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Late winner saves Grobbelaar's blushes

By Jeff Powell of "The Daily Mail"

Not even the Bruce Grobbelaar factor could prevent Liverpool winning a match at Tottenham for the first time in more than ten years and rejoining the championship race.
 
The current tragic clown in Liverpool's goal was not relieved of his latest, nationally televised embarrassment until this match had overrun into injury time.
 
Then Ian Rush put a lethal finish to his five games without a goal to raise Liverpool to within two points of second-placed Manchester United.
 
Rush said: "Bruce was the most relieved man in the ground when I scored the goal. I'm glad for him that I got the winner."
 
This was Tottenham's fourth successive home defeat in the First Division and they find themselves in March still without a 1986 League win at White Hart Lane to their credit and troubled by adverse publicity and falling gates.
 
After their failure to hold on to the early lead presented to them by Grobbelaar's fourth glaring blunder in successive televised matches, manager Peter Shreeves said: "It was a bitter pill to lose to a goal in the last minute, but when you live in Belfast you are used to hearing bombs."
 
Grobbelaar, accused on BBC TV this weekend of costing Liverpool 15 championship points already this season, was equally honest about his emotions.

"After all the publicity I've been getting it was a poor show to make a mistake like that. Fortunately the lads pulled it round for me. In the past I've made mistakes and they haven't been able to do that but this time it might be quickly forgotten. Fortunately I didn't drop another clanger later in the match but the lads will be on my back again this week. Perhaps I'm just a character they like to pick on."
 
Grobbelaar revealed also that Liverpool's second-half revival owed so much to an interval lecture from Kenny Dalglish as to the wind which was strongly at their back in that period.

He said: "Sometimes a lot of noise works wonders. The manager is a hard man and you've just got to go out and play for him."
 
But by the time Liverpool's young manager came to meet the Press, he was a convincing spokesman for his players, saying of Tottenham's third-minute goal: "Anyone who makes a mistake like that knows it and is unhappy about it."
 
Grobbelaar's error came after he had turned a Chris Waddle shot around the post. Glenn Hoddle, at his most brilliant in the first half, took the corner which Grobbelaar somehow palmed towards his own goal, leaving Waddle to ease it over the line.
 
Jan Molby, the powerful Dane, struck an almighty equaliser in the 66 minute and both he and Steve McMahon struck the crossbar.
 
In contrast to Grobbelaar, Tottenham's former Liverpool goalkeeper, Ray Clemence, made several outstanding saves before falling victim, finally, to Rush's 20th goal of the season.

Shreeves was perturbed by the absence of challenge in midfield as that last move of the match built up but there was no arguing with the quality of Ronnie Whelan's pass or the deadliness of Rush's low shot.
 
Tottenham's reward for all the hard work which went into making the pitch safe and playable was an attendance of only 16,436, more than 12,000 down on the comparative, televised fixture for last season.
 
The main difference then was that Tottenham needed their 1-0 win that night to go top of the First Division. This time, the incentive was for Liverpool to maintain contact with United and, above all, six point leaders Everton.
 
Dalglish said: "We've never been out of touch. We always feel we need to win every week and we just get on with our business. If others want to worry about us, that's up to them."
 
Copyright - The Daily Mail

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