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Report: Liverpool 1-0 Spurs

Posted on 25 September 2001  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">A moment of Finnish magic made it another pointless visit to the red half of Merseyside. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Jari Litmanen&rsquo&#59;s magnificent second half strike from 30 yards was the only difference between the sides as we gave as good as we got at Anfield. <IMG src="/media/images/decorative/photos/livtott1.jpg" align=left border=1> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">The confidence borne from Wednesday&rsquo&#59;s win at Sunderland was certainly on show in the early stages and our slick passing game picked up where it left off at the Stadium of Light. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">But despite long periods of possession, Liverpool carved out the better chances. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Les Ferdinand came closest to opening the scoring as early as the second minute when he met Christian Ziege&rsquo&#59;s corner with a trademark header only for Nick Barmby to clear off the line. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Gregory Vignal&rsquo&#59;s speculative volley from 30 yards clipped the top of the bar and John Arne Riise, a thorn down the left side, beat Taricco only to drive his shot straight at Sullivan and, 10 minutes later, drive across goal only for Ledley King to intercept. <IMG src="/media/images/decorative/photos/livtott3.jpg" align=right border=1> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">At the other end, Poyet just failed to meet Taricco&rsquo&#59;s dink into the box and Ferdinand&rsquo&#59;s 25-yarder went straight at Dudek. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Liverpool&rsquo&#59;s best attacking intentions went through Litmanen and he ran the show for a 10-minute spell just before the break. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">He first latched onto Barmby&rsquo&#59;s pass only to miss the target from a tight angle, then released the former Spurs man with a magnificent volleyed pass only for Barmby to shoot poorly at Sullivan and the same combination had us at panic <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">stations again after 39 minutes only for King to step in and ease worries. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">However, after pulling the strings, Litmanen wasted the chance to cap his solo show when he was released clean through on Sullivan &mdash&#59; our number one saved well low to his right. <IMG src="/media/images/decorative/photos/livtott2.jpg" align=left border=1> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Unfortunately he didn&rsquo&#59;t take long to put that right. We had already gone close when Ferdinand&rsquo&#59;s clever cutback over Dudek found no-one to tap into an empty net when Litmanen opened the scoring. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">With 56 minutes on the clock, Litmanen found himself in space 30 yards out. He weighed up his options and as no-one closed him down, decided to unleash a shot that curled away from Sullivan and in via the right upright. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">A minute later and Litmanen was there again, this time feeding Barmby who snatched at his shot and dragged it wide. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Emile Heskey replaced Fowler and then, astonishingly, Gerard Houllier took Litmanen off &mdash&#59; but he had a reasonable replacement in Michael Owen. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Owen was electric on the ball and twice created havoc within a few minutes of coming on. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">After 72 minutes he showed Ziege a clean pair of heels only for Heskey to fail to make contact in front of goal and a minute later a carbon copy move this time saw Heskey sliding in at the far post but unable to hit the target. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Glenn Hoddle introduced Sergei Rebrov for Davies as we went with three up front but it was Owen again who should have made it 2-0, latching onto Hamman&rsquo&#59;s pass but lifting his shot wide. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Worryingly for Liverpool and England, Owen had to limp off after that chance. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">We continued to push without really creating a clear-cut chance as the outstanding Sami Hyypia and his defence had an answer to everything. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">But play was becoming more and more stretched. Barmby&rsquo&#59;s goalbound shot was deflected wide and Henchoz threw himself in front of Poyet&rsquo&#59;s effort. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">In the end, another decent performance but Liverpool just shaded it. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">&nbsp&#59;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p> <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">&nbsp&#59;<o:p></o:p>