross in with the outside of his left-foot and it doesn't beat the first man. A wasted chance there for the Reds.
Bale's back on the pitch it'll be interesting to see how he goes after that challenge.
Slight worry for Tottenham after Bale's gone down under a challenge from Charlie Adam. He's received treatment but is still walking gingerly. This doesn't look good for Andre Villas-Boas.
Chance!! Spurs almost take the lead. A ball's played into the feet of Kane in the penalty area he turns his man with ease and shoots low and hard but the ball goes just past the post with Jones beaten.
Liverpool are just edging this one at the moment and there's another half-chance this time for Shelvey whose effort is tame and lacks pace and is again claimed by Friedel.
First shot at goal from Liverpool and it's a tame effort from Downing, he moved inside from the left and cut onto his right foot and shot at goal but it was easily claimed by Friedel.
Not the best football being played at the moment, lots of sloppy passes are being played. Typical pre-season game so far.
Both teams are a bit more settled now in possession and are knocking the ball around nicely with the Reds seeing a shade more of the ball but are yet to do anything with it.
Half-chance for Liverpool as Downing raids down the right and curls a cross to the back-post, Gallas gets a call from Friedel to leave the ball which he does but it goes just past the post. A bit too close for comfort there.
Bit more of what is expected now as both teams are pressing the ball leading to some hopeful long balls being played over the top. None of which have led to any openings.
The resulting corner is well cleared by Liverpool, an early warning for them there though and it was Charlie Adam's misplaced pass that let Bale in.
CHANCE!! Straight away from the kick-off Gareth Bale intercepts the ball and races towards goal but his left-footed shot is blocked behind for a corner by Jamie Carragher.
The teams are out at the M and T Bank Stadium so play should be getting underway shortly.
Brendan Rodgers has named a strong line-up featuring many veteran players including Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel. Joe Cole is expected to start on the right of a three pronged attack alongside Stewart Downing and youngster Adam Morgan.
The big news is Gareth Bale who wasn't fit to represent Team GB at the Olympics starts for Tottenham. He's expected to play on the left hand side of middle in his usual spot for Andre Villas-Boas' side.
Tottenham team: Friedel; Naughton, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Jenas, Livermore; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale; Kane.
Liverpool team: Jones; Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique; Shelvey, Spearing, Adam; Downing, Morgan, Cole.
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! commentary of today's pre-season clash between Tottenham and Liverpool from Baltimore.
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