Antonio Conte faced a touch choice for selection with injuries mounting up, the latest one being Heung-Min Son and his fractured orbital bone that will knock him out of action for awhile. Ultimately, Ivan Perisic received the nod up top with Kane and not much else changed with the selection given the health of his usual Starting XI.
2’ - We knew the formation would be interesting, and sure enough it’s Kane and Perisic up top in a 3-5-2. Perisic isn’t a stranger to it, but it’s the first time with Spurs he’s been in this spot.
10’ - Feeling out process is done as Liverpool have had a couple half chances. Spurs had one very early that didn’t amount to much else other than a moment of good pressing. The challenge for Spurs is definitely generating a good attack without elite pace in the lineup.
11’ - Goal Liverpool (Salah, 0-1) - You knew it was coming as soon as it came down in the box. Nunez garners the attention, leaving Salah free for an easy pass. There’s nothing Hugo can do with that one as he slots it into the corner.
16’ - Spurs with two big chances as Kane feeds Perisic in the box. The headed effort is scuffed but almost finds the net before clanging off the post. Hojbjerg gets a second crack with a curling effort but Allison makes the save.
20’ - Sessegnon gets into the penalty area and is trying to get the cross lined up, but Alexander-Arnold gives him a forearm shiver shove that gets no call. VAR check says no penalty because of course it does.
27’ - Fantastic pass Dier to Sess to get behind Alexander-Arnold, but the first touch is too heavy and snuffed out by Konate. Spurs are finding some weak spots. They just need to capitalize.
34’ - Good work by Perisic to beat Alexander-Arnold on the flank to keep an attack going. Sess gets the ball after and eats a hard foul from the fullback, who escapes a booking.
40’ - Goal Liverpool (Salah, 0-2) - Unreal. Dier with an awful error as he tries to head a ball back to Hugo, but scuffs it off his shoulder. Salah gathers it and flips it over him.
42’ - Almost another disaster as Hugo’s clearance kick is blocked by Firmino. This error goes unpunished as the French captain gathers the ball after.
HALF-TIME: Liverpool lead Spurs 2-0. That’s seven matches in a row now where Spurs have not scored in the first half.
46’ - No changes for either side as the second half kicks off.
49’ - Great corner into the box that Dier gets on the end of, but Allison snatches it before it goes in. Good start to the half.
49’ - HOW????? Fantastic ball into the box by Sess to Perisic, who beats Allison but puts it off the crossbar.
51’ - Another chance as Kane gathers a scuffed cross in the penalty box and passes to Sess. Going for placement over power, Sess puts it wide of the net.
54’ - Liverpool hit on the counter attack, almost a mirror image of the first goal. Nunez lays it off to Salah who puts it on net, but Hugo makes the save this time.
65’ - Deki getting ready to come on and this stadium is ready for his return.
67’ - Free kick earned as Firmino makes a dumb foul. Spurs won’t make the changes just yet as Perisic lines it up.
68’ - Fantastic ball into the box finds Kane, but the headed effort is just wide of the net.
68’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Matt Doherty checks in for Ryan Sessegnon. Dejan Kulusevski comes in for Emerson Royal and gets a thunderous applause.
70’ - GOAL TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR!!! (Kane, 1-2) - WELCOME BACK DEJAN KULUSEVSKI! Absolutely perfect ball by Deki into the box to feed Kane, who one-times it into the net!
71’ - Antonio Conte gets a booking after he smacks a ball out of the hand of a Liverpool coach. I was ready to be mad....then I laughed really hard.
74’ - Substitution, Liverpool - Jones comes on for Firmino. Henderson comes on for Elliott.
79’ - Close again for Spurs as Perisic drives the corner into the penalty box, but Lenglet’s header is just over the crossbar. It feels like it’s coming.
81’ - Premier League officiating, everyone. Pierre gets cut down at midfield with no call, then gets fouled again just outside the penalty area. Madley shrugs his shoulders. Unreal.
82’ - Close for Liverpool as Nunez blasts one off the corner of the goal, but the flag was up for offside anyway.
83’ - Another chance for the equalizer as Dier loops a cross into the box for Bentancur, but the headed effort is saved.
87’ - Substitution, Liverpool - Gomez comes on for Nunez as Pool look to hang onto their lead.
88’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Lucas comes on for Yves Bissouma.
89’ - No idea how this match is still 2-1. Another fantastic ball into the box but nobody can get on the end of it. Spurs have done everything right in this second half except get that second goal.
90’ - There will be four added minutes....wait, only FOUR!?!
90’+1’ - Substitution, Liverpool - Mohamed Salah makes way for Oxlade-Chamberlain.
90’+3’ - A flurry of action in Liverpool’s box, one that included a possible high boot to Lucas’ face, ends in a goal kick.
Full Time: Spurs 1-2 Liverpool. A lot to discuss.
Thoughts on the Match
- It’s baffling to me how Spurs play like a youth team in the first half, and then transform into the Destroyer of Worlds in the second half. That was almost entirely one-way traffic that second half and Spurs did not deserve to lose.
- That being said, the two errors Spurs made were punished and that’s a tough pill to swallow. Especially Dier’s blunder before half.
- Dejan Kulusevski is a sight for sore eyes. He came on and made an immediate impact.
- I thought our midfield, largely, was pretty good. Bissouma and Bentancur were both solid and Hojbjerg was his usual marauding self.
- All of this still leads me to a question I ask myself every week: Why is officiating so atrocious? As someone who refereed four sports for fifteen years, I understand the challenges. TAA’s push in the box is a foul. We know this because he got called for it outside the box ten minutes later. THREE high boots didn’t get called, and one seemed to catch Lucas in the penalty area at the end of the match. Not even a thought to call it, and that’s a problem that seems to come up every match week. I’m not naive, though: PGMOL will release a statement, people will get upset for a day, and we’ll move onto the next one.
- Carabao Cup third round in three days for Spurs against Forest, then Leeds on Saturday before the World Cup break.