Spurs 0-0 Liverpool
Report from the Lane
17 October 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
No goals at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon as we were held by Liverpool in an entertaining contest which saw us remain unbeaten in eight Premier League matches.
Despite plenty of endeavour and commitment from both teams, neither side could find a breakthrough with Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet making two fine saves to thwart our best opportunities from Clinton Njie and Harry Kane.
The visitors did hit the crossbar through Divock Origi during a bright opening spell, but Hugo Lloris was rarely seriously troubled in what was a fairly even, often tense match which kept the crowd on edge until the final whistle.
Mauricio Pochettino made two changes from the side which drew at Swansea City in our last game, the suspended Eric Dier making way for Mousa Dembele while Danny Rose took over at left-back from Ben Davies.
The visitors made a bright start under their new manager Jurgen Klopp, applying plenty of pressure when we were in possession and forcing a couple of early corners, although nothing that duly worried Lloris at that stage.
We were dealt an early blow when Nacer Chadli picked up an injury and was replaced by Njie after just 11 minutes, before Liverpool almost grabbed the lead moments later.
Adam Lallana delivered a corner from the far side, Emre Can got a good connection on the ball and Origi headed goalwards from six yards out. His effort hit the crossbar, bounced down close to the goalline and, after a scramble in which Origi looked like he was going to poke home, Christian Eriksen smashed clear.
In truth, it was a poor opening 20 minutes from us as we gave away possession cheaply and were struggling to get going, but credit to the players as they pulled themselves together and started to get a grip on the game, finishing the half the stronger side.
Substitute Njie had two chances within a couple of minutes, the first a drive from 25-yards - blocked by Mamadou Sakho on 27 minutes - before Mignolet denied him shortly afterwards. Great pressure from Dele Alli won us possession midway inside the Liverpool half, Kane picked the ball up and laid it into the path of Njie who sent a shot with the outside of his right root heading towards the back of the net, but Mignolet produced a fine diving save to tip the ball around the post.
We were starting to dominate proceedings and after Eriksen’s 25-yard shot was deflected behind for a corner, Jan Vertonghen’s header flew over the bar from Erik Lamela’s set-piece.
At the other end, Liverpool forced a corner of their own but Martin Skrtel’s header was blocked, before we were twice denied by last-ditch defending from the Reds.
Eriksen threaded a pass in to Kane, he advanced into the area and let fly with his left foot but Mignolet saved with his legs. The rebound fell kindly to Alli who controlled and hit a half-volley which Sakho blocked a few yards from goal.
Four minutes from the break, Njie nipped in to win the ball from Nathaniel Clyne and fizzed a 20-yard drive which just skimmed the top of the net, while the final word of the half went to Liverpool as Can saw an effort blocked and Philippe Coutinho attempted to curl in from the left but it was comfortable for Lloris.
We began the second period in much better style than we did the first, gaining an early sight of goal when Skrtel fouled Kane wide on the left and Eriksen whipped in a free-kick, but Mignolet gathered. And, after a patient build-up around the edge of the area involving Njie, Rose and Eriksen, we worked the ball out to Kyle Walker, who again tested the Liverpool keeper from distance.
The game was fairly even midway through the half, both sides enjoying spells of possession without really carving out chances, although Dembele did deny his Belgian compatriot Origi a sight of goal with a superb tackle 20 yards out as he threatened to burst through.
Liverpool were probing in and around the edge of our area on 70 minutes but we managed to hold firm and broke away when Vertonghen stole in to win the ball and ping a long pass over the top for Kane. He shrugged off Sakho and cut inside but his effort was blocked.
A collision in midfield on 78 minutes between James Milner and Rose left the Spurs man prone on the ground but the referee waved play on and Liverpool broke away, working the ball out to Origi on the left who fired in a shot from a tight angle, but Lloris saved well.
It was a fiercely competitive game with neither side giving an inch but we so nearly grabbed the breakthrough with five minutes left. Rose clipped a ball down the left flank for Eriksen, who came inside and rode a couple of tackles before laying it off for Kane. He fired towards goal from 20 yards out but Mignolet produced another fine save to deny us again.
Lloris was sent scrambling across his goal in the 89th minute after Can found space 25 yards out and sent a shot just past the far post. And when Alberto Moreno smashed an injury-time free-kick into our wall from a good position on the right side of the box, any chance of a goal in the game disappeared with the whistle blowing seconds later.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"We created more clear chances to score and if one team deserved to win in the end it was us,” stated the Head Coach after the goalless draw.
“I’m very pleased with the players, they put in a big effort, a fantastic performance,” added Mauricio.
“It was no coincidence that when Nacer was out with the injury that Liverpool created their best chance from the corner.
“After that, we dominated for the last 25 minutes of the first half, had three clear chances and were unlucky not to score.
“In the second half it was 50-50, Harry had a chance and he was also unlucky not to score.
"In the end, we need to be happy because the performance was good and we can take positives. We showed we are solid and difficult for our opponents. We’re still young and we improve every day.”
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Rose, Dembele, Alli, Lamela (Townsend 87), Eriksen, Chadli (Njie 11), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Davies, Trippier, Wimmer, Winks.
Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Lucas, Milner, Lallana (Allen 81), Coutinho (Ibe 87), Origi. Substitutes (not used): Bogdan, Toure, Sinclair, Teixeira, Randall.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Lamela; Liverpool – Milner, Lucas.
Referee: Craig Pawson.