with the answer to this question: Bale or Suarez; Suarez or Bale - who is
the best at footballing this year?
LIVERPOOL 1 TOTTENHAM 0
37 min Sigurdsson, once a target of Rodgers and Liverpool, wastes a
genuine chance to level it. Great play from Dembele to get things going
before a neat back flick from Bale put the midfielder in space on the edge
of the box, but he dragged his effort wide.
35 min Bale escapes the attentions of Lucas for long enough to beat two
men and get a shot away in a crowded box. It wasn't a good shot, but he did
plenty to create the chance. "You're just a *** Stewart Downing,"
chortle the wags in the Kop.
33 min Bale tries his luck from range. His luck, and his aim, is well
out. Huge sarcastic cheers from the Liverpool fans. He's garbage that Bale,
isn't he? Aaaaarrrgghhhhhhhh ha ha ha aaaarrghh!!!
32 min Tottenham below their recent best at the moment. Much to do with
Liverpool not letting them settle, but also a lack of smoothness of passing.
Defoe tries to pick it up himself and run at the entire Liverpool defence.
Almost manages it, too, almost, but not quite. Bah!
29 min Bale penalised for a foul on Agger. He pulls that face normally
reserved for when he's been caught diving. Who, me? Yes, you Gareth.
26 min Downing once more finds space on the right but his cross isn't
good enough. Then Gerrard plays a clever disguised pass behind Walker that
Suarez gets on to. Another tight angle but Loris is equal to this effort.
Suarez should probably have tried to pick out a team-mate in the middle
then, but, well, you know.
25 min Tottenham look to get something back straight away but
Sigurdsson's path is blocked by the enduring snarling presence of Carragher.
22 min Coutinho was central to that goal coming about, he picked the
ball up deep and found Enrique, who turned and laid a perfectly weighted
pass round the back of the Spurs backline. Suarez was on it like a flash and
burried it at the near post cutting back across goal. Classic striker's
finish from a classic striker.
21 min Luis Suarez 1 Gareth Bale 0
Suarez gets his 50th goal for the club and it's, as you might expect, a
fantastic finish from a tight angle. That should shake up the match, too.
19 min When is a long pass actually a long ball; the quick transition
of play just a punt upfield? It's a question to be asked of Rodgers'
'philosophy' sometimes, Liverpool don't hang around playing needless passes,
whatever you may have heard. Enrique's effort just now was of the latter
choice from both questions. And gave Suarez, or Sturridge, it was that bad
it was difficult to tell, an impossible job.
17 min Sigurdsson ends a promising passage of play with a weak and
disappointing shot from 20 yards. Tottenham starting to get hold of the ball
better, with Dembele the central figure when they do, mind.
15 min Despite Liverpool's early flurry of intent the game has settled
down in to nothing resembling a pattern, both side's prodding and probing
without any real end product.
12 min Tottenham free kick 30 yards out pretty central. Dembele forced
it with some quick feet, Agger won't be impressing any Real Madrid scouts
with his falling over foul (though his protesting skills in the face of
absolute guilt are up to Bernabeu standards). Ball swerves in the air and
Jone improvises in the Liverpool goal to punch/flap/meeh clear. Didn't look
pretty but the ball didn't go in so job done.
10 min Ten minutes gone and neither Bale nor Suarez have scored. Don't
belive the hype people, don't believe the hype.
09 min Tottenham get a first prolonged feel for the ball. It's mostly
across their back line but still, will be doing their pass accuracy stats no
end of good.
06 min Sturridge wins a foot race with Loris - playing as an effective
sweeper in the system Spurs play (as well as keeping goals, obviously) - on
the edge of the box but as he nicked the ball past the Frenchman he took it
almost to the corner flag and the chance was gone. Liverpool looking well up
for this and forcing the pace so far.
05 min Assou-Ekotto has his pocket picked and Liverpool again surge
down the right, Sturridge this time electing to have a go himself. Really
shouldn't have, a difficult angle and he didn't make it look easy either.
04 min Dembele and Defoe in deep serious conversation abotu something
or other. Hard to see what as Spurs haven't had the ball in the attacking
third so far. Maybe that's what they're talking about. Or they're just
03 min Downing finds himself in all sorts of space behind the Spurs
back line that, you will have noticed if you've watched them before or read
a match report, is as high as the belt line of the man at the end of the
road your mother warned you about. He was in so much space, however, mainly
because he was plenty offside, that high line doing it's job.
01 min Tottenham get us under way with an early punt up upfield from
Loris three passes from the centre-circle. Suarez gets Liverpool moving down
the right, neat interchange with Sturridge, but Walker across to muscle out
Suarez when he was on to the return in the box.
15.59 It's blowing a fair gale up at Anfield this afternoon as the two
sets of players huddle, back-slap and jump up and down on their heels. We
are ready to get started.
15.40 Sky Sports have a rare one-on-one with Luis Suarez. What an
opportunity to dig deep in to the mind of a controversial and fascinating
subject. And they've excelled themselves. These gems have been dug out: It
was a dream of his when small to play for Liverpool . he's happiest
scoring goals he finds Jamie Carragher difficult to understand . his
English is improving (he can understand people but it's hard sometimes to
speak the language).
Now we know then, eh?
Twitter: Infostrada Sports - Gareth Bale is on pace to score 22 goals this season. The single season record by a Spurs player in the PL era is 21 (Klinsmann, Sheringham)
15.30 Team news:
Jones, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing,
Suarez, Coutinho, Sturridge.
Subs: Gulacsi, Skrtel, Shelvey, Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Wisdom.
Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Parker,
Livermore, Bale, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Defoe.
Subs: Friedel, Huddlestone, Gallas, Naughton, Holtby, Caulker, Carroll.
Referee: Michael Oliver
15.20 Forget the FA Cup, there are bigger things at stake at Anfield
today, where Luis Suarez hosts Gareth Bale in a shoot out for the Player of
the year awards.
The Welshman has been on fire in recent weeks. To the point where you're
*probably* bored of hearing about just How Good At Football he is. So
instead, just have a look at this piece of typically run-of-the-mill
excellence from the fella and have your own internal debate over where he
sits in the world order of attackign midfielders today:
But in the red corner there is a challenger. Suarez has his faults. Very many
in some people's eyes. Very many. But they do not extend to the art of
shooting balls at goals, as the following neatly demonstrates.
With Robin van Persie off the boil to the point fingers are being pointed at
Old Trafford over who forgot to stick some coins in the electricity metre,
it's between these two for the one they all want, no? No? Then tell me who
has been better this year. Go on, shock me.
There is all to play for even without the indiviaul gongs, of course. Well, I
say *all*. For Tottenham they need the points to push on for a top four
finish, for Liverpool the quest for maybe, possibly, if they're lucky,
finishing fifth, or at least above Everton.
Tottenham could be considered the team of the moment, playing as they are a
swashbuckling style of football that (with much help from the Italians, it
has to be conceded) made Inter Milan look like a bunch of park players in
Liverpool, too, seem to have found a touch of form just when it no longer
matters, and should present more of a challenge to the visitors today than
Arsenal did last weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur »
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