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February 10, 2015
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 44577
L. Marković 15'
S. Gerrard 53'
M. Balotelli 83'
H. Kane 26'
M. Dembélé 61'
Full time at Anfield! Liverpool secure a massive three points in the Barclays Premier League in a pulsating 3-2 victory over Champions League qualification rivals, Tottenham. Goals from Lazar Markovic and Harry Kane netted in the first half as we went into the break all square. The second half started with a high tempo and the hosts went a goal up thanks to a Steven Gerrard penalty, only to be pegged back by Mousa Dembele. However, the match winner proved to be the unlikely hero of Mario Balotelli, who may just have ignited his Liverpool career! I'm Martin Macdonald, thanks for joining us, see you next time!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Harry Kane
90' + 1'
Plenty of long balls being hoisted up from Spurs at the moment but Sakho, Can, and Lovren have dealt with each excellently up until this point. Will there be that one, elusive chance for Tottenham to claw back an equaliser?
It looks like there is going to be four minutes of added time here. That should give Spurs some encouragement but Liverpool have been professionally seeing out the game for the past few moments. A moment of magic required for the visitors!
Yellow Card Paulinho
Is there another twist in this superb Barclays Premier League clash? Balotelli is the hero at the moment but there are still time for Spurs, who are notorious for late goals this season, to grab yet another here at Anfield!
Last throw of the dice from Spurs now and it sees Mousa Dembele replaced by Roberto Soldado. Striker on for a midfielder now, and the Spaniard has just been given the task to save this match for Pochettino's men!
Assist Adam Lallana
Goal Mario Balotelli
GOOOOAAALLL!!! GOOOAAALLL!!! GOOAAALL FOR LIVERPOOL! AND IT IS MARIO BALOTELLI!!!! Lallana gets into a brilliant position in the inside right channel and bursts to the byline before firing a terrific cross along the six-yard box. The substitute is on hand to smash home from a few yards out! An unlikely hero for the Reds! Three-two!
Spurs follow suit and make a change of their own and it sees Eriksen come off for Chadli. There will be no late goal for the Dane tonight!
Third and final change from Rodgers here and it sees the first goalscorer, Markovic, come off to be replaced by Lallana. Just over 10 minutes for the former Southampton attacking midfielder to make an impact here. There's definitely another goal in this clash!
Ibe leads a Liverpool counterattack down the right-hand side and looks to exchange a neat one-two with Balotelli. The Italian's pass is just intercepted by Rose, though and ends up running out for a corner kick to the hosts.
We've got a small break in play at the moment as Walker and Can are currently down after a collision near the touchline. Didn't look to be too much in it though so both players should be okay to continue for the remaining 15 minutes or so.
Yellow Card Kyle Walker
Can this be Mario Balotelli's time to shine for Brendan Rodgers' men? The Italian is being given a decent run out here and he'll come on to replace Daniel Sturridge, who may just be feeling the pace after only recently returning from injury.
Tottenham follow suit and make a change of their own in midfield. Mason, who has put in yet another solid shift in the middle of the park, is replaced by Paulinho, who should provide a little more creativity and direct running in there for the visitors.
Gerrard looks to have picked up a hamstring injury here and he'll be replaced by Dejan Lovren, which will likely see the latter move into central defence with Can moving into midfield. Unclear as to the extent of the problem for the Liverpool captain.
Penalty shout for Liverpool! Sturridge gets in behind the Spurs defence and looks to get a left-footed shot away, but Dier comes in with a tackle from behind to clear the ball and the player. The referee decides he took the ball first, and awards the corner kick instead of the spotkick! Probably a good decision!
Four goals already tallied up in this highly entertaining clash between Liverpool and Spurs. Twenty-five minutes to go though and both sides are looking more than capable of grabbing more goals. Will the next one prove to be the winner?!
Yellow Card Mousa Dembele
Markovic opens up his stride down the right wing and finds himself with just Rose to beat to get into the box. The Serbian finds a yard of space but can only manage a cross-come-shot into the box which dribbles harmlessly out of play. A big waste of a good opportunity there!
Assist Harry Kane
Goal Mousa Dembele
GOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR SPURS!!! Eriksen fires the free kick to the bottom corner and Mignolet parries to the right. Kane reacts faster than anyone and squares a pass inside to Dembele, who bundles home from a yard out! There were definitely suspicions of offside there though! Two-two!
Yellow Card Steven Gerrard
Gerrard, who moments ago gave Liverpool the lead, is the latest Liverpool player to go into the book and it is for a late challenge on Kane around 30 yards out. The captain of the home side will need to be careful in those central areas now. Spurs, meanwhile, have a free kick in a decent position.
Liverpool are just having to weather a bit of a storm here after going a goal up. Spurs have responded excellently and are knocking at the door looking for an equaliser, but the Reds are remaining solid- for the moment!
What a fantastic save from Mignolet! Tottenham look to strike back immediately from going a goal behind as Mason leads a charge forward! Lamela eventually latches on to the ball and drills a shot towards the top left corner, but the Liverpool keeper somehow tips over the crossbar!
Penalty Goal Steven Gerrard
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLL FOR LIVERPOOL! Steven Gerrard steps up and confidently dispatches the penalty kick into the right corner past the despairing hand of Lloris! Two-one!
PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL!!! Strurridge skips past a couple of challenges inside the box before being tripped up by the trailing leg of Rose! A clumsy tackle indeed from the left-back and it has cost his side a spotkick!
Mason collects possession a few yards into the Liverpool half and spots the run of Kane in behind for lofting a pass into the box for his team-mate. The goalscorer takes a neat touch and attempts a quickfire finish but Skrtel meets him all the way to make the block. Good start to the second half from Spurs!
Bentaleb takes the ball for a run through the middle and gets into an advanced position just in front of the Liverpool defence. The Algerian looks to flash a pass to the back post for Kane, but Sakho is well-positioned to make the interception.
We are back under way at Anfield!
Half time at Anfield. It has been a brilliantly entertaining clash so far as Liverpool and Spurs continue to compete for league position in the Champions League race. Lazar Markovic put Liverpool up with a squeezed strike past Lloris but the home side were pegged back thanks to a strike from Harry Kane, which also just evaded the keeper. End-to-end stuff at times, and hopefully we will see more of the same in the second period!
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Mamadou Sakho
45' + 1'
ALMOST A FABULOUS GOAL FROM STURRIDGE! The Liverpool striker receives the ball to feet inside the box with his back to goal and attempts a cheeky backheel into the top corner, which cannons off the post! What a goal that would have been!
The yellow cards are piling up for the Liverpool defenders now! Sakho and Dembele get into quite the duel near the touchline and the battle ends as the Belgian gains a yard but not before being cynically hauled to the floor by the Liverpool man. Can is the only Reds defender not in the book!
Well now we have, quite literally, a Kane versus Sturridge battle! The latter attempts to make his way into the penalty area to get a shot away but he is dispossessed by the Spurs striker who is back defending near his own goal!
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Skrtel will need to be careful now after being the latest player to be awarded a yellow card. The Slovakian just came right through the back of Kane near the halfway line and a goes into the book for what was a pretty needless tackle. He'll need to watch himself for a large portion of the match now!
SAVE FROM LLORIS! Ibe, in one of his first real meaningful dribbles of the match, drives down the right before cutting inside and lashing a strike towards the centre of the goal. It is a fairly routine stop by the Frenchman, who successfully gets his body behind the attempt.
After that break-neck speed tempo of the match we had a few minutes ago the intensity has just died down a little as both sides focus more on their passing. The way the game is going though we are not going to see just the two goals!
Eriksen beats Can to a header near the halfway line and Kane looks to latch on the knockdown in order to run towards goal, but Skrtel is on hand to make the important interception. Both sides leaving plenty of space in behind their defences here.
Lamela fires a pass into the feet of Kane and the goalscorer attempts to return the pass, but not before being dispossessed by Skrtley. Moreno then takes the play up the pitch with a pacey run down the left touchline before reverting inside to Coutinho.
It is end-to-end stuff here as both sides look to gain an advantage before half time. It took Spurs a little while to get into it but they are looking every bit as dangerous as Liverpool now. Will this end up being a battle of the English strikers? Sturridge vs Kane?
Yellow Card Christian Eriksen
Brilliant entertainment here at Anfield! I mentioned before the match that both sides would need to show some attacking ambition if they are to take the initiative in the Champions League race, and they are certainly doing that!
Assist Erik Lamela
Goal Harry Kane
GOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL FOR TOTTENHAM! SPURS STRIKE BACK! Some lovely play around the penalty area from the visitors and it eventually sees Lamela slide a precision pass through to Kane, who takes an assured touch before smashing a strike beyond Mignolet, who can't stop the attempt despite getting something on it! One-one!
Yellow Card Ryan Mason
We have our first booking of the match and it is issued to Mason for a poorly timed tackle on Markovic near the touchline. He'll need to be careful now!
The home side are just patiently keeping possession at the moment and Spurs, strangely, are just letting them away with it. Pochettino's outfit have gained much success from their pressing game in recent weeks, so it is curious that they have temporarily abandoned the tactic. No doubt we'll see it as they grow in prominence in the match.
Well it has been a terrific opening 20-odd minutes in this first period at Anfield. Spurs have been pretty poor in possession but it has mainly been due to the extreme pressing of Liverpool, who are beating their opponents at their own game!
Fantastic defending from Dier! Bentaleb poorly gives the ball away in midfield and Sturridge takes advantage to run into the box towards goal. He looks poised to get the strike away but the Spurs defender shows excellent recovery pace to get back and make the goal-saving tackle!
Tottenham look to provide an instant reaction here! Vertonghen looks to atone for giving the ball away for the goal with a marauding run forward. The Belgian then releases Eriksen who looks to lash a strike into the bottom corner, but Can makes the block in the nick of time! Spurs corner!
Assist Daniel Sturridge
Goal Lazar Marković
GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL FOR LIVERPOOL! THE HOSTS OPEN THE SCORING! Sturridge makes the ball stick up top and Vertonghen intercepts. However, the ball goes straight to Markovic who drives into the box before getting a left-footed shot away, which Lloris can't handle! One-nil! Poor goalkeeping!
Great defending from Sakho! Kane typically looks to barge his way into the penalty area, and does so, but before he can get a shot away the former PSG defender comes in with a really solid tackle. That may develop into an interesting battle!
SAAAAAVE FROM LLORIS!! Ibe gets down the right wing and teases a cross into the box. Sturridge meets the ball and lashes a left-footed strike towards the bottom corner, but the French keeper is equal to it and beats the attempt away from danger!
Lovely play by Sturridge. The former Chelsea man, who makes his first start since August this evening, shows no signs of rustiness as he opens up his stride through the middle before bursting into the box and getting the right-footed strike away. Lloris eventually gets down to make the comfortable save though.
We get our first real glimpse of Kane now as the striker looks to latch on to a loose ball inside the Liverpool box. Mignolet is on his toes though and comes off his line to claw the ball away from the feet of the Spurs man. Just a tiny hint of contact, but the referee doesn't deem it enough to award a penalty.
Liverpool pounce on a mistake in midfield by Spurs and Sturridge collects before dashing down the left-hand side. The Englishman attempts to find Coutinho but the pass to the Brazilian has just too much on it which allows the Spurs defence to see out for a goal kick.
The first corner kick of the match is awarded to Liverpool and it is Gerrard who will swing it in. The Liverpool captain takes the set-piece to cross to the back post but Spurs survive early on.
WE ARE UNDER WAY AT ANFIELD!
The players have made their way to the pitch and we are almost ready for kick-off!
No surprises in the Spurs camp as Pochettino names the same starting XI which successfully defeated Arsenal at the weekend. All eyes will no doubt be on Kane to further impress up top.
A big absentee but a big return for Liverpool then. Raheem Sterling does not even make the bench tonight as he has picked up a knock, but will be replaced by Daniel Sturridge, who makes his first start since, coincidentally, facing Spurs in August. Lazar Markovic replaces the injured Lucas Leiva, meanwhile.
Tottenham subs: Vorm, Davies, Fazio, Chadli, Paulinho, Townsend, Soldado.
Liverpool subs: Ward, Johnson, Lovren, Lambert, Lallana, Allen, Balotelli.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Mason; Lamela, Dembele, Eriksen; Kane.
Liverpool (3-4-3): Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Sakho; Markovic, Gerrard, Henderson, Moreno; Ibe, Coutinho, Sturridge.
The race for a top four place continues to hot up. Between Liverpool in seventh and Manchester United in fourth, there are just four points, with Spurs sandwiched in between in fourth place- one point behind the Red Devils. With such narrow margins between the contenders, games like tonight may be a vital deciding factor as to who we see in the Champions League places at the end of the campaign. Exciting stuff indeed!
Our game tonight features two form teams in the Premier League. As mentioned previously, Liverpool are unbeaten in eight league games, but Tottenham can also boast a similarly impressive run of form as they have only been defeated once in 10. Something is going to have to give tonight if both outfits are attacking in their mentalities!
The 21-year-old is the in-form striker in the Premier League at the moment, and his two goals against Arsenal on Saturday took his tally for the season to an impressive 22. The England Under-21 international will need to break through this sturdy Liverpool defence if he is to continue his blistering form, though.
Both sides are coming off hard-fought derby matches against their city rivals at the weekend. Liverpool came away from Goodison Park unscathed after a 0-0 stalemate on Saturday night to earn a point against Everton, but it was Spurs who made the headlines as they came from behind to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in the north London derby, thanks to two goals from that man again- Harry Kane.
The battle for a Champions League place continues tonight as Mauricio Pochettino takes his outfit to Merseyside to face a Liverpool side who are unbeaten in eight league games. Brendan Rodgers' men, having previously looked shaky defensively, have kept a clean sheet in their last four matches, and will look to maintain this form against their European qualification rivals.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action!
Good evening folks! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Barclays Premier League clash between Liverpool and Tottenham from Anfield!
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