May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent, at Anfield
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Tottenham were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool on Merseyside, but how did the individual Lilywhites players perform?
HUGO LLORIS 5/10
Quick off his line as usual, notably early on when Daniel Sturridge beat the offside trap and Spurs’ keeper forced him wide. The Frenchman may be disappointed that he failed to block Luis Suarez’s low finish at his near post, having been exposed by his defence, but he got down well to palm away the Uruguayan’s dangerous low cross in the 27th minute. Unfortunately, he must take a large share of the blame for Stewart Downing’s goal as he raced from his line again but failed to clear, leaving the goal unguarded and presenting his opponent with a gilt-edged chance to equalise. Had no chance with Liverpool’s winning goal from the penalty spot.
KYLE WALKER 3/10
Used his pace to shut out the danger early on, cutting behind his centre-backs to halt Sturridge, but probably could have done more to prevent Liverpool’s first goal after failing to dispossess Coutinho and then Jose Enrique in the build-up to Suarez’s finish. Walker got forward as often as possible in the first half, overlapping Mousa Dembele, but his delivery often lacked the necessary quality – and he was certainly at fault for the second goal, putting his side at risk with a suicidal ball back towards the edge of his own box and seeing it end up in the back of the net. That destroyed his confidence and he was all over the place in the closing stages.
JAN VERTONGHEN 8/10
The Belgian turned the game on its head with two goals either side of the break, taking his tally to three in two games after his header against Inter Milan on Thursday - and he made a number of excellent tackles. He certainly didn’t deserve to end up on the losing side. However, he was also fortunate that Sturridge headed into the side netting after running forward, losing the ball in the Liverpool half and failing to get back in time.
MICHAEL DAWSON 5/10
Struggled against the pace of Liverpool’s front men and was partly at fault for Liverpool’s opening goal as Suarez ran in behind him to finish.
BENOIT ASSOU-EKOTTO 4/10
Made some strange decisions on the ball and didn’t always look switched on. The Cameroon international conceded the decisive penalty in the 83rd minute, leaping into Suarez when there seemed to be little chance of him winning the ball - but he had been put in a very difficult position by Jermain Defoe’s error.
JAKE LIVERMORE 4/10
Started his first game since the Capital One Cup defeat at Norwich on October 31 and looked rusty and nervous – particularly when he fired a volleyed pass all the way back to Lloris, despite having time on the ball in the middle of the field. There was plenty of effort but a general lack of quality on the ball, and he gave possession away too often. The fact that he was playing alongside Scott Parker, who is similarly energetic but limited on the ball, did not help his cause.
SCOTT PARKER 4/10
Enjoyed one of his best performances of the season against Inter in midweek, but this was a backwards step. He needs to play alongside a more creative player in the centre, and cannot be relied upon to dictate the game.
MOUSA DEMBELE 7/10
Bizarrely, the Belgian started on the right side of midfield to replace the injured Aaron Lennon. He drifted infield to influence proceedings, and looked dangerous when he did so. That also created space for Walker to advance outside him, but Dembele looked unsure of his role in the first half and needed instructions from Andre Villas-Boas. He still played his part in the equalising goal, protecting the ball in the corner and finding Bale, whose cross was headed home by Vertonghen. The Belgian continued to get involved after the interval, particularly during Tottenham’s purple patch after their second goal, when the visitors could have scored a third. He showed his quality when he came inside, beat a couple of players and shot at Brad Jones, but will probably be hoping to return to the centre as soon as possible.
GYLFI SIGURDSSON 5/10
Deservedly kept his place on the left of midfield but was quieter than he had been in the impressive displays against Arsenal and Inter Milan at White Hart Lane. The Iceland international had a good sight of goal in the 37th minute as Spurs managed to give him some space on the edge of the box after a fine passing move – but he whipped his low effort narrowly wide. Sigurdsson went closer in the 56th minute, bringing Bale’s cross down with a lovely first touch at the back post and then seeing his effort deflected onto the post. Had that gone in, Spurs would surely have gone on to win.
GARETH BALE 7/10
The Welshman had a relatively quiet first half by his own high standards, but he still managed to carry a threat, forcing Brad Jones into an awkward save with a trademark swerving free kick and running at the defence with intent on a couple of occasions before delivering the right-wing crosses for Vertonghen’s goals either side of the interval. Bale also created Sigurdsson’s chance in the second half, motoring down the right and managing to find his team-mate with a deep cross to the back post. This time he was unable to save the day.
JERMAIN DEFOE 4/10
The striker was starved of service for most of the game and, although he got a couple of glimpses of goal, he only managed one telling effort on goal in the 52nd minute. Unfortunately, his biggest contribution to the game came at the wrong end of the field as he failed to clear from a corner late on, prodding the ball back into his own box instead and inadvertently freeing Suarez, who was fouled by Assou-Ekotto.
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