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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
Liverpool 3-0 Tottenham
By Phil McNulty

Dirk Kuyt celebrates his strike for Liverpool against Spurs
Dirk Kuyt celebrates his strike for Liverpool against Spurs
Liverpool struck three times after the break to seal an impressive victory.

But Spurs were left to regret an astonishing miss from Jermaine Jenas seconds before Mark Gonzalez gave Liverpool a 63rd-minute lead.

Jenas somehow missed from a matter of inches from Edgar Davids' cross, and Spurs were punished when Gonzalez scored after Craig Bellamy hit a post.

Dirk Kuyt slammed home the second after 73 minutes and John Arne Riise hit a spectacular third in the dying seconds.

Liverpool chose to rest Jamie Carragher and recall Sami Hyypia, while Spurs boss Martin Jol gave a rare outing to the strike partnership of Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe, with Dimitar Berbatov out injured.

Xabi Alonso, whose 60-yard strike stunned Newcastle in midweek, tried his luck from closer range after 12 minutes, firing a low shot just wide through a packed penalty area.

606 VIEW

But it was Spurs who should have gone ahead 13 minutes later when Ledley King somehow failed to get a touch to Danny Murphy's free-kick only six yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Liverpool came even closer when Gonzalez's corner deflected off Pascal Chimbonda onto an upright with Paul Robinson beaten.

The home side had penalty appeals turned down on the stroke of half-time when King appeared to handle and then haul down Bellamy as he raced into the area.

But referee Howard Webb got the decision correct as King had timed his tackle to perfection.

Liverpool carried all the momentum after the break, forcing Jol into a change after 61 minutes, sending on Davids for Teemu Tainio.

And the move should have paid swift dividends as the Dutch veteran raced down the left flank and set up Jenas inside the six-yard box, but he somehow slid the ball wide when it was easier to score.

Liverpool made Spurs pay heavily for Jenas' shocking miss, taking the lead within seconds.

Steven Gerrard's cross found Bellamy right in front of goal, and even though he managed to conjure up a miss every bit as bad as Jenas by hitting a post, the rebound fell kindly for Gonzalez to beat Robinson from an angle.

And Spurs' afternoon got even worse as Liverpool doubled their advantage with 17 minutes left.

Substitute Luis Garcia, on for Bellamy, threaded a pass through to Kuyt who provided a powerful finish as Spurs waited for an offside flag that was never going to come thanks to dreadful positioning by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Liverpool were in the ascendancy, and just to confirm this was not going to be Spurs' afternoon, Riise fired a trademark thunderbolt past Robinson in the dying seconds.

  • Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
    "After they made that mistake with the missed chance we hit them on the counter attack.

    "After the first goal we got better and took control and that was the key."

    "In the first half we were looking for the right pass, but after the break we started with a higher tempo."

  • Tottenham boss Martin Jol:
    "We had two or three opportunities before Jermaine Jenas missed a good chance.  

    "We deserved something from the game but it is about putting our chances away and we failed to do that.  

    "Overall we did a good job because our midfield especially played well but we have to keep our spirit high and we must make it happen."

    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Hyypia, Agger, Riise, Gerrard, Alonso (Carragher 84), Sissoko, Gonzalez (Aurelio 77), Bellamy (Luis Garcia 68), Kuyt.
    Subs Not Used: Dudek, Crouch.

    Booked: Hyypia.

    Goals: Gonzalez 63, Kuyt 73, Riise 89.

    Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Jenas, Murphy (Mido 79), Zokora, Tainio (Davids 61), Keane, Defoe.
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Lee, Huddlestone.

    Att: 44,330

    Ref: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

    Saturday's football photos
    23 Sep 06 |  Football


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