Spurs under 23’s 2-3 Liverpool: (match report)
Our under 23’s were defeated 3-2 by Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in a PL2 encounter at Anfield. Ugo Ehiogu’s experienced side saw Joshua Onomah, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Marcus Edwards all start. I was in the Kop watching Sunday afternoons match and although I was disappointed that the lads didn’t get something out of the match, I did think it was a really good game of football, and I felt that there were plenty of positives for Ehiogu’s side to take out of the game. We started the match at a chilly Anfield in positive fashion and it wasn’t long before Spurs’ attacking football had Liverpool on the back foot. The Lillywhites bright start was rewarded on 18 minutes, when Marcus Edwards opened the scoring for Spurs. A nice piece of play which started on the right wing when Walker-Peters deflected cross came into the path of Marcus Edwards and the England youth international cut inside before unleashing a powerful low shot which gave the Reds goalkeeper Grabara no chance, 1-0 to Spurs. Spurs were able to build on their lead and they were making an experienced Liverpool side look uncomfortable on the ball. Seven minutes later Spurs doubled their advantage over the Reds, after Nathan Oduwa won the ball off of Alexander-Arnold, Oduwa passed the ball to Tracey in the box. However, Tracey’s shot was blocked, coming to the alert Will Miller whose deflected effort eventually found the back of the net, 2-0 to the Lillywhites! It was a brilliant start at Anfield by Spurs but I just knew that Liverpool would turn on the pressure, and that happened just minutes after Miller’s goal. Right back Alexander-Arnold burst into the box wrong footing left back Joe Muscatt who panicked, his mistimed challenge resulting in a penalty for Liverpool, which was expertly despatched by Welsh winger Harry Wilson.
Goalkeeper Tom Glover made a fine save five minutes before the interval, denying Ben Woodburn from the resulting free kick. Liverpool started the second half in even better fashion than they had finished the first, and just minutes after it had begun they had drawn level. Sheyi Ojo had the ball on the right side of the penalty area and the young winger seemed he had no option to go for goal, but Ojo deceived Glover with a superb curling effort which nestled into the far corner of the net, 2-2. We were on the back foot in the resulting minutes as Liverpool sparkled, playing some fine attacking football which cut Spurs right open. Corey Whelan’s headed effort on goal hit the cross bar after Muscatt managed to get a vital head on the ball. And former Spurs academy graduate Kevin Stewart rifled a ferocious long range effort at goal which whistled past the right post. However, the former Spurs man did put the ball into the net in the 82nd minute after Alexander-Arnold whipped the ball to the area, Stewart beat Carter-Vickers in the air to head home the winner, Glover was furious in the Tottenham goal. Our confidence had been shattered after that late goal and Ehiogu’s depleted side could only muster up one good chance when Oduwa met a corner deep in stoppage time, but his header was well saved by Grabara, the final score Spurs under 23’s 2-3 Liverpool.
I also thought i’d add that young forward Reo Griffith’s traveled with the team on Sunday, he was sat in the stands along with fellow Spur Zenon Stylanides and another player who I was unable to identify.
My man of the match: He may have only been on the field for 59 minutes but I thought Edwards was terrific. After a four month injury lay off, it was obvious that Spurs had missed his mesmerising skill and brilliant ball control. Edwards had the Liverpool fullbacks sweating every time he went forward, the ball stuck to his boots as he attacked down the right wing, his early goal was brilliantly taken, his fourth of the season. Despite having not played a competitive game in four months, I didn’t think he was missing his sharpness, but it’s inevitable that he will be at his best again in no time.
– Tom Glover: The Australian goalkeeper was at no fault for any of the three goals Spurs conceded, he made a string of fine saves notably the one from Woodburn’s free kick. A few observations: I thought Glover was very good with the ball at his feet especially in his kicking. In addition his vocalness in front of the back four also impressed me
– Kyle Walker-Peters: The right back played well, his mazing forward runs causing the Liverpool defence some bother. It was also a very courageous performance from the brave right back.
– Cameron Carter-Vickers: The centre back made his first under 23 appearance of the season and it was a game of two halves for the American centre half. After an impressive first half where he was comfortable on the ball, the defender struggled in the second period he looked far less composed and didn’t impose his authority over the Liverpool attackers.
– Joe Muscatt: A decent performance from the left back I thought he had a good game, minus him giving a penalty away in the first half, Muscatt also made a key interception to deny Stewart’s effort in the second half.
– Luke Amos: A really good performance from the midfielder on loan at Southend, Amos was tenacious and unrelenting in the centre of the park.
– Will Miller: I thought Miller had a brilliant game, his movement was again top draw and his dizzying runs were a threat. He also netted Spurs’ second goal.
– Marcus Edwards: My man of the match. I thought Edwards demonstrated exactly why he’s training with the first team, he was very good on the ball despite severely lacking in game time.
– George Marsh: The second year scholar is an old school midfielder his second half introduction brought steel to the midfield, he was not afraid to get stuck in.
– Joe Pritchard: Since coming on in the second half, Pritchard failed to make much of an impact but this was down mainly to the fact that Liverpool had most of the ball in our end.
– Josh Onomah: He may be low on confidence of late, but I thought Onomah had a good game in his natural number 8 position. Onomah was very good on the ball and showed good feet, a Dembelesque performance from the youngster.
– Nathan Oduwa: Oduwa made some good driving runs down the right and was highly influential in the creation of our second goal.
– Cy Goddard: Came on very late.
– Shilow Tracey: Whilst his not a natural striker I thought Tracey done a good job up front, he worked very hard and was constantly pressing the Liverpool defence.
Liverpool: Grabara, Alexander-Arnold, Randall, Gomez, Whelan, Stewart, Wilson (c), Virtue (Williams 83), Brewster, Woodburn, Ojo. Substitutes (not used): Alves, Hart, Gomes, Kelleher (GK).
Spurs: Glover, Walker-Peters, Lesniak (c), Carter-Vickers, Muscatt, Amos, Miller (Marsh 56), Edwards (Pritchard 59), Onomah (Goddard 89), Oduwa, Tracey. Substitutes (not used): Maghoma, McDermott (GK)
Goals: Liverpool – Wilson 28 (pen), Ojo 47, Stewart 82; Spurs – Edwards 18, Miller 25.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Marsh 74.
Referee: Andrew Miller.