Liverpool 2-1 Spurs
Report from Anfield
25 October 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Vincent Janssen offered us late hope but our young team were ultimately undone by Daniel Sturridge after a valiant effort in the EFL Cup against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the team that started at Bournemouth on Saturday - Eric Dier the only survivor - and only three players were over the age of 24, Michel Vorm, Tom Carroll and Kieran Trippier. Dier, back in midfield, wore the captain's armband.
Sturridge struck after nine minutes and was denied soon after by Vorm, who had another fine game deputising for Hugo Lloris. Indeed, as the night progressed, Vorm would save from Divock Origi, a fantastic fingertip from the top corner, Georgino Wijnaldum and Danny Ings.
However, there was nothing the Dutch stopper could do when Sturridge raced clear on 64 minutes and the second goal gave the home side the buffer they would eventually need.
Pochettino's teams carry a never-say-die attitude and it was on show again. Erik Lamela buzzed around off the bench and was chopped down by Lucas Leiva for a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, clinically converted by Janssen.
Liverpool remained a threat on the break - Sturridge denied a hat-trick by the crossbar - but we piled forward at every opportunity.
Lamela went down again in the box by Alberto Moreno only for penalty appeals to be waved away and then a late final chance for substitute Shayon Harrison on his debut as Lamela switched play but the young striker allowed the ball to run away from him.
The players were out but had no reason to be down on the final whistle after giving their all.
Below: Harry Winks challenges Alberto Moreno
Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the side that drew with Bournemouth, with only Eric Dier retaining his place in a youthful team. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou was granted his first start and Luke Amos and Shayon Harrison were on the bench for the first time in a competitive game. Jurgen Klopp, who made 11 changes from Liverpool’s 2-1 win over West Brom, gave a start to 23-year-old centre-midfielder Kevin Stewart, formerly of our Academy.
Goal: Liverpool 1-0 Spurs - Daniel Sturridge - 9mins
Sturridge prodded home a fortuitous goal to give the home side an early lead. Marko Grujic capitalised on Nkoudou’s slip outside the box and his deflected shot fell to the onrushing Sturridge, who tapped in from close range.
Saves: Vorm keeps out Sturridge - 11-18mins
Liverpool were searching for a second with real purpose and Michel Vorm denied Sturridge doubling his tally within two minutes when he stretched to tip over a curling effort. The England striker scorned another chance soon after when he failed to trouble Vorm with a tame right-footed strike from a promising position.
Chance: Janssen heads over - 21mins
Our first real chance on goal came mid-way through the first period. Kieran Trippier’s out-swinging free-kick was met by Janssen at the back post, but the Dutch striker could not convert his header on goal from a tight angle.
Below: Michel Vorm was in fine form at Anfield
Save: Vorm thwarts Liverpool again - 59mins
Liverpool started the second-half on the front foot and Vorm was at it again to deny them when he flung himself at Divock Origi’s venomous long-range strike.
Goal: Liverpool 2-0 Spurs - Daniel Sturridge - 64mins
Georginio Wijnaldum played Sturridge through on goal and he calmly slotted past the onrushing Vorm to put the hosts two up.
Goal: Liverpool 2-1 Spurs - Vincent Janssen penalty - 76mins
We got the chance to get back into the game when Lucas fouled Erik Lamela in the box. Janssen obliged by sending Mignolet the wrong way and blasting a driven effort down the middle of the Belgian’s goal.
Woodwork: Sturridge denied a hat-trick - 81mins
Sturridge planted a curler on target from the left angle that cannoned back off the crossbar - with a possible touch on the way from Vorm.
Final chance: Harrison close - 87mins
Erik Lamela spotted youngster Shayon Harrison, just off the bench, in space in the right channel and pinged a crossfield pass to the young debutant, who unfortunately let it run away from him.
Below: Vincent Janssen battles with Ragnar Klavan
Mauricio Pochettino said
"I’m happy, I’m very pleased with the performance. I’m disappointed with the result of course but the effort from the team was fantastic. Liverpool are a very good team and we fought and competed until the end of the game and that is very important for us."
Skipper Eric Dier said
"It was a very proud moment for me, I’m delighted that the manager gave me the chance but obviously disappointed that I couldn’t captain us to a victory. I like to think that regardless of whether or not I’m captain then I’m the same kind of person on the pitch. It was a very nice moment for me and it’s important to just be yourself."
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold (Clyne 68), Lucas (c), Klavan, Moreno; Stewart, Grujic (Can 89), Ejaria, Wijnaldum; Origi (Ings 68), Sturridge. Substitutes (not used): Karius, Lovren, Lallana, Mane.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Vorm; Trippier, Carter-Vickers, Wimmer, Davies; Dier (c) (Wanyama 67), Winks; Onomah, Carroll (Lamela 61), Nkoudou (Harrison 83); Janssen. Substitutes (not used): Lopez, Walkes, Vertonghen, Amos.
Yellow cards: Liverpool - Alexander-Arnold 26, Ings 82, Grujic 84; Spurs - Winks 90+1, Wimmer 90+2.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.
We return to Premier League action at White Hart Lane on Saturday to face 2015/16 champions Leicester City. Last season’s home fixture against the Foxes resulted in a 1-0 loss, but we came out on top of a thrilling game in March 2015 when Harry Kane’s first ever Premier League hat-trick saw us win 4-3.