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Kop that!

Posted on 15 May 2011  - 12:00

Goals from Rafa van der Vaart and Luka Modric secured a 2-0 scoreline and sealed a first victory at Anfield since August, 1993 on Sunday.

Kop that!

Goals from Rafa van der Vaart and Luka Modric secured a 2-0 scoreline and sealed a first victory at Anfield since August, 1993 on Sunday.

It was a hugely impressive display, with a recently rampant Liverpool not especially troubling Carlo Cudicini, while they were generally thwarted in all attempts at attacking play.

The early territory it was fair to say belonged to the team in white shirts as the home team struggled to establish a pattern of play, mostly due to Sandro providing a shield in front of the returning Ledley King and Michael Dawson.

King replaced injured William Gallas and was outstanding on his first appearance since October, one of three changes that also saw Younes Kaboul in for Vedran Corluka at right-back and Steven Pienaar in for Wilson Palacios.

The first shot of any note came on six minutes when van der Vaart tried his luck from distance. The Dutchman had to only wait a couple more minutes before making a far more significant impact.

A Modric corner was headed clear in the direction of van der Vaart and he struck goalwards, with a deflection off Glen Johnson looping the ball over Pepe Reina.

Peter Crouch shot wide before Luiz Suarez had a yellow card waved in his direction after taking a little kick at Michael Dawson after a coming together.

A well worked move ended with Jay Spearing squirting wide, before a Martin Skrtel cross that cleared Cudicini was met by the head of Carroll, who headed high from a great scoring position.

Liverpool were working themselves back into contention as half-time approached after the team had contained and pretty much dictated the first 30 minutes. Suarez wrapped a free kick just past the post moments before the break after Sandro was booked for a hefty challenge.

Van der Vaart was replaced a few minutes into the second half after kicking his foot into the ground in an attempt on goal. Jermain Defoe took over and on 55 minutes the advantage was doubled.

Stephen Pienaar and John Flanagan bounced into each other on the edge of the area and referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot. Modric slotted calmly beyond Reina to make it 2-0.

Flanagan made an impressive dash down the right flank and zipped the ball back in the direction of Suarez, who shot over as Liverpool set about attempting to cut the deficit.

The substitute Jonjo Shelvey shot just wide from 25 yards, while a deflection off Dawson had Cudicini scrambling back anxiously.

The telling point was that despite Liverpool obviously increasing the tempo, they were being dealt with without any real alarms or goalkeeping activity. Dawson and King reunited at the heart of defence was a big factor, with Modric probably the best player on the pitch in midfield.

Sebastien Bassong took over from the excellent Danny Rose for the final throws, during which time Pienaar curled a shot just wide.

It was the Spurs fans in a crowd of 44,893 that were making themselves heard at the end as the team got back into winning ways in considerable style.

The win leapfrogged us back over the Reds into fifth place in the Premier League and means victory over Birmingham in our final match at the Lane next week will secure fifth and European football next term.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina; Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Johnson; Kuyt, Lucas, Spearing (Shelvey, 64), Rodriguez (Ngog, 75); Carroll (Cole, 88), Suarez. Unused subs: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Poulsen, Robinson.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Cudicini; Kaboul, Dawson, King, Rose (Bassong, 82); Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Pienaar (Kranjcar, 89); Van der Vaart (Defoe, 52); Crouch. Unused subs: Pletikosa, Bostock, Livermore, Pavlyuchenko.

Goals: Spurs - Van der Vaart 9, Modric (pen) 55.

Attendance: 44,893.

Referee: Mr H Webb.