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August 31, 2014
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 36130
R. Sterling 8'
S. Gerrard 49'
Alberto Moreno 60'
That result means that Liverpool leapfrog their opponents into fifth place, with both sides three points off league leaders Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino's side travel to Sunderland after the international break while Liverpool will look to earn back-to-back wins when they host Aston Villa. That's all from me on this live commentary. Enjoy the rest of the weekend's football action and make sure to come back soon.
FT: Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool. Goals from Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard and Alberto Moreno give Brendan Rodgers an emphatic victory on his 100th game in charge of the club. The Reds were terrific all game with their quick passing and combative pressing game, showing that they are very much title contenders. As for Tottenham, they suffer their first defeat under Mauricio Pochettino and they can have no complaints about the scoreline as they were second-best throughout and struggled to create regular scoring opportunities.
90' + 1'
PENALTY APPEAL TURNED DOWN! The Tottenham fans are furious that their team are not awarded a penalty when Adebayor is tugged to the ground inside the box by Lovren. However, Phil Dowd is not interested and waves away their appeals. Considering the nature of Liverpool's penalty, I am surprised that he did not point to the spot there.
Yellow Card Alberto
Tottenham aim to reduce the deficit when they win a corner on the left. However, Gerrard is determind to keep his side's clean sheet intact and he produces a good header to clear the danger. Townsend then floats a cross towards the back post for Lamela but the Argentine cannot bring the ball down and Manquillo clears.
Lamela has struggled to stamp his mark on this contest and he vents his frustration after conceding a foul on Can. Tottenham have really lacked creativity today and I wonder if Pochettino will be tempted to enter the transfer market after today's performance.
Sterling receives a wonderful reception from the Liverpool fans as he walks off the field, to be replaced by Jose Enrique. The 19-year-old's fearless dribbling and clever footwork has terrorised the Tottenham defence today and they will be pleased to see the back of him.
Lamela produces some neat footwork to tee up Davies down the left. The former Swansea left-back delivers a terrific cross into the penalty area but Moreno is in the perfect position to head clear.
Sturridge is still looking to get his name on the scoresheet but he cannot produce the goods on this occasion as his right-footed effort curls wide of the far post. Some of the Tottenham players are starting to look fatigued in the closing stages.
Tottenham are trying to string together a dangerous attack in the closing stages but Liverpool continue to dominate the midfield battle, with Henderson showing his tireless work rate to break up the play once again. The central midfielder has enjoyed a terrific 2014 and he really is developing into one of the best in the country in his position.
STAT: Gerrard's goal was his 43rd successful penalty for Liverpool, breaking the club record held by Jan Molby.
Adebayor looks to conjure up something special as he dribbles his way down the left wing. However, there are no white shirts making a late run into the Liverpool box and Moreno is able to clear his cross under little pressure.
Tottenham look completely out of ideas as this game ticks towards its conclusion. The volume inside White Hart Lane has dropped as the Spurs fans concede that they are heading for their first defeat under Mauricio Pochettino.
Markovic shows his vision to play in Sterling down the left wing. The England winger looks to cut inside Dier but the Tottenham defender keeps his eyes firmly focused on the ball and makes a superb challenge.
Yellow Card Raheem Sterling
Sterling's direct running is causing Tottenham all sorts of problems and he produces some more good work before picking out Henderson on the edge of the box. However, Vertonghen is determined not to concede a fourth goal and he produces a vital block to prevent Lloris from making a save.
Ben Davies comes on for his Premier League debut for Tottenham, replacing Rose. The England left-back does not look happy and he marches straight down the tunnel.
NEARLY A WONDERFUL GOAL FROM STERLING! Can shows excellent strength to hold off Dembele and surge towards the Tottenham goal. The German midfielder picks out Sterling on the right corner of the box and the winger tiptoes his way beyond three white shirts but cannot produce the finish to match as he tamely strokes the ball into Lloris' midriff. That was Messi-esque from Sterling.
Mauricio Pochettino's substitutions have had very little impact on this game and Liverpool are in firm control of this contest now. Capoue floats a cross over the Reds defence for Adebayor but his header loops onto the roof of the net.
Gerrard delivers another teasing delivery into the box and Lovren escapes the attentions of Adebayor to head just over.
Sturridge is desperate to get his name on the scoresheet today but he holds his head in his hands on this occasion as he bends a shot way off target. Moments later, the England striker produces a series of stepovers to deceive Vertonghen before his low drive is palmed behind for a corner by Lloris.
Rose's soft challenge allows Manquillo and Markovic to escape down the right wing. With Liverpool throwing bodies forward, the Spaniard has plenty to aim for inside the box. However, he delays his cross into the middle and Dembele chases back to make a crucial block.
It's been a hugely impressive performance from Brendan Rodgers' side today and a statement that they are genuine title contenders despite the sale of Luis Suarez. The way in which Liverpool have moved the ball quickly and pressed Tottenham high up the pitch has been a joy to watch.
Balotelli's debut will not end with a goal as he is replaced by Markovic. Can also comes on for Allen.
GREAT GOAL FROM MORENO! Townsend has only been on the field a matter of seconds and he is the villain as he is dispossessed by Moreno inside the Liverpool half. The Spaniard gallops towards the Tottenham goal, unopposed, and he fires a superb low shot across Lloris and into the bottom corner. Stunning effort from the 22-year-old.
Adebayor looks to reduce the deficit for Spurs as he shows some silky footwork inside the Liverpool box. However, Manquillo sticks to his task excellently and keeps a close eye on the ball to make a vital challenge.
STAT: Liverpool have now scored in 16 away matches in a row in the top flight, equalling the club record set between May 1987 – March 1988.
Eriksen has struggled to showcase his ability today and the Danish playmaker sees his attempted cross go straight into the gloves of Mignolet, much to the frustration of the home crowd. Tottenham need more from Eriksen and Lamela if they are going to find a way back into this contest.
CHANCE FOR TOTTENHAM! Lamela has a good chance to pull one back for Spurs as he races away from Manquillo to get clear down the left. However, the Argentine cannot pick out the run of Chadli in the middle and his low cross is hacked clear by Moreno.
Tottenham win a corner when Moreno deflects Adebayor's shot off target but it is easily cleared at the front post by a red shirt. For all their possession, Tottenham have hardly troubled Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.
Sakho's poor distribution again puts Liverpool in trouble inside their own half. However, Tottenham cannot take advantage as there is no white shirt gambling at the back post to meet Chadli's inviting cross.
Liverpool scored five without reply at White Hart Lane last season and they nearly nick a third here as Kaboul gets the ball caught under his feet. However, the Frenchman just recovers in time to prevent Sturridge from stealing away the ball and advancing on goal.
Penalty Goal Steven Gerrard
Even with Balotellli at the club, Gerrard resumes set-piece responsibilities and he coolly dispatches his shot into the bottom left-hand corner despite the best efforts of Lloris who guessed the right way. Liverpool lead 2-0.
PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL! Dier is the culprit as he needlessly tugs the shirt of Allen who had collected Sturridge's pass and advanced into the box. The Liverpool midfielder theatrically goes to ground and Phil Dowd duly points to the spot.
Liverpool win an early free kick as Rose hauls down Sterling on the right flank. However, Gerrard's delivery fails to live up to its first-half expectations and is easily headed clear by the England international left-back.
The teams re-emerge from the tunnel for the second half and Liverpool, looking for their second league win of the season, get the game back underway. There have been no substitutions at the break.
HT: Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool. Raheem Sterling's strike gives Brendan Rodgers a deserved half-time lead on his 100th game in charge of the club. The visitors have looked dangerous every time they have gone forward, with Mario Balotelli spurning several good chances to score on his debut. Tottenham have looked tidy in possession but they have lacked that killer ball in the final third as Liverpool's pressing game has forced them into misplaced passes. Let's see what the second half holds...
BALOTELLI FIRES OVER! Liverpool execute a clever training ground routine as Gerrard picks out Balotelli's clever run from a corner. However, the enigmatic striker cannot produce the finish to match as he leans back and balloons his shot high over the bar.
GREAT SAVE FROM MIGNOLET! Kaboul floats a terrific diagonal ball into the box which the Liverpool centre-backs fail to clear, under pressure from Adebayor. It falls kindly to Chadli just inside the area but his fizzing half volley is excellently palmed wide by Mignolet. That was Tottenham's best chance of the half.
Lovren's sloppy pass sets up an attack for Tottenham with Lamela slipping the ball through for Adebayor. The Togo striker stretches his legs to accelerate into the box but Lovren is determind to atone for his error and he races back to make a perfectly-timed challenge.
Manquillo has deputised well in Johnson's absence and he produces a brilliant challenge to prevent Rose from getting a cross in from the left. Tottenham have failed to work the wide areas to good effect in this first half, with Adebayor relying on coming deep for the ball and receiving it through the middle of the pitch.
Yellow Card Javi Manquillo
Sterling and Sturridge have linked up tremendously in this game and they combine again to send the former through on goal. However, Kaboul reads the danger excellently and makes a crucial last-ditch interception to prevent Spurs from going 2-0 behind.
Liverpool are back in control of this contest now as they enjoy a sustained spell of possession, much to the frustration of the home supporters. Will we see another goal before half time?
ANOTHER GOLDEN CHANCE FOR BALOTELLI! Liverpool's new signing could have had a hat-trick already. Sterling's pacey run forces Lloris to rush off his line and make a clearance. However, it falls straight to Balotelli about 30 yards from goal, and with the goalkeeper stranded, he can only send his shot way wide of the target.
GOOD EFFORT FROM STURRIDGE! Despite Tottenham's comfort on the ball, it is Liverpool who look the most threatening coming forward. Balotelli shows his strength to hold off Capoue before playing a neat backheel into the path of Sturridge - but his curling effort is excellently held by Lloris who anticipated the shot.
Spurs are in the ascendency at the moment as they search desperately for the equaliser. Eriksen produces a delightful drop of the shoulder to slip away from Manquillo before teeing up Rose outside the box. However, the left-back, who was called up to the England squad for the first time earlier this week, cannot produce the finish to match as he slices his shot way wide of the target.
Yellow Card Joe Allen
Dier produces a crunching, but fair, challenge on Balotelli which leaves the Italian in a heap, much to the delight of the Tottenham fans. Welcome back, Mario.
An error at the back from Dier sets up a counterattack for Liverpool. Sterling has Sturridge running clear ahead of him but he cannot pick out that killer pass and Kaboul makes a crucial interception.
LOVREN TO THE RESCUE! Sakho's dreadful pass allows Eriksen to play Adebayor through on goal. The Togo international is one-on-one with Lovren but the Croatian times his tackle to perfection to prevent Adebayor from getting his shot away.
Tottenham enjoy a good passage of play around the Liverpool box but they cannot find a way to penetrate the defence. The ball eventually finds Lamela outside the area but he dallies in possession and Balotelli tracks back well to steal the ball off the Argentine's toes.
Liverpool are winning the midfield battle at the moment, with Henderson's energy complementing Gerrard's passing to good effect. Eriksen and Lamela are yet to stamp their mark on this game for Tottenham.
Sterling looks to open up the Tottenham defence again as he jinks his way into the box from the left-hand side. He aims to deceive Dier with a series of stepovers but he produces one too many and the England youth international defender nips in to steal the ball away.
Liverpool have settled into this game excellently and they are forcing Tottenham into individual errors with their quick pressing game. Brendan Rodgers looks on happily from the touchline.
CHANCE FOR BALOTELLI! Gerrard delivers another superb free kick into the Tottenham box which picks out Balotelli towards the back post. However, the Italy international did not anticipate the opportunity and glances his header wide of the target. That should have been 2-0.
STURRIDGE FIRES WIDE! Sterling has made a bright start to this game and he feeds Sturridge midway inside the Tottenham half. The former Chelsea striker wriggles his way beyond Rose superbly but he cannot double Liverpool's lead as his powerful left-footed effort curls just wide of Lloris' left-hand post.
Incidentally, that was the first goal that Tottenham have conceded in the league this season. Aston Villa are now the only side who have a perfect defensive record.
SO CLOSE TO THE EQUALISER! Bentaleb's chipped pass over the Liverpool defence catches Lovren unaware and Adebayor latches onto it before lobbing the ball over Mignolet and onto the roof of the net.
Assist Jordan Henderson
Goal Raheem Sterling
STERLING GIVES LIVERPOOL THE LEAD! It's a wonderful goal for the visitors as Sturridge holds off several Tottenham players with some excellent footwork before slipping in Henderson on the right side of the box. The England international instinctively slides the ball across the area and Sterling is there to slot beyond Lloris and into the corner.
It's been a lively start to the game and Kaboul produces a crucial header to prevent Sturridge nodding in Gerrard's swinging free kick. Tottenham then win a corner down the other end but Chadli cannot direct his header on target after a clever dash to the front post.
It's Tottenham's turn to attack now but Chadli cannot get on the end of Rose's raking pass, despite some clumsy goalkeeping from Mignolet.
ALMOST THE DREAM START FOR BALOTELLI! Liverpool's marquee summer signing nearly scores within three minutes of his debut as gets in between the Spurs centre-backs to meet Sturridge's pinpoint cross. However, he can only head straight at Lloris with the goal gaping. What a chance for Balotelli to open his Liverpool account!
Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that Tottenham can perform well in the big games this season. Spurs took only one point against the top four last term and lost by a combined score of 27-2 over the eight matches.
Referee Phil Dowd blows his whistle and Tottenham, in their familiar white shirts, get the game underway.
Tottenham are one of only three sides to boast a 100 per cent record in the Premier League and one of just two yet to concede a goal – the other being Aston Villa. Can they keep up their good early season form? Kick-off is minutes away.
Liverpool subs: Jones, Enrique, Toure, Can, Markovic, Lambert, Coutinho.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-1-2): Mignolet; Manquillo, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Gerrard (c), Allen; Sterling; Sturridge, Balotelli.
Tottenham subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Davies, Dembele, Holtby, Townsend, Kane.
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Dier, Kaboul (c), Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Capoue; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Adebayor.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS: Brendan Rodgers is able to hand a debut to Mario Balotelli on his 100th game in charge of Liverpool. The former Milan striker starts alongside Daniel Sturridge as Philippe Coutinho drops to the bench. Martin Skrtel misses his first Premier League game in a year after sustaining a knock in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Monday while Glen Johnson also misses out with a thigh complaint. Mamadou Sakho therefore partners Dejan Lovren in defence while Javi Manquillo starts at right-back.
TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS: Mauricio Pochettino names an unchanged side to the team which emphatically beat Queens Park Rangers 4-0 last weekend. Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela will be looking to continue their impressive early season form, while Eric Dier continues in the right-back slot after enjoying a dream start to his Spurs career. Nabil Bentaleb and Etienne Capoue start in the centre of midfield but there is no place in the Spurs squad for Sandro who has been strongly linked with a move away from the club. Emmanuel Adebayor starts as the lone striker, with Roberto Soldado sidelined with neck and back problems.
Liverpool fans will have fond memories of this fixture last season as a 5-0 thumping at White Hart Lane brought the curtain down on Andre Villas-Boas' reign at Spurs. Luis Suarez was the main man that day but with the Uruguayan now out the door, it's time for Mario Balotelli to shoulder the responsibility -- and the 16 million pound Italian makes his Liverpool debut today. Here is the rest of the team news...
Hello and welcome to this live commentary between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. With two wins from two in the Premier League, as well as progression to the Europa League group stage, it's been a dream start for Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino. However, he faces his toughest test today against a Brendan Rodgers outfit desperate to show that they are capable of ending the club's 24-year wait for the league title.
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