It was a cool evening in St. Helens for the away trip to play Liverpool.
As it is the start of the International break Spurs were short of players such as Kane and Holtby as well as having to put academy players on the bench. This meant that the home side had the more experienced side with players like Wisdom and Morgan having played for the first team and loan signing Cissokho making a start.
Spurs lined up with Miles in goal behind Ball and Stewart with Fredericks at right back and Ward on the left. Veljkovic anchored the midfield with Bentaleb and Lameiras while Lancaster led the line with McEvoy and McQueen on the flanks.
Spurs defended the east end in the first half and took longer to settle than the home side. Morgan went through on goal but Miles saves turning the ball out for a corner. Cissokho gets down the left and his cross was turned wide at the far post by Smith. Spurs could not string their passes together under pressure from the home side which led to counter attacks at pace.
Rossiter sends Morgan away but his effort is saved. When McLaughlin left Fredericks on the floor he got into the area where Bentaleb fouled him to concede a penalty. I originally thought that it was Ball who was booked but it later turned out to have been the midfielder.
Morgan scored from the spot to put the home side ahead. Smith had a weak header saved before Lameiras had the visitors first effort, a drive that went wide. McEvoy robbed Cardona and advanced on Ward only for the Keeper to save his effort. McEvoy then got down the left and pulled the ball back for Lancaster but the striker fired straight at the keeper.
Rossiter drove wide from distance before Cissokho got passed Ward on the right and his cross was converted by Branagan in the six yard box to double Liverpool’s lead. Cissokho played in Mclaughlin down the left for an effort that Miles saved. Lancaster came off as half time approached before Liverpool scored again. Smith got down the right and crossed for McLaughlin to score at the far post. Ball picked up a booking in added time having carried the ball into the Liverpool half and losing it.
Oduwa made is debut when he replaced Lancaster for the second half playing on the left with McQueen moving into the centre. The half had hardly got underway when Smith won the ball on the right came inside to smash it into the net from the edge of the area. It was nearly five a few minutes later when Morgan got the ball on the edge of the area and saw his low drive hit Ward who was on the ground having slipped.
With the game won the home side eased up which allowed Spurs to get some possession in midfield. Ward fired a terrific effort in that his namesake turned over the bar for a corner. Liverpool made a couple of changes one of which, Teixeira, robbed Stewart on the right with his first touch of the ball and then took it into the area and lifting it over Miles, as he came out, to score their fifth goal. That was the signal for Spurs to make their last two changes to give the subs some experience.
Ogilvie replaced Fredericks at left back with Ward moving to right back and Onomah came on for McQueen. Yesil picked up a loose ball and drove forward towards the exposed Spurs goal but his effort hit the post. Lameiras took a free kick near the left corner and found Stewart who headed over.
A counter attack saw Miles make a double save, first from McLaughlin and then from Rossiter who fired in the rebound at the far post. A Lameiras short corner to McEvoy was crossed to Oduwa on the left who laid it off to Onomah to fire wide. Oduwa also set up Lameiras for an effort that flew over the bar. The last chance of the game fell to Onomah who saw his effort saved by Ward.
This was a heavy defeat for Spurs who were well beaten by a strong Liverpool side.
They never really got going as Liverpool put them under pressure form the start not allowing them space to pass the ball. Our former academy coach, Alex Inglethorpe, celebrated his first victory over Spurs at the third attempt.
Thankfully Fridays game at WHL was called off which will mean that we will have our Internationals back for the next match against Leicester City, which will be on the 21st October at Hotspur Way.
© Ray Lo – This article can be reproduced on the proviso that the Spur-List is credited.