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May 15, 2011
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 44893
That is full time and Liverpool's last home game of the season ends in disappointment. They were second best throughout and deserved the result although the second goal was contentious. Spurs have the advantage going into the final game of the season to qualify for the Europa League.
90' + 3'
Tottenham really have defended well today and just haven't given Liverpool anything. They deserve this victory which will take them in the driving seat for the Europa League.
That was very close. Pienaar gets the ball on the edge of the area and tries to bend into the bottom corner but it goes just wide. Very good effort.
The shouts of the players can be heard now as the Liverpool fans really have quietened down or left. Not quite title contenders just yet as some fans suggested earlier in the week.
Liverpool just devoid of ideas and it seems, happy to see the game out at just 2-0. They haven't really been at the races today.
Nothing happening for Liverpool, they don't look like scoring here. Carroll and Suarez have been very disappointing today.
Liverpool have been surprisingly lacklustre today and their chasing of the game is evidence of that. They are playing quite slowly and have at times looked quite cumbersome. A far cry from the frantic 5-2 victory over Fulham on Monday.
Spurs looking as solid and comfortable as they have all game. The Reds must move the ball with more pace to try and unsettle their opponents. It's too easy to defend right now.
Liverpool still knocking on the door but still can't breakthrough this defence which has been excellent with the return of Ledley King at the heart of it.
Anfield has gone a bit quiet here as Spurs continue to look comfortable in their lead. Dalglish needs to change something to get Suarez and Carroll on the ball more often.
Yellow Card Jon Flanagan
Bit of respite for Spurs who keep the ball for a little while but then it is shoddily given away. They will have to do a lot of defending between now and the end of the game.
Spurs seemingly happy for Liverpool to have the ball at the moment as they soak up any pressure with relative ease for now.
Liverpool camped in the Spurs half now and Suarez goes close. Flanagan does well down the right and fires a cross into but the striker is leaning back a touch as his half volley goes over.
The Reds pressuring Spurs but to no avail at the moment. They can't carve out any chances yet.
Liverpool trying to respond and are being supported brilliantly by the home fans but there isn't anything from them just yet. 30 minutes to get something out of this game.
Assist Steven Pienaar
Penalty Goal Luka Modric
GOOOAAAALLLLL!!! That is controversial. Flanagan appears to go shoulder to shoulder with Pienaar just outside the box and the South African goes down. Webb points to the spot despite it being just outside the area. Modric steps up coolly slot the ball home and Liverpool need a response desperately.
Penalty to Spurs.
Rafael van der Vaart
Van der Vaart's injury could help Liverpool here as there will be more room in midfield without the Dutchman working back in to help out when not in possession.
A rare piece of good skill in attack. Van der Vaart works well with Crouch and manages to fashion a shooting opportunity. From that shot though he seems to have picked up a knock. A possible return to the hamstring injury problems from earlier in the season.
Quiet start to the half as both sides feel their way back into game. Still quite a stop start game.
We're back underway at Anfield.
That's half time and this has been a game which has lacked a bit of quality in the final third as both sets of defences has played very well. the difference between the two teams is an excellent Van der Vaart strike in the ninth minute.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Sandro
Liverpool continue to push forward but they can't break down a very stubborn Spurs side who have defended very well so far. Not many times that could be said about their defence this season.
That wasn't pretty from Liverpool's golden boy of the moment, Maxi. He gets the ball in the area and tries to get by Kaboul and once he runs out of room he dives to try and win the penalty. Dawson and Cudicini furious with the Argentine.
That was a huge chance. Skrtel gets to the byline and provides a cross for the unmarked Carroll but the record signing skews his header over the bar from six yards out. Big, big chance.
The game is crying out for some quality in the final third at the moment. Neither team managing to carve out clear cut openings because there is some defending on show.
Suarez has a cut an increasingly frustrated figure as the half has gone. He hasn't seen much of the ball and he feels hard done by some decisions that have gone against him. Liverpool create their first chance of the half as Maxi finds Spearing in the area who gets too excited a screws his shot wide of the goal. No composure at all.
There's a bit of a battle in the middle of midfield today and right now it is being won by Sandro who has had an excellent first half. Constantly breaking up the play.
Plenty of pretty football on show at the moment but no goalmouth action. This games needs something to bring it back to life.
It's Liverpool's turn to control the game as they begin to dominate possession. Roared on by the crowd, the Reds are knocking on the door.
We've got a really good game on our hands here. Liverpool are trying to play their football along with Spurs and I would expect to see a few more goals before the game is finished.
Yellow Card Luis Suárez
Stupidity, sheer stupidity from Suarez. He clips Dawson who goes down rather easily and in retaliation Suarez kicks out at the central defender off the ball. Howard Webb books him but it could have been worse.
Decent response from Liverpool who have got onto the ball a bit more in the last few minutes. No chances for them as of yet.
It will be interesting to see how the returning King will deal with the movement of Suarez. It will certainly test his fitness. Hasn't really had a touch yet the Uruguayan.
That opening is no more than Spurs deserve who have settled into this game much more quickly than the hosts who look a little shell shocked. Spurs are pressing high up the pitch and at the moment it is certainly working.
Goal Rafael van der Vaart
GOOOAAALLLLL!!!! What an excellent goal that is from Van der Vaart. Modric's corner is half cleared to the edge of the area and the Dutchman takes it down on his chest and half volleys into the top corner. It took a slight deflection off Johnson but an excellent strike. Game on.
Spurs have settled into this game nicely now as they have passed the ball around with some freedom. Liverpool just waiting for Spurs to attack them so they launch a counter.
Tentative start from both teams. Tottenham possibly the stronger but nothing of note has occurred just yet.
We're underway here now at Anfield in front of a vociferous crowd.
Spurs have fallen away at the end of this season as their European endeavours have finally taken their toll. King makes a welcome return to the team for the first time since October while Kaboul and Pienaar come into the team to replace Corluka and Palacios. Spurs have taken just nine points in their last 10 games and need to win to have a chance of qualifying for Europe.
Liverpool make one change from their demolition job of Fulham last Monday night and record signing Andy Carroll comes in for Meireles. The Reds know a win here will secure Europa League football next season and are buoyed by Kenny Dalglish signing a new contract with the club.
Tottenham line up: Cudicini Kaboul Dawson King Lennon Van der Vaart Modric Rose Sandro Pienaar Crouch Subs: Pletikosa, Bassong, Kranjcar, Livermore, Bostock, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe
Liverpool line up: Reina G Johnson Carragher Skrtel Flanagan Maxi Lucas Spearing Suarez Carroll Kuyt Subs: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Robinson, Cole, Poulsen, Shelvey, Ngog
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Tottenham's visit to Anfield. The game represents a shootout for the fifth European spot which in January looked incredibly unlikely. Spurs have imploded of late and must win to keep their European hopes alive.
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