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Lady Luck limps back into Liverpool


Life President
May 29, 2005
Liverpool haven’t exactly had the best of luck this season. Karma paid it back with a vengeance tonight as troubled Merseyside club recorded a precious win against a Spurs side battling with them for that coveted 4th place finish.

The game started at a tentative pace, with Spurs looking to make Liverpool work hard for possession. A clever piece of play saw Bale released down the left flank and the Welshman whipped in an inviting cross that came inches from colliding with Kyriagkos and a certain own goal. Seconds later, Liverpool had the lead. Reina launched the ball forward towards Aquilani, who collided with Dawson as the defender failed to clear. Dirk Kuyt, freshly deployed as a sole forward in the wake of Torres’ absence, slotted past Gomes to give Liverpool the lead and the relief was clearly evident within The Kop.

The rest of the first half was a drab affair dictated by two midfields who collided with each other at every opportunity. Javier Mascherano could consider himself lucky to have only received a yellow card as his persistent fouling certainly caught the eye of Joe Jordan. Just before the break, Spurs were denied a stonewall penalty as Kyriagkos attempted a premature attempt to swap shirts with Peter Crouch in the box as Bale whipped in another free kick. In a moment that can only be described as utter lunacy, Howard Webb’s official on the far side saw it in his power to award Liverpool the free kick.

I dread to think of the repercussions should there have been a referee assessor in the crowd tonight, as it was only one of several key decisions the officials got wrong. None more costly than the incident just after half time…

Defoe, clearly offside, was walking back when a ball flew over the top towards Kyriagkos, who laid it back into the path of Pepe Reina. Defoe moved quickly to rob Reina of the ball, outfox the sprawling Kyriagkos and slot home for what should have been Spurs’ equaliser. The officials had other ideas, and the linesman eventually flagged for offside.

Liverpool eventually ran out 2-0 winners, Kuyt converting a penalty at the second attempt in the dying minutes. Liverpool have the win they so desperately need against one of their positional rivals, but don’t let this mask the frailties that are still lurking in the background like a prospective Arab takeover bid.

Had the officials been spot on, like Howard Webb so frequently is, then the result could well have been different. A packed Liverpool midfield toiled against a fleet-footed Tottenham midfield, Lucas as persistent in giving possession away as Mascherano was in fouling. Special mention, however, goes to Alberto Aquilani, who looks no more of a £20million midfielder than I do, and I’d probably be able to play more than 60 minutes per week without a rest.

This result will paper over the cracks and Liverpool’s form in the Premier League isn’t actually any worse than anybody else’s. They still face tough competition for a Champions League finish, but Rafa’s promise looks ever so slightly more realistic tonight.