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Pav that!

Posted on 1 November 2008  - 12:00

Roman Pavlyuchenko's dramatic last minute winner completed our second amazing comeback in the space of a week as we defeated high-flying Liverpool 2-1 at The Lane.

Pav that!

Roman Pavlyuchenko's dramatic last minute winner completed our second amazing comeback in the space of a week as we defeated high-flying Liverpool 2-1 at The Lane.

After our fightback from 4-2 down to take a point off Arsenal on Wednesday, Harry Redknapp's unbeaten run as Spurs manager continued despite the Reds dominating for large periods off this game.

It looked certain as if Rafa Benitez's men would reclaim their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League once they took control following Dirk Kuyt's early opener.

But their failure to extend their lead sparked the belief coursing through Redknapp's men at the moment.

However, signs were there even before kick-off that it may not be our day as Jermaine Jenas limped out of the warm-up and was replaced in the starting line-up by Didier Zokora.

In other changes, skipper Ledley King came back into the side at centre-half, with Jamie O'Hara taking his place on the left-hand side of midfield and Darren Bent starting up-front.

But any confidence we were hoping to carry into this encounter from Wednesday's derby was quickly shot to pieces.

A Liverpool throw was worked into the path of Kuyt by Robbie Keane, and the Dutchman slammed into the top corner from a tight angle.

It could have quickly gone from bad to worse when Bent sliced a Reds corner towards his own goal, forcing Heurelho Gomes into a sharp reflex save.

And the visitors were generally in control for the majority of the half without really creating a great deal of chances.

But as the long as the scores remained at 1-0, we were still very much in the game, and Harry's men started to come back into it later on in the first half.

On 22 minutes, a cross-field ball from Luka Modric was nicely controlled by David Bentley for Vedran Corluka to put in a teasing first-time cross which nobody could get on the end of.

Modric himself then forced Pepe Reina into action for the first time three minutes before the break with a low volley from the edge of the box.

Redknapp further stated our intent at half-time by bringing on Pavlyuchenko to partner Bent in attack.

And as soon as the game re-started, the big Russian got into action, hitting a volley wide from the edge of the box.

But this only proved to be the cue for a Liverpool onslaught over the next 15 minutes, in which it is hard to believe they did not extend their lead.

On 50 minutes, a strong run from Kuyt was halted in the box, and although King reacted quickly to block Steven Gerrard's resultant shot, the ball skimmed off the wet surface and needed a full-stretch save from Gomes to tip onto the post.

Three minutes later, our woodwork was disturbed again as the goalkeeper left a pass to his captain a touch short, enabling Keane to intercet and play in Gerrard for a cheeky chip that bounced off the bar.

In the same minute, an Alvaro Arbeloa cross was touched on by Keane, and Kuyt put wide on the stretch at the back post.

The danger wasn't over there. Gerrard fizzed a free-kick into the back post on 57 minutes, and Xabi Alonso should have done better with his header.

And Gerrard himself then curled another effort wide from the edge of the box after an Albert Riera shot was closed down.

To say we rode our luck is an understatement - but in a game like this against a dominant side, there is no doubt luck is exactly what we needed.

And it came on 69 minutes. Bentley's corner into the near post was glanced into his own net by Jamie Carragher, sending the White Hart Lane crowd into raptures.

It gave the fans further hope that Harry's lucky streak looked set to continue, as nobody can argue the equaliser came well against the run of play.

Liverpool did not know what had hit them, and there looked to be only one team who was going to go on and take all three points from here.

Pavlyuchenko could have won it earlier when Bentley burst through a challenge from Andrea Dossena on the right wing nine minutes from time, and although his cross was miss-hit, Bent's challenge did enough to distract Reina, who could only punch as far as the Russian on the edge of the box

The striker set himself up, side-stepped a defender, but then agonisingly put his eventual shot high and wide.

However, in true Spurs fashion, we decided to go for maximum excitement and entertainment in stoppage time.

Bentley's stinging shot from the edge of the box forced Reina into a full-stretch save, and as Bent turned the loose ball back across the face of goal, there was Pavlyuchenko to tap home and atone for his earlier miss.

It was the summer signing's second goal in three league games, and what a way to win the hearts of his new fans following his August switch from Spartak Moscow.

What's more, the winner took us off the bottom of the league, making it a memorable evening at The Lane!

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto (Hutton, 46); Bentley, Zokora, Huddlestone, O'Hara (Pavlyuchenko, 46); Modric (Lennon, 76); Bent
Subs not used: Cesar, Bale, Campbell, Gunter

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Reina; Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Dossena; Mascherano, Alonso; Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera (Benayoun, 78); Keane (Babel, 66)
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Aurelio, Leiva, El Zhar