Sunday, 30 March 2014

Five Favourite Wins Against - Tottenham at Anfield

Continuing the series where I look back at my five favourite wins the Liverpool’s next opponents.  This weekend Liverpool play against Tottenham at Anfield.  Here are my five favourite wins from past encounters, with some of them packed full of goals.

2nd September 1978
LIVERPOOL   (3)   7   (Dalglish 8, 20, R.Kennedy 28, Johnson 48, 58, Neal pen 64, McDermott 76)
TOTTENHAM   (0)   0

LIVERPOOL: Clemence; Neal, Thompson, Hughes (Johnson), A.Kennedy; Case, McDermott, Souness, R.Kennedy; Dalglish, Heighway

TOTTENHAM: Daines; McAllister, Perryman, Lacy, Naylor; Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa, McNab; Duncan, Taylor

After winning back-to-back League titles in 1976 and 1977, Liverpool lost out to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1978.  They returned for the new season in determined mood, having won all three of their opening matches, 2-1, 3-0 & 4-1.  Today they were to go more than one better.

Tottenham had just returned to the Division One having spent a season in Division Two and had shocked the football world by signing two players from Argentina’s victorious World Cup winning squad.  Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa had inspired Spurs to claim a 1-1 draw at defending Champions, Forest, on the opening day.  They were then brought down to earth by Aston Villa winning 4-1 at White Hart Lane.  But today, Spurs discovered what it was really like playing at the top level as they attempted to do something no Spurs side had done since 1912 – win at Anfield.

Kenny Dalglish, who’d scored in every game so far this season, got the home side off and running after just 8 minutes.  Jimmy Case had mishit his shot and it fell to Dalglish on the penalty spot with his back to goal.  With a turn, which was to become a trademark of the man, he lost his marker, Lacy, and fired a left-foot shot past Daines.  After 20 minutes, Dalglish doubled his, and his sides, tally.  Heighway set McDermott away on the right, and his cross was poorly dealt with by the visitors allowing Dalglish to find Ray Kennedy at the far post.  His shot was stopped by Perryman almost on the line and bounced out to Souness to played it back for Case to drive it from just outside the area.  Once again, Case misdirected his shot but Dalglish was able to turn it in.  Then just before half-time the lead was three.  McDermott, wide on the right, hit a long cross to the far post where Ray Kennedy got up to head in the third.  The visitors went in completely shell-shocked, but worse was to come for them.

In the second half Liverpool completely took their opponents apart and it only took three minutes for them to add to their lead.  David Johnson had come on as a first half substitute for Emlyn Hughes and the change in formation was to their advantage.  McDermott was again involved down the right and his low cross found Dalglish on the edge of the area.  Some great one-touch play saw Dalglish knock it back to Johnson, who then found Souness and he in turn clipped it over Lacy for Dalglish to try and beat Daines from the right-hand edge of the 6-yard box.  Daines managed to block the shot but it bobbled clear for Johnson to fire a low shot past three Spurs defenders for 4-0.  Ten minutes later and Johnson was at it again.  This move began on the left as Ray Kennedy found Dalglish in the inside-left position.  He waited for Johnson to make a diagonal run and his pass was perfect to allow Johnson to fire another low shot through Daines legs for 5-0. 

John Duncan produced a miraculous clearance off the line to deny a 6th goal but then tripped Heighway in the area to give Phil Neal the simple task of beating an already demoralised Daines to confirm the 6-0 scoreline.  Then came the goal which is still talked about today.  It has to be one of my favourite goals of all-time and unfortunately I cannot find a clip which includes enough of the build-up to qualify it as such a classic.

Tottenham have a corner on the right and defending the near post is Terry McDermott.  This is important to picture this in isolation as it gives you a full appreciation of what follows.  The kick is defended and the ball comes to Dalglish who is about 30 yards from his own goal.  Cue a trademark McDermott run.  Once you watch the clip you just pick up McDermott behind Dalglish to his right, with both Argentinians between them.  Dalglish plays a ball to Johnson who is just inside the Liverpool half, who controls it and hits a right-foot pass out to Heighway wide on the left wing.  As Johnson plays the pass, McDermott is now just behind him having made it to the centre circle.  The ball from Johnson is played ahead of Heighway enabling him to run onto and hit a first time cross into the area where it is met superbly at the back post by McDermott, who had literally run the full length of the pitch.  McDermott met it perfectly to head in the 7th goal and easily the best of the day.  It was a classic goal and epitomised that Liverpool side and the confidence they had in their own, and each other’s, ability.

This was record season for Liverpool as they broke a number of records such as most points, most goals, fewest goals conceded at home and most clean-sheets on their way to winning the title.  For Tottenham they recovered to finish 11th.

15th May 1982
LIVERPOOL   (0)   3   (Lawrenson 51, Dalglish 55, Whelan 87)
TOTTENHAM (1)   1   (Hoddle 27)

LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Thompson, Hansen, A.Kennedy; Lee, Souness, Lawrenson, Whelan; Rush, Dalglish

TOTTENHAM: Clemence; Perryman, Miller, Roberts, Hughton; Brooke, Hazard, Hoddle, Villa; Crooks (Price), Falco

As 1978-79 had been a reaction to the disappointment in the League the previous season, so the 1981-82 season had been a reaction to finishing 5th the season before.  When they lost to Manchester City at home on Boxing Day, Liverpool were back in 12th having already lost 3 times at Anfield.  But they would lose just twice more as they won an incredible 20 of their final 25 matches.  When Tottenham, in 4th, arrived at Anfield, Liverpool knew a win would see them win the title.  Liverpool had already been successful against Spurs when they came from behind to beat them at Wembley in the League Cup Final.  This season had seen Bob Paisley make some difficult, but necessary changes to the squad personnel as Ray Clemence, Ray Kennedy and Jimmy Case departed with youngsters such as Ronnie Whelan, Ian Rush, Craig Johnston and Bruce Grobbelaar coming in to right a new chapter in the club’s history.

Tottenham stunned The Kop as Glenn Hoddle scored a stunning opening goal, but the home side didn’t panic.  The visitors had the lead at the break and then came one of the proudest moments I can recall in a football ground.  As Tottenham came out for the second half they were defending the Kop end.  As Ray Clemence, a former Anfield favourite, was greeted by a standing ovation from the home crowd .

But pretty soon all pleasantries were put aside as Liverpool had a Championship to win.  A corner from the right was met by Mark Lawrenson and the scores were level.  Then barely four minutes later, Kenny Dalglish was involved in the build-up which saw Whelan loop the ball over the defence and Dalglish was one-on-one with Clemence, and he made no mistake.  As Tottenham managed a couple of chances to try and equalise, news was coming in that Ipswich were losing at home to Nottingham Forest and then Ronnie Whelan, who’d broken Spurs hearts at Wembley, scored the third and it was party time at Anfield.  Grobbelaar launched a long-kick which was poorly dealt with by Miller on the edge of his own area and it fell to Whelan, who chested it down and as the Spurs defence parted like the Red Sea, the Irishman was able to fire past Clemence to confirm the win and the title.

28th September 1985
LIVERPOOL   (1)   4   (Lawrenson 44, Rush 56, Molby pen, 61, pen 67)
TOTTENHAM   (0)   1   (Chiedozie 46)

LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Hansen, Lawrenson, Beglin; Johnston, McMahon (MacDonald), Molby, Whelan; Rush, Dalglish

TOTTENHAM: Clemence; Thomas, Perryman, Roberts, Hughton; Allen, Ardiles (Mabbutt), Hoddle; Chiedozie, Falco, Waddle

At the beginning of the 1985-86 season Liverpool were facing a determined challenge from Manchester United who had won all of their 9 matches.  Liverpool, beaten just once, were in 2nd and keen to win back their title lost to Everton the previous season.  Tottenham were 5th having won their last 4 matches. 

Tottenham had finally ended their dismal run when they won at Anfield the previous season, for the first time since 1912, and were keen to make it a double.  The first half was a tough affair with McMahon and Whelan determined to halt any progress the visitors might make.  Then as half-time approached, Lawrenson ran along the bye-line to beat Clemence from the tightest of angles.  But soon after the break, Chiedozie equalised for Tottenham when he fired a shot high over Grobbelaar.  Just over ten minutes later, Beglin’s measured pass beat the Tottenham defence and Rush shot past Clemence from about 15 yards out.  Then just after the hour Liverpool were awarded two penalties.  The first was for a trip from Hughton on Whelan, and the second was for a foul by Roberts on Ian Rush.  Jan Molby took both kicks and, unsurprisingly, didn’t miss with either.

A comprehensive win for a Liverpool side who went onto do ‘the double’.  Liverpool won the title by 2pts from Everton and then beat them 3-1 in the FA Cup Final.  Tottenham finished 10th in the League.

8th May 1993
LIVERPOOL   (2)   6   (Rush 20, 88, Barnes 45, 89, Nethercott og 49, Walters pen 85)
TOTTENHAM   (0)   2   (Sheringham 46, Sedgeley 77)

LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Jones, Nicol, Wright, Burrows; Walters, Hutchison, Redknapp, Harkness; Rush, Barnes

TOTTENHAM: Walker; McDonald, Mabbutt, Ruddock, van den Hauwe (Nethercott); Anderton, Hill, Sedgeley, Watson (Dearden); Sheringham , Allen

The inaugural season of the Premier League had been a frustrating one for Liverpool as Graeme Souness had kicked out experienced players and brought in several dubious replacements.  But the final day would prove to be a classic.  Liverpool were lying in 8th at the start of the day, ahead of Tottenham on goal difference.  They had lost their last two matches, at Norwich and Oldham and their tally of 15 defeats is one of their worst records in the top flight.

In the opening stages Paul Allen rattled the Liverpool crossbar with a header but then on 20 minutes, Ian Rush opened the scoring.  A diagonal ball from the left found Rush in the area and he fought off Ruddock to fire past Ian Walker to bring up his 300th goal for the club.  As half-time approached Bruce Grobbelaar pleased the crowd with a customary foray out of his area as he broke down a Spurs attack and then Redknapp swept the ball out to the right where Mark Walters showed pace to get to the bye-line.  His cross found Barnes in the area he headed Liverpool into a 2-0 lead.

Some fans had barely taken their seats for the second period when a ball over the top saw Sheringham run clear and he slotted it past Grobbelaar to give the visitors some hope.  Within minutes, though, the home side restored their two-goal advantage.  Redknapp on the left wing played it inside to Steve Harkness who fired past Walker, although this was later credited to Stuart Nethercott as an own goal.  Then as the game moved into the final quarter of an hour, Anderton, on the right, helped the ball onto Steve Sedgeley in the area and he managed to beat Mark Wright before his left-foot shot was too hot for Grobbelaar to handle and Spurs were back in it at 2-3.

But then with five minutes to go, Barnes cross from the left saw Nethercott foul Rush and Walters stepped up to fire the penalty under Walker.  Minutes later Spurs made a mess of breaking up another Liverpool attack and Redknapp pounced on a loose pass to run to the bye-line, pull it back where Rush bundled in his 2nd of the day to make it 5-2.  Then Redknapp was again involved in the build-up which saw the ball played out to Walters on the right and his cross was helped on by Rush for Barnes to nod in from close range and Liverpool had completed an impressive 6-2 win.

Liverpool eventually finished up 6th with Tottenham in 8th.

10th March 2013
LIVERPOOL   (1)   3   (Suarez 21, Downing 66, Gerrard pen 82)
TOTTENHAM   (1)   2   (Vertonghen 45, 53)

LIVERPOOL: Jones; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Downing, Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho (Allen); Sturridge (Henderson), Suarez

TOTTENHAM: Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto (Carroll); Livermore (Holtby), Parker, Dembele, Bale, Sigurdsson; Defoe

In Brendan Rodgers first season at Liverpool, they were still harbouring hopes of securing European football when Tottenham arrived in March.  Spurs themselves had an eye on a Champions League place.  They were unbeaten in 12 and fresh from a win in the North London derby.  Liverpool, who’d won 1 of their first 7 matches, were coming off the back of 5-0 and 4-0 wins over Swansea and Wigan, respectively.

Twenty minutes in and Coutinho found Jose Enrique on the edge of the Spurs area and then ran round him to receive the return pass and thenthe Uruguayan finished from a tight angle.  A the break approached and with Liverpool keen to close out the half, Tottenham attacked down the right.  The ball was played back to Gareth Bale and his left-foot ball swept into the area found Vertonghen at the back post and his header left Jones stranded.  It was a frustrating goal for the home side to concede as Johnson didn’t do enough to challenge the Belgian.  Eight minutes after the break and Bale’s free-kick was floated into the area and as the home defence failed to clear, the ball dropped for Vertonghen who fired the visitors into the lead.  1-2.

Liverpool came back, though, when Kyle Walker on the halfway line played an inexplicable wayward pass to the edge of his own area where Lloris had to come out and try and intercept it.  But he was beaten to it by Downing and he ran onto beat Vertonghen on the line to equalise.  It was a crazy goal to concede and came soon after Sigurdsson should’ve put them 2-goals clear.  Then, as the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Defoe made a hash of a clearance from a Gerrard free-kick and Suarez was brought down by Assou-Ekotto and the ref pointed to the spot.  Steven Gerrard stepped up to send Lloris the wrong way and for only the second time that season, Liverpool had come back to win after going behind.

Liverpool ended the season in 7th with Tottenham missing out on Champions League football to Arsenal, finishing in 5th.

HEAD TO HEAD at Anfield

Matches: 50
Liverpool win: 44
Tottenham win: 6
Draws: 20

Liverpool goals: 136
Tottenham goals: 57

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