Match Report (United) Preview (Liverpool) The circus continues.
Starting with our draw against United, I should have written Ryan Mason 2 United 2… what will it be against the Scousers? A win might mean Daniel Levy thinking, “I can save some money here and give Mason the job on a minimum wage… and of course, he’ll be so grateful that I can foist our young Academy players on him, as well, saving me even more money…” Then he will probably go into the Abba song #Money, Money, Money in a Rich Man’s World# Levy is a money man… he doesn’t see players but financial numbers. It is all about profit for him. Anyway…
… back to something to cheer about… our draw (yes, only a draw at our Tottenham stadium, which shows how far we’ve sunk, if that can cheer us up).
To the match…
I don’t think the baying crowd knew what to expect… yes, we all hoped… but we had nothing to go on other than Mason’s last tenure as our club’s interim manager… and that was pretty shit.
This time around, Janette was with me. Before the match it was pretty lively… talking about the Newcastle game, this game and our 30 quid back for the Newcastle ticket (nothing about the train fairs, no petrol or hotels etc.)… but at least we got our 30 quid back for the shit we witnessed… deep joy! That soothed everything… but then again, it was only a gesture… and a gesture can go a long way toward pissing the fans off even further.
So… let us recap, Newcastle United humiliated us with five goals in 21 stunning first-half minutes as they ran out easy winners in what was billed as a showdown for a top-four spot. But it ended up a humiliation…
…Moving swiftly on…
Mason 2 United 2…
In the first half, United looked to be coasting to a fourth straight Premier League win after goals by Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford put them in a commanding position at half-time.
In the 56th minute, Pedro Porro launched the fightback before Bruno Fernandes hit the bar for United when he should have scored.
Son scored a 79th-minute equaliser to complete a fine comeback against Manchester United in Young Ryan Mason’s first game back as interim boss. He equalised from close range after good work by Harry Kane to leave us home fans celebrating.
During the game, you could hear shouts and songs… even banners flown, demanding that Levy vacate his position as our club’s overseer.
The point lifts us back above Liverpool and Aston Villa into fifth place, while United now trail third-placed Newcastle by two points after the Magpies won 4-1 at Everton.
In the second half, we showed spirit.
Mason was back in charge two years after his first spell as failed interim head coach and four days after the horrific 6-1 thrashing by Newcastle that brought Cristian Stellini’s own stint as interim boss to an abrupt end.
Which beggars the question… why didn’t Levy sack Conte’s whole team instead of tinkering? The reason… money… he thought he could save a few pennies…
We were low on confidence under Conte and Stellini (and I would imagine Mason, as well, as he was part of both coaching teams). Still, our spirited second-half response will give Mason and our players confidence that they can yet finish the season on a positive note before the next permanent Levy manipulated-manager is appointed (unless he stands up to Levy… like Conte did… whatever happened to him?).
United took control after Sancho fired them into a seventh-minute lead before Porro was denied an equaliser when Luke Shaw intercepted Richarlison’s pass. When we did get a clear sight of the goal, we found David de Gea in fine form as he produced two excellent saves to keep out Ivan Perisic.
While all this was happening, Levy looked on stern-faced from the directors’ box after Rashford’s goal, but Porro’s finish with the outside of his right foot (after Kane had a shot blocked) gave the home fans hope.
United have a six-point cushion and two games in hand on our fifth-placed position, but Ten Hag will have expected his players to close the game out.
Mason seems to be off the hook for now… the Liverpool game will be a different kettle of fish… if he could get a draw or a victory, deeper questions must be asked of Levy about his employment of Conte and Stellini… and probably all the others he employed under his tenure. Anyway… congratulations Mason… let us hope your luck continues, and it doesn’t mean – in Levy’s eyes – that you could be the next failure under his command.
To the Match Review of the Liverpool game…
Liverpool have lost just one of their past 20 Premier League games against Spurs, while they are unbeaten in 10 meetings since a 4-1 loss at Wembley in October 2017.
We have won on just two of our last 35 league visits to Anfield, most recently in May 2011.
We have conceded 31 away league goals this season, our most in a single campaign since letting in 35 in 2008-09. We’ve only kept two league clean sheets outside of London this season, doing so in victories at Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Harry Kane has scored in each of his last three Premier League away games, with us failing to win all three. Steven Fletcher was the last player to score in four consecutive away appearances without winning between April and September 2012.
Ryan Mason’s second managerial baptism of fire continues as we travel to Anfield.
The hard-earned draw will give Mason something to build on; it has done little to boost our hopes of breaking into the top four, lying fifth in the rankings and six points worse off than Man United, who have a pair of games in hand. Nevertheless, Thursday’s game was still a considerable improvement from our 6-1 mauling at the hands of Newcastle United. Still, a seven-game run without a clean sheet makes for grim reading before a trip to Anfield. We are winless in seven successive away fixtures since overcoming Preston North End in January’s FA Cup tie.
Liverpool’s 2-1 win at our Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November extended our winless run against the Reds to 11 matches since our 4-1 demolition job in October 2017, but we came away from Anfield with a 1-1 draw last season – a draw would do neither top-four outsider a world of good this time around.
Liverpool Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
Hugo Lloris is still out.
Yves Bissouma (ankle), Rodrigo Bentancur (ACL), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) and Emerson Royal (knee) are still out.
Lucas Moura was back from a three-game ban on Thursday, but Dejan Kulusevski is first in line for any attacking alterations and should have a strong chance of displacing Richarlison.
My possible starting lineup:
Forster; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Porro, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Perisic; Kulusevski, Kane, Son
In some ways, Liverpool’s approach will suit us because they will dominate the ball, and Trent Alexander-Arnold will leave gaps behind him when he goes into the centre of midfield, as he does in his new inverted role.
We showed character to fight back for a draw against Manchester United, but I can’t back us getting anything here because we have been so disappointing all season, even with a Mason bounce… however…
Liverpool are on a roll, with three successive wins, and they still want a top-four spot. To have any chance of that, the Scousers need to win every game they have left, and even that probably won’t be enough.
Prediction: Liverpool to win 3-2 (I hope I am wrong).
Up the Spurs!
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
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