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BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton:
"Protest, what protest?"
 real 14k

Spurs boss George Graham:
"They didn't create many chances."
 real 14k

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier:
"This is one of the rare places in England where I don't get points."
 real 14k

Sunday, 19 November, 2000, 17:56 GMT
Battling Spurs hold out Liverpool
smicer/carr
Liverpool's Smicer tries to keep Carr in his slipstream
Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

Spurs made it six wins from seven home games, thanks largely to a gritty and determined defensive display in the second half.

A purple patch just before half-time had brought goals for Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood from magnificent crosses by Stephen Clemence to overcome Robbie Fowler's opener for Liverpool.

Spurs defended so successfully after the break, closing down any Liverpool space tigerishly, that the visitors barely created a half-chance apart from Michael Owen's near miss 30 seconds after the interval.

The result and the manner of the display is bound to ease the pressure on George Graham, but he will be just as mystified as to why Spurs cannot play so well on their travels as Gerard Houllier will be over why his back four - so impressive last season - keep dozing off.


We had five boys who came through the youth policy in our team and that looks very good for the future
  George Graham
Tottenham had England U-21 defender Ledley King making his first appearance of the season in midfield and Alton Thelwell, 20, replacing Ramon Vega in the back line for his senior debut.

Liverpool were missing suspended Emile Heskey but paired Owen and Fowler up front and left Nick Barmby and Steven Gerrard on the bench.

Penalty appeal

Owen nearly gave Liverpool the perfect start on five minutes as he pounced on Luke Young's failure to clear and fired in an angled shot which sped just beyond the far post.

Fowler was then refused a penalty when Chris Perry looked to have hauled him down, and the Spurs defender then raced upfield to send a half-volley bouncing past the post.

Fowler did not have to rely on the referee on 18 minutes when Sami Hyypia's long ball was hooked inside by Murphy for the striker to send a superb first time shot into the bottom corner, giving Neil Sullivan no chance.

fowler/king
Robbie Fowler struggles to fend off Ledley King
Five minutes later, Fowler was inches wide with another snap-shot, then diverted a fierce Markus Babbel strike just over the bar with his head.

Spurs were right on the back foot but conjured up an equaliser on 32 minutes when Sergei Rebrov's smart back-heel was taken on by Clemence, whose low cross was just out of Sander Westerveld's reach as Ferdinand came flying in to slide the ball over the line.

Clemence then produced another superb cross five minutes before the break after chasing down Stephen Carr's long ball, perfectly weighted for Sherwood's late run and thumping header as Liverpool's defence fell asleep again.

Flying save

Stunned Liverpool forced a corner almost immediately and it needed a flying save by Sullivan to tip over Hyypia's header.

The second half began explosively as Owen wriggled through the Spurs defence in the first 30 seconds and got away a strong, low shot which Sullivan did well to get down to and push away.


We are not in a position to challenge for the title. We need to defend better and be more clinical in some areas
  Gerard Houllier
Liverpool spent the next 20 minutes battering away at Spurs but with little to show as the home side harried and hustled them into mistakes.

Spurs then nearly made the decisive break as Carr raced away down the right and floated a chip over Westerveld which hit the far post and rebounded to Darren Anderton, whose low shot was well saved.

Carr was involved again on 73 minutes with another delicate cross from Rebrov's exquisite pass but Markus Babbel just managed to get in front of Ferdinand and prevent a probable goal.

An injury to Murphy after a dreadful two-footed tackle from Rebrov, which somehow went unpunished, produced six minutes of injury time, but Liverpool could still find no way through.


Tottenham: Sullivan, Carr, Young, Perry, Sherwood, King, Thelwell, Anderton, Clemence, Ferdinand, Rebrov.
Subs: Walker, Vega, Korsten, Freund, Armstrong.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Henchoz, Babbel, Hyypia, Traore, Hamann, Murphy, Smicer, Owen, McAllister, Fowler.
Subs: Gerrard, Arphexad, Carragher, Barmby, Vignal.

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

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