Tottenham 2 Liverpool 1: Aaron Lennon scores late winner

29 November 2010 12:28
Another week, another come back for Harry Redknapp. No backbone? No bottle? Tottenham are rewriting football's lexicon.

Eight days after an epic win at Arsenal and four days after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time came a 92nd-minute winner from Aaron Lennon.

Spurs have now amassed 16 points from losing positions this season, coming back to win five times and once to draw in the Barclays Premier League.

Smart Mart: Skrtel (No 37) gets among the Tottenham defence to poke in the opening goal

They refuse to accept defeat.Indeed, after a goal at each end from Martin Skrtel, they refused tosettle for a point. Forward they swept, albeit increasingly reliant onlong punts towards Peter Crouch, a tactic which proved effective.

William Gallas hails Tottenham's fighting spirit after Liverpool comebackCrucially, Liverpool had lost JamieCarragher with a dislocated shoulder in the 87th minute and Crouch gotthe better of his replacement Sotirios Kyrgiakos as the pair tussledfor a missile launched from the boot of Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Lennon darted on to the loose ballas it skidded down, skipped inside Paul Konchesky and applied a coolfinish for his first goal in more than a year.

It was a goal you could not haveseen the visitors conceding with Carragher on the pitch but he had goneand Liverpool's resolve was broken. Roy Hodgson was dejected. His teamhad not played badly, perhaps shaded the first half and took a deservedlead.

Yet they languish in 10th, a dozen points behind leaders Manchester United.

Enjoy it while you can: Skrtel (right) celebrates with team-mates Lucas and Meireles

Redknapp, in contrast, was elated. 'You can't write us off,' cooed the Spurs boss.

'We just feel we have attackingplayers, so we'll get chances. Whether it's Bale, Lennon, Modric or thefront players, we've got attacking players all over the pitch.'

It had looked as though things wereconspiring against them, with first-half injuries to Rafael van derVaart and Younes Kaboul and another missed penalty, their fourth of theseason.

Early blow: Van der Vaart limps out of the game

Van der Vaart limped off with the game only nine minutes old, tearing a hamstring as he attempted a back heel.

The muscle will be scanned on Mondaybut it has been troubling him since his arrival from Real Madrid inAugust and this tear may keep him out for some time.

'It's so disappointing,' said Redknapp.

'He keeps picking up littleinjuries. He's missed a pre-season or was away at the World Cup and hasnot played many games. When your fitness is a bit low, it's hard to getup to speed.'

After Kaboul hurt a muscle in hiship, on went Sebastien Bassong and here is Tottenham's strength. Evenwith Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson and Kaboul missing,they had two international class central defenders on the pitch inBassong and William Gallas.

Bassong made two terrific tackles onFernando Torres either side of the interval when the Spaniard was cleanthrough on goal and failed to find a finish.

It was impossible to avoid the ideathat, with Torres at his sharpest, the ball would have been nestling inthe net before the defender was even in the frame. The Liverpoolstriker is still not himself. He linked up cleverly a couple of timesaround the edge of the penalty area and looked mobile but lacked thekiller instinct that once made him the world's deadliest striker.

It was Skrtel who had bundledHodgson's team messily into the lead before half-time. First he headeda free-kick from Raul Meireles into the back of team-mate David Ngog,then pounced on the rebound to smash it in from six yards.

Then the Slovakian equalised with agoal in his own net in the 66th minute, sliding in an effort to stop alow cross from Luka Modric reaching Crouch.

Don't look now: Skrtel puts the ball past his keeper Reina for Spurs' equaliser

Spurs were in full swing at thispoint, with Modric, Lennon and Gareth Bale driving forward. Meirelescleared off the line from Bale and Liverpool collected five bookings asthey tried to hold out.

MATCH FACTS TOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Gomes 6; Hutton6, Kaboul 5 (Bassong 35, 7), Gallas 7,Assou-Ekotto 6; Lennon 7, Palacios 5,Modric 8, Bale 7; Van der Vaart (Defoe 10, 5 (Sandro 90); Crouch 7. Subs not used: Cudicini, Corluka,Kranjcar, Pavlyuchenko.

LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina 6; Johnson6, Carragher 7 (Kyrgiakos 86), Skrtel6, Konchesky 6; Kuyt 6, Lucas 6,Meireles 7, Maxi 5; Ngog 4 (Aurelio73, 4), Torres 5.Subs not used: Jones, Kyrgiakos,Poulsen, Shelvey, Jovanovic, Babel.Booked: Meireles, Konchesky,Carragher, Skrtel, Johnson.

Man of the match: Luka Modric.Referee: Martin Atkinson 6.

Tottenham had already squanderedtheir best chance from a penalty, awarded for handball against Ngog ashe jumped as part of a defensive wall to block a Bale free-kick withhis elbows.

With designated penalty taker Van der Vaart already off thepitch, substitute Jermain Defoe stepped forward and promptly dragged itwide.

It was his fifth miss from his lastsix spot-kicks and he joined Van der Vaart, Bale and Roman Pavlyuchenkoin missing a penalty for Spurs this season.

'It might be an idea for the refjust to give a goal kick next time,' Redknapp joked afterwards, but hewent berserk on the touchline when it happened.

'We could do with someone just smashing it down the middle, putting their boot behind it.'

Referee Martin Atkinson rejectedpenalty appeals from both teams. Crouch thought he had been pushed byKonchesky in the first half and Dirk Kuyt claimed he had been wiped outby Assou-Ekotto with the score 1-1.

Can't catch me: Lennon leaves defenders trailing and slots home the winner for Tottenham

Meireles went close from distance and Defoe had a volley ruled out for offside before Lennon's final act.

Tottenham roll on, up to fifth. Perhaps it's time to believe.

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Source: Daily_Mail