Ur­ridge irs

> Striker’s brace helps guide Klopp’s men past Spurs, who left their fight­back far too late

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

An­field was full, re­gard­less, and the game at least gave op­por­tu­ni­ties for a raft of young­sters to make their mark.

Trent Alexan­der-Arnold, the Liver­pool teenager high­lighted by Steven Ger­rard as a star of the fu­ture, be­gan at right­back, with Po­chet­tino hand­ing starts to Harry Winks, Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vick­ers, all of whom im­pressed.

But be­yond Daniel Stur­ridge’s ninth minute opener, when the Eng­land for­ward scored from close range af­ter Marko Gru­jic had pounced on a slip by Spurs de­fender Ge­orges-Kevin Nk­oudou, the first-half was a frus­trat­ing one.

Stur­ridge should have added to his goal within nine min­utes of his opener, but in­stead scuffed a right­foot shot into the arms of goal­keeper Michel Vorm from 10 yards.

And at the other end, the hap­less Vin­cent Janssen con­tin­ued his mis­er­able form since ar­riv­ing from AZ Alk­maar in the sum­mer.

Janssen has scored just once in a Spurs shirt, against Colch­ester in the last round, and he ap­peared bereft of con­fi­dence on this oc­ca­sion – fail­ing to take op­por­tu­ni­ties and giv­ing a de­cent im­pres­sion of Roberto Soldado when­ever he was in sight of goal.

Alexan­der-Arnold, mean­while, was for­tu­nate to stay on the pitch af­ter earn­ing just a yel­low card for a wild chal­lenge on Ben Davies in front of ref­eree Jon Moss.

Liver­pool be­gan the sec­ond-half strongly, with Klopp’s team cre­at­ing a flurry of chances through Stur­ridge, Divock Origi and Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum.

In­side the open­ing 15 min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod, Liver­pool carved out five clear goalscor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, but could not con­vert any of them.

Stur­ridge was the first to fall short when he al­lowed Origi’s cross to get caught be­neath his feet as he stood six yards from goal. Wi­j­nal­dum then had a close range ef­fort blocked be­fore Vorm raced off his line to deny Stur­ridge.

Wi­j­nal­dum was teed up by Stur­ridge fol­low­ing a pen­e­trat­ing run by the for­ward, only for the Dutch mid­fielder to scuff his shot goal­wards.

A goal ap­peared in­evitable, but Vorm then pro­duced the save of the game on 59 min­utes when he tipped Origi’s 25 yard shot over the bar and into the Kop.

Po­chet­tino had now seen enough of his team be­ing over­run and he threw on Erik Lamela on the hour mark in a bid to test Liver­pool’s de­fen­sive re­solve.

But the move back­fired as, within three min­utes, Stur­ridge raced onto Wi­j­nal­dum’s through­ball be­fore calmly scor­ing past Vorm. At 2-0, the game was now in the bag for Liver­pool.

Or so it seemed. Lu­cas Leiva’s clumsy foul on Lamela on 76 min­utes gift­ing Spurs the penalty from which they halved the deficit with Janssen scor­ing from 12 yards.

And from that point on, the two teams traded blows, des­per­ate to score the goal which would ei­ther win the game or send it into ex­tra­time.

Stur­ridge struck the cross­bar and both Wi­j­nal­dum and Danny Ings forced stun­ning saves from Vorm. At the other end, Lamela was de­nied an­other penalty when he ap­peared to be pulled down by Al­berto Moreno be­fore Onomah’s mis­con­trol cost him the op­por­tu­nity to con­vert Lamela’s cross­field pass from six yards.

Liver­pool, hav­ing had the game won, ended the game by hang­ing on, but hang on they did and Klopp’s team did enough to se­cure their place in the next round. Just. – The In­de­pen­dent

AFPPIX

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s goal­keeper Michel Vorm (right) saves un­der pres­sure from Liver­pool’s Daniel Stur­ridge dur­ing their EFL (English Foot­ball League) Cup fourth round match at An­field in Liver­pool yes­ter­day. –

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