TOTTENHAM (2) v/s LIVERPOOL (1)
TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp warned his side’s title rivals to write his charges off at their peril as Aaron Lennon’s injury-time goal put the seal on another comeback victory.
After last weekend’s historic derby win over Arsenal, Redknapp suggested Spurs were capable of mounting a serious title challenge.
And after overturning a half-time deficit and overcoming injuries to Younes Kaboul and Rafael van der Vaart, Spurs certainly provided enough evidence yesterday to support their manager’s optimism.
Redknapp said: “We’re not a team that you can write off and go, ‘They’re going nowhere, are they?’
“Even if you’re one down, we’re always going to make plenty of opportunities and it’s a case of sticking them away.
“I just feel we’ve got a belief in there that we can come from behind.”
In truth, as Arsenal did last week, Liverpool let their hosts off the hook, squandering several chances, most notably through Maxi Rodriguez, after defender Martin Skrtel’s improvised finish with the outside of his right foot put the Merseysiders into a 42nd minute lead.
Van der Vaart had earlier limped off with a hamstring niggle, while Kaboul was also replaced before the break by Sebastien Bassong. Another substitute, Jermain Defoe, dragged a penalty wide early in the second-half as it looked like being a frustrating afternoon for the home faithful.
But five minutes later Luka Modric’s forceful run, deep into the Liverpool penalty area, and subsequent cross forced Skrtel into sliding in at the near post, ahead of the waiting Peter Crouch, and the unfortunate Slovakia defender only succeeded in stabbing into his own net.
Liverpool thought they should have had a penalty when Benoit Assou-Ekotto felled Dirk Kuyt, but it was Spurs who grabbed an injury-time winner when Lennon collected Peter Crouch’s flick, darted inside Paul Konchesky and fired past Pepe Reina.
“When we missed the penalty I’ve got to be honest, I thought ‘Maybe it’s not our day today’. But we kept going,” added Redknapp. “We had lots of good chances and, in the end, I felt we deserved the win.”
Redknapp revealed Van der Vaart’s injury “did not look good” but long-term absentee Michael Dawson is set for a friendly appearance tomorrow.