|Lennon 7||Bale o.g. 72|
It's understandable to be completely fed up at this point. I know I am.
Anyone who saw last night's game will know that for at least 70 minutes the Reds were by some distance the better side. But as we've come to expect now they came away with nothing. It's all become so tiresome.
The real fact is this game was over after 16 minutes. The signs were ominous within the first 5 minutes as first Pepe Reina hot-potatoed Gareth Bale's wobbly free kick. The simian Welshman then drove wide after Steven Gerrard gave the ball away in a dangerous area, as Steven Gerrard invariable does these days.
All eyes were on Stewart Downing for the opening goal in the 7th minute which is fair enough, but another finger should be pointed at Glen Johnson. The number 2 gave the ball away on the half-way line and as the loathsome Bale broke down the left our man showed very little determination to recover possession. Bale squared for Lennon as Downing seemed to be putting out a fag at the back post. Lovely stuff all round.
In response Luis Suarez shot straight at Lloris from the edge of the box but Jordan Henderson had an even better chance to equalise in the 14th minute as the ball broke to him from Enrique. With Lloris already taken out of the equation he had what seemed the simplest of tasks but his shot dripped wide under a late sliding tackle. We've seen it several times before this season from Henderson – totalling lacking conviction and just not good enough.
Just two minutes later it was two as an extremely dubious free-kick was awarded 25 yards from the Liverpool goal. Reina's reaction seemed to indicate that the ball took a deflection off the wall giving him no chance. Again, this would have to go down as a defensive error as the wall didn't stand strong enough.
I knew it was over when that second goal went in because for all the will in the world, we simply don't have the firepower to come back from such a deficit. What followed was a torturous 70 minutes of great possession and effort, but zero killer instinct.
Gerrard had a reasonable shout for a penalty in the 36th minute as Suarez's follow up was hacked off the line. What then followed was some ping-pong from a corner as the ball just wouldn't break for the Reds. Familiar story, eh?
I can't remember Pepe Reina having anything to do after the restart as Spurs spent most of it camped inside their own half. I was expecting them to be dangerous on the counter attack but they weren't, simply because they never saw the ball.
Among some of the better opportunities were Enrique heading away from goal when he should have been greedier in the 49th minute. Suarez and Sterling were doing their best as well but it never really looked threatening enough.
The goal when it came was something a lot of us had been wishing for. Gareth Bale was hit in the face as Lennon tried to clear off the line from a Reds corner, with the ball rebounding into the net. As well deserved as the goal was, it was also a much needed slap in the face for Bale who was booked for diving YET AGAIN only 7 minutes later.
There was some pretty unconvincing huff and puff in the final 10 minutes but an equaliser never really looked likely. Luis Suarez blazed over after Agger's hook across goal was deemed to have stayed in play, and there was another obligatory penalty shout as the Uruguayan went down with 2 minutes to go. It certainly wasn't a clear-cut decision.
So there we have it. It's another loss while playing well in an increasingly frustrating season. A point was made after the match that if we can dominate possession away to Spurs then it's only a matter of adding a couple of forwards to the squad to finish things off.
When you consider that our front three last night was Luis Suarez, a 17 year old and a left-back it's not hard to see why the goals haven't been flowing. But is it just a case that the addition of one or two strikers will solve all our problems? I'm not so sure.
In slightly more cheerful news, click here for your chance to win tickets to Liverpool FC v Norwich in January.
Subs: Shelvey for Henderson (63), Assaidi for Downing (78)
Unused Subs: Jones, Carragher, Wisdom, Sahin, Suso.