Robert Vilahamn kept the same lineup from last Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City. It looked a little bit like this:
The two sides played out a cautious first half with few clear cut opportunities. Spurs had their best chance of the half when Martha got her head onto the end of a cross, but only managed to head the ball directly at the goalkeeper.
Liverpool took control in the opening stages of the second half, but ultimately failed to break through. Vilahamn’s substitutions in the 61st minute helped to change the tide–Jess Naz and Kit Graham came on for Beth England and Olga Ahtinen, who had both had very quiet games. Spurs then enjoyed their best spell of play, culminating in a brilliantly cheeky goal from Celin Bizet in the 71st minute. Martha Thomas played her in centrally, and Celin used the side of her calf to chip Liverpool’s keeper.
Spurs had opportunities to seal the deal–Amanda Nilden hit the post when she could’ve squared to teammates, and substitute Wang Shuang fired from point blank range directly at the keeper. Ultimately, Spurs couldn’t hang on to the lead. Charli Grant had a momentary lapse of attention and gave up the ball in her own box. Höbinger fired from range, and Barbora couldn’t stop it from sneaking in at the post. The timing of this goal was a bit of a gut punch, but on the day the result was probably fair to both sides.
I have to be honest, I like the style of football both of these teams play, and I was expecting a better game. This game featured a large quantity of sloppy passing on both sides–the generous interpretation of that is that the two sides’ defenses were doing a good job of disrupting play and applying pressure, though I’m not sure it was entirely that.
All things considered, this underwhelming game is not the end of the world. In the run up, I felt a bit like this was the current best-of-the-rest derby due to our league positions, but it really wasn’t–we’re barely more than halfway through the season, and a lot can still happen. In the end, this game was a good indicator of our current status, and it was a great opportunity to bed in new players against a side similar to our level.