Liverpool's Winning Streak Comes To An End
It didn't take long for the away side to get on the score sheet. Just 8 minutes in and a corner for Tottenham caused problems in the box, a defensive header saw the ball not quite cleared and fall to Van Der Vaart. To be honest his goal was a great one and i don't think there was much we could have done about it. The defenders were focused on the incoming corner and perhaps reactions were slow once the ball was cleared but again, i highly doubt we could of prevented Van Der Vaart's effort.
The quick pace of the Spurs start appeared to catch Liverpool off guard. In recent games it's been the Reds supplying the tempo, it was now time for a change of plan.
The problem was for once, there didn't appear to be any plan. I hate to say it but Andy Carroll despite his best attempts was pretty absent. With so much influence on the long ball throughout the 90 minutes too you'd think he would have got himself into better positions.
Suarez once again was supplying most of the magic for Liverpool but unfortunately his partners of Kuyt and Maxi who have been playing so well of late also appeared to be having an off game. There are a lot of people saying the missing Raul Meireles was a big factor but would a collection of neat passes within the midfield really have provided enough for Liverpool to get off the mark yesterday? I personally don't think so.
Tottenham's second goal came after half time and in quite controversial style. Howard Webb isn't exactly top of the Christmas card list for most Liverpool fans and yesterday's decision didn't help him much either. A penalty decision given to Tottenham meant Modric would eventually put the ball in the centre of goal and send his team two nil up.
Frustratingly though, it wasn't a penalty. I struggle to even see how anyone could argue against that statement. For a starters since when were you not allowed to use power and force with your shoulders? In or out of the box for that matter and if anything Flanagan had as much of a barge as Pienaar did and when they both fell to the floor it was 50/50. There was absolutely nothing wrong with Flanagan's efforts and I'm gutted for the lad because he shouldn't feel responsible. Howard Webb isn't going to come out and apologise though is he?
Spearing was replaced by Shelvey on the hour mark, a good decision i felt as Shelvey operates in a calmer manner. Spearing has been fantastic of late but his concentration appeared to be slipping in the second half. Shelvey immediately made his presence clear with a shot that was sent wide to the right of goal as Liverpool tried to put one in the net.
Ngog was also brought on to replace Maxi Rodriguez and so to Joe Cole for Andy Carroll but the replacements couldn't help the Reds in their search to gain one back on Spurs and Redknapp's boys took all three points.
Bad refereeing decision for sure but we can't use that as an excuse, we offered little if nothing yesterday to truly threaten Cudicini and a tight Tottenham midfield meant it was hard for us to break through.
With Spurs having to face Birmingham next, a side fighting for their lives we certainly aren't out of the 5th place race just yet. A win over Aston Villa for Liverpool is ultimately the target and then all we can do is see what happens in their fixture.
It's a sad day when the entertainment for Liverpool fans was left down to a streaker who left his socks on!
Just a quick note, similar to last time I'll be doing some sort of round up of the season in a few weeks time, keep your eyes peeled for Questions on The Liver Bird's Facebook page as I'll be adding what i find into the review. Thanks!