Opinion: A satisfying point at Anfield that could have been three if we were more clinical

Harry Kane
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Antonio Conte was satisfied with Spurs’ performance and a point at Anfield but could have taken all three if his side was more clinical.

The trip to Anfield was set to be a fun one with Spurs fans seemingly not expecting much as they travelled to Liverpool for the game.

With that in mind, I too made the trip up to the northwest of England with some family and a friend, and was thrilled to see how Spurs would do against Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying Liverpool, who were still pushing Manchester City for the league title (Liverpool Echo).

We parked up at our hotel in Knowsley, quickly changed and immediately called a taxi to go to Liverpool Lime Street to see what pre-game antics they had in store.

Liverpool – a place I had only gone to once before when I was younger – are well known for having fans with strong support for their club.

However, just down the road from Anfield is relegation-fighting Everton, showing huge contrasts in the city of Liverpool.

We got in our taxi and was greeted by a huge Liverpool fan, who didn’t forget to emphasise to us that “Liverpool are the best team in the world”.

We joked that we had made the trip in an effort to upset the Liverpool fans chasing their quadruple quest.

In Liverpool Lime Street our accent blatantly stuck out as we walked and talked down the street.

But we were spurred on by Everton fans, who hoped we could come away with a result, as one said: “beat them **** Reds”.

After having some food, we sat down at The Shakespeare to have a few drinks and took in the atmosphere of Liverpool.

There were many hen dos and locals relishing the live music and were becoming quite drunk even before 5pm, but we all enjoyed the upbeat ambiance on offer nonetheless.

Myself and those I had travelled with began to discuss the match ahead – which was a late kick off at 7:45pm – with none of us expecting anything and a draw at best.

Whilst we were chatting, the 3pm kick off’s were in play and we were surprised to see Chelsea draw 2-2 at home to Wolves after being two ahead.

We continued to have a few more drinks, this time in a Liverpool Lime Street Wetherspoons, but we were again surprised to see Brighton and Hove Albion thrash Manchester United 4-0 in the 5:30pm kick-off.

After we finished up our last few drinks, we went to the taxi rank to go to Anfield as kick-off edged closer and closer.

We jumped into our taxi and this time we were welcomed by an Evertonian, who believed we had a chance to upset the Reds after we went to the Etihad in February and won 3-2 (BBC).

When we got to Anfield, we walked around to the away area of the ground and took a memorable family picture including myself, my dad and my brother, before heading in.

Conte made just the one change after Spurs’ 3-1 home win over Leicester, bringing back Dejan Kulusevski in for Lucas Moura.

The famous ‘You Will Never Walk Alone’ chants were sung by the Reds fans and then the match began fast-paced as expected at Anfield.

Spurs began very well defensively, with important last-ditch blocks from Ben Davies and challenges from Cristian Romero.

Liverpool attempted to pin Spurs back and succeeded at times, but I was surprised by poor crosses from Trent Alexander-Arnold who’s renowned as a pin-point crosser of the ball.

Spurs did struggle to create chances in the first half, as when the ball was knocked into Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, they were pressured off the ball by Liverpool giants Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahim Konate.

The best Spurs showcased before half-time was Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s shot from well outside the area which hit the outside of the post and went wide.

Van Dijk had a few free headers, which he should have hit the target with, but Spurs were let off on those occasions.

When the half-time whistle was blown, us Spurs fans seemed happy at 0-0 even with the host dominating large parts of the first half but no side was able to break the deadlock.

After having a drink at half-time we quickly made our way back to our seats to see what the second half would bring.

The second half started more favourably for Spurs and in the 56th minute, the deadlock was broken by Spurs’ Son Heung-Min.

After a great move that began with Hugo Lloris, the ball was played to Emerson Royal who sprayed it to Kane.

Kane took it down well and slipped it to left back Ryan Sessegnon, who squared it across the box to Son who finished a well-created Tottenham goal from the goalkeeper to our forward.

When that goal went in, the away support exploded into chaos as we had taken the lead at Anfield away from home with the goal happening right in front of us as we stood behind the Liverpool goal.

Shortly after, Spurs almost made it 2-0 after Royal’s swinging cross was met by his opposite wing-back Sessegnon, who tried to square it again to Son but the ball came at him too fast and he was unable to adjust.

Spurs were building momentum and had silenced the famous Liverpool crowds, as they tried to upset league-chasing Liverpool.

Klopp made a few changes – bringing on Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas – in search of an important equaliser for his side.

The equaliser came in the 79th minute after Liverpool’s tricky winger Luis Diaz’s deflected shot off of Spurs’ Rodrigo Bentacur went in the back of the net.

It could be said that it was undeserved but that’s a sign of a great team – they know how to find a way.

Both teams were evenly matched in the closing stages of the game, but Spurs fans thought they could have taken all three points home when Hojbjerg had a huge chance in the 94th minute.

Royal – who really impressed on the day – found Hojbjerg in the box and had Kane screaming for him to set him the ball, which he tried to do but lacked that much-needed quality when called upon and Liverpool were able to clear their lines.

It was a huge opportunity for Spurs to take all three points, after putting a good performance against a great team.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw and a much-deserved point for Spurs, but could have been three if Hojbjerg would have set the ball to Kane who would have put away the tap-in.

Nonetheless it was still a brilliant day out and after that, my family and I enjoyed the rest of the night in Liverpool Lime Street’s Concert Square, where we bumped into some Spurs fans who also enjoyed the game.

However, it is onto the next game for Conte’s men as tomorrow awaits the all-important north London Derby match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

This will be the most important NLD in the last 15 years or more and starts again at 7:45pm (Premier League), in a must-win game where top-four closely lies in the balance.

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