Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Final score 3-2, instant reaction

Paul Gilham

One nice Liverpool goal, plus a wide variety of errors and some questionable (lack of) substitution patterns helped the Reds to a 3-2 win over Tottenham.

I'm really too mad to write anything sensible and level-headed at the moment. I really just hate everything. I kind of want to go Regina George-style burn book on just about every member of the squad and AVB at the moment, but I'm going to restrain myself. Here goes.

Tottenham Hotspur came from one goal down to take the lead at Anfield, but fell apart late in the second half as Liverpool came out 3-2 victors. Luis Suarez drew a penalty in the dying minutes on a shove by Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Steven Gerrard converted to win the match for his side.

Suarez also scored the opener at the end of a brilliant move in the 21st minute. A exchange between Jose Enrique and Coutinho completely tore up the Tottenham right flank, and Enrique slipped in Suarez, who finished brilliantly at the near post.

Just before the stroke of halftime, Spurs equalized to change the game considerably. Following a set piece, Gareth Bale swung a cross from the right flank towards the back post, and Jan Vertonghen got on the end of it with a delayed run into the box. Just seven minutes into the second half, Vertonghen struck again, with Bale providing the free kick delivery. This goal was much less pretty from Spurs, with the free kick resulting in a scramble, but Vertonghen came out on top and poked past Brad Jones.

In the 59th minute, Liverpool brought on Joe Allen for Coutinho to solidify their midfield. It turned out to be a game-changing substitution. Jake Livermore and Scott Parker looked in control of the game from the start of the second half up until that point, but with more numbers in the center, the game began to turn in Liverpool's favor.

While Andre Villas-Boas could have (and probably should have) made changes to counter this, it's hard to blame the manager for the errors that led to the next two Liverpool goals. Kyle Walker, who was partially at fault for the first Liverpool goal, also had a hand in the second with a horrendous back pass. Hugo Lloris didn't help matters with his horrible attempted clearance, which he put right into Stewart Downing, and the Reds winger finished to level the match at 2-2.

Tottenham had a couple of solid half-chances on the counter, but Liverpool continued to control the game following their equalizer, and inexplicably, Villas-Boas continued with his team as-is. Parker and Livermore came under even more pressure as the match wore on, and looked even less able to deal with it as Liverpool always looked like the more likely side to score a winner.

Vertonghen and Michael Dawson defended well enough to deny Liverpool a goal from open play, but they were eventually able to win a penalty, thanks to errors from Jermain Defoe and Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Defoe played a shocking pass back into his own penalty area and Assou-Ekotto shoved Suarez while trying to win the ball, leading to the referee pointing to the spot. Steven Gerrard stepped up to convert the winner for Liverpool.

Lewis Holtby and Tom Carroll, two players who would have been incredibly helpful in slowing down and controlling the game when things began to tip in Liverpool's favor, entered the game after they took the lead. Their introductions were too little, too late.

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