Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Liverpool 0 Tottenham 0

Luis Suárez came in from the cold on Monday night, arriving after the hour mark, lifting Liverpool spirits but failing to break down Spurs’ exceptional defence in which Ledley King and Michael Dawson reminded the watching Fabio Capello that England boast other central-defensive options to John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

This game was far from a classic, and Gareth Bale missed an inviting one-on-one late on. Suárez buzzed about but arguably one of the best runs of the game was made by a cat. As well as the excellence of Scott Parker in Spurs midfield, this was also a reminder of the refereeing quality of Michael Oliver, who controlled this game brilliantly, calming tempers when required.

As Spurs stood firm, Liverpool will rue some missed opportunities, and another home draw hardly helps their ambitions of a Champions League spot. At least with Suárez back, they should have a sharper cutting edge in the future.

Suárez eventually got on after 66 minutes. Harry Redknapp had failed even to reach Anfield, his plane grounded with technical problems at London City airport. A local tabby did make the game, embarking on a promising run towards the Anfield Road End as the Kop, reprising an old favourite, chanted “a cat, a cat; a cat, a cat, a cat”. In this fast-moving social-media world, the Anfield cat had four twitter sites claiming to be the real feline deal by the end of the first half.

Attack was certainly on the minds of Liverpool, who stormed into Spurs. As Suárez watched from the bench for more than an hour, Andy Carroll was far more involved, looking far more like his old Newcastle self. Only a marvellous sliding tackle by the excellent Michael Dawson nicked the ball away from the feet of Carroll as the tall striker sped into the box.

Kenny Dalglish leapt into the air, appealing for a penalty but Michael Oliver had rightly decreed no foul. It was the second major decision the young referee had to make, having earlier decided that the fog would lift. It did. Still Liverpool pressed, Scott Parker fouling Glen Johnson on the edge of the Spurs area. Steven Gerrard drilled the free kick into the wall.

Spurs broke out with increasing conviction. Kyle Walker was racing down the right, enjoying a real high-speed duel with Johnson, Capello’s first-choice right-back playing at left-back. The watching Capello also had an opportunity to check on Martin Kelly, who was working hard down the Liverpool right.

Niko Kranjcar was drifting in from the Spurs right, moving the ball adroitly around Anfield, trying to find Emmanuel Adebayor or send Gareth Bale away . The Welshman made one superb run but was dispossessed by the sliding Martin Skrtel, who enjoyed another impressive half, although he caught Bale with a raised boot in the second period.

Liverpool continued to push on, Gerrard setting up Jay Spearing, who shot just wide. Then Gerrard, enjoying his role behind Carroll, charged through, leaving Jake Livermore behind before being caught late by Parker. Craig Bellamy took charge of this free kick but the result was the same as Gerrard’s, ending in the wall.

Back came Spurs, Walker smashing in a cross from the right that Bale somehow managed to turn into an attempt on goal, meeting the speeding ball with a back-heeled effort straight at Pepe Reina. Walker was flying, racing past Bellamy, then Johnson before the excellent Agger slid in to clear.

The half finished with a Liverpool flurry of activity, most notably a Johnson drive that Brad Friedel saved. The second opened up with Liverpool still pressing, including a Gerrard shot that thudded into Ledley King. Anfield then howled in derision at a dive from Bale, who reacted theatrically to Agger being in the same postcode. Bale shoved an angry Agger before Johnson joined in, pushing Bale. The Player of the Year was fortunate to escape with only a yellow.

Back came Liverpool again, Dirk Kuyt charging down the right, cutting the ball back to Charlie Adam, whose 25-yarder was blocked by Dawson.

Suárez’s arrival after 66 minutes for Kuyt immediately lifted Anfield.

Gerrard immediately sought to find Suárez, whose name was chanted constantly by Liverpool fans. Carroll also responded, testing Friedel with a header. Then Suárez sprinted in, briefly worrying Dawson.

Suárez was back, and soon in Oliver’s book for kicking Parker in the midriff. Wayne Rooney promptly tweeted that it should have been red.

Dalglish twisted again, sending on Stewart Downing. Liverpool should have taken the lead but Carroll miscued badly. Controversy then entered proceedings. With 15 minutes remaining, Skrtel went in hard on Bale, catching the ball but his raised boot opening up the skin on Bale’s left shin. Skrtel was cautioned.

Spurs were angered by the challenge, although Bale was eventually able to carry on. A disappointing game continued to meander. Johnson did manage to find space down the left, sweeping in a cross that the stooping Carroll, under pressure from King, headed wide.

Spurs were looking to find Louis Saha, who had taken Adebayor’s lone role in attack, although Bale strived to support the former Everton player. The initiative remained mainly with Liverpool. Gerrard released the charging Johnson, really impressing.

Bale, brilliantly released by Kranjcar, should have scored on the breakaway with seven minutes remaining. Through one on one with Reina, Bale seemed intimidated by the Spanish keeper rushing out and spreading himself wide. Bale shot straight at Reina, who saved well.

Skrtel and Agger then covered to clear.

As Spurs fans sighed, Liverpool went through the gears and now it was Friedel’s turn to save, denying Suarez, who had been brilliantly set up by Gerrard. Then Downing tried his luck but his shot disappeared into the Kop.

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