Spurs 2-6 Liverpool (PL2)
Report from Hotspur Way
19 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Marcus Edwards and Ryan Loft were on target in the second half, but the damage had already been done as our young side crashed to a 6-2 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League 2 on Monday night (September 19).
The Reds decimated us in the early moments at Stevenage, opening up a 3-0 lead inside eight minutes and then adding a fourth shortly after the half-hour mark as we simply failed to match up to them at the back.
It was a different story after the break as the introduction of Under-18s players Tashan Oakley-Boothe and TJ Eyoma saw us dictate the play and the excellent Edwards deservedly reduced the arrears.
But any modicum of pride we'd recovered was soon lost as Cameron Brannagan and substitute Brooks Lennon capitalised on our defensive frailties to extend the Reds' lead, with Loft netting a consolation from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Liverpool - Harry Wilson - 3mins
The onslaught began almost straight away as ex-Spur Kevin Stewart played the ball out wide to the left for Ben Woodburn, whose low centre found its way to Matty Virtue. His shot was well saved on his line by goalkeeper Tom Glover but Liverpool recycled the attack and skipper Harry Wilson was able to steer the ball in from six yards out.
Goal: Spurs 0-2 Liverpool - Ben Woodburn - 6mins
The second goal followed three minutes after the first as right-back Kyle Walker-Peters was caught on his heels while trying to contain an awkward ball down his flank and Woodburn barged him aside before storming through to slot low beyond Glover.
Goal: Spurs 0-3 Liverpool - Cameron Brannagan - 8mins
The Reds were blistering in attack, looking a serious goal threat every time they got the ball in our half and they capitalised on our woeful start to make it 3-0 on eight minutes as the ball was worked to Brannagan in the box and he drilled in from eight yards.
Above: Christian Maghoma in action.
Goal: Spurs 0-4 Liverpool - Trent Alexander-arnold - 33mins
Liverpool continued on the front foot with Wilson seeing his shot blocked on the line and Toni Gomes being denied one-on-one by the advancing Glover, but there was no stopping Trent Alexander-Arnold's piledriver in the 33rd minute. He was left in space on the right and punished us by rifling across Glover and into the top corner with his right foot from 22 yards out.
Goal: Spurs 1-4 Liverpool - Marcus Edwards - 57mins
The second period followed a very different pattern as our half-time substitutes made a noticeable difference, Eyoma bringing a sense of calm to the back four and his fellow first-year scholar Oakley-Boothe making things happen on the left. But it was Edwards who provided the spark. His excellent footwork meant Liverpool couldn't get the ball away from him anywhere on the pitch and he used that to his advantage after Oakley-Boothe found him in space just outside the box, working his way through a congested area and eventually stepping out goal-side before firing past goalkeeper Kamil Grabara from six yards.
Goal: Spurs 1-5 Liverpool - Cameron Brannagan - 79mins
Joe Muscatt went close to grabbing a second goal for us when he flashed a shot wide of the far post after more good work by Edwards but what had, until that point, been a much-improved second-half performance went sour when Brannagan worked himself an opportunity in our box and curled into the far top corner from the left angle.
Goal: Spurs 1-6 Liverpool - Brooks Lennon - 84mins
It was all too easy for the Reds as they helped themselves to a sixth goal. Zenon Stylianides' loose back-pass was pounced on by Brannagan, he squared for substitute Brooks Lennon to surge through in the right channel and with nobody in Lilywhite ready to close him down, he lashed past Glover at his near post.
Goal: Spurs 2-6 Liverpool - Ryan Loft (pen) - 90+6mins
We kept the door shut in the closing moments and grabbed a second goal with the last kick of the game as Stylianides played in Edwards, he was brought down in the box by Corey Whelan and Loft hammered the resulting penalty into the bottom corner. Grabara dived the right way but the ball was out of his reach.
Coach Ugo Ehiogu said
"We’ve been very brutally honest with some of the players. I could have taken off more than two at half-time. The minimum things are to provide passion, play with a bit of emotion and be aggressive but too many didn’t do that, think they don’t have to do that and it won’t be accepted by me or by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
"On the plus side I thought TJ Eyoma was the best defender by far. He was only on for 45 minutes, he’s only 16 years old but he showed a calm head and defended cleanly, I thought Tom Glover made two or three key saves and if there’s one good thing that comes out of it, I hope Ryan Loft now knows he’s capable of contributing to a football match. He’s got to get more within the frame of the goal and we’ve got to get more service to him from out wide but I’m pleased for him because he’s battling to get some confidence and hopefully today encourages that. I thought Tashan Oakley-Boothe, another 16-year-old, was one of the better players as well and it’s pleasing that he’s come out with some credit thanks to an honest work ethic.
"These are small crumbs of comfort, though, from what was otherwise the worst defeat I’ve ever been involved with. It was the manner of the defeat and the experience that we had out there that let us down. We have to let the dust settle a little bit, we’ll analyse the game, put the horror show on for the players to see and all you can do is hope that they’ll respond in a positive way on Friday, if they’re lucky enough to be in the team. We’ve got a game Friday at St Mary’s and we need big characters who aren’t going to be afraid and are going to show bravery."
Spurs: Glover, Walker-Peters, Muscatt, Owens (Eyoma 46), Maghoma, Walkes (c), Tracey (Hinds 84), Stylianides, Loft, Edwards, Pritchard (Oakley-Boothe 46). Substitutes (not used): McDermott (GK).
Liverpool: Grabara, Alexander-Arnold, Maguire (Garcia 87), Ilori, Whelan, Stewart, Wilson (c), Virtue (Phillips 59), Gomes (Lennon 72), Brannagan, Woodburn. Substitutes (not used): Brewitt, Firth (GK).
Goals: Spurs - Edwards 57, Loft 90+6 (pen); Liverpool - Wilson 3, Woodburn 6, Brannagan 8, 79, Alexander-Arnold 33, Lennon 84.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Maghoma 45+4, Oakley-Boothe 47, Loft 70; Liverpool - Wilson 17, Alexander-Arnold 40, Brannagan 88, Ilori 90+3.
Referee: Carl Brook.
We make the trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton on Friday night. It’s a second home game inside a week for the Saints after they battled out a 2-2 draw with Leicester City at their Staplewood training complex on Monday.