Spurs left in a crumpled heap
By Derek Hodgson of "The Observer."
Spurs lost their way and their heads in the 10 minutes just before the interval when they were suddenly taken by the notion that they could take on Liverpool at the rough stuff.
It was nevertheless sad to see the more thoughtful, creative and aggressive team chewed up and left a crumpled heap of finery on an afternoon fit for kings and heros. For the great mass of the 41,521 crowd this result was no more than ample revenge for Tottenham's impertinence in winning at Anfield last season. For the impartial it was a chance to see Dalglish's Reds tested after last week's magical success at Everton.
The Shankly system remains; the defence is as ruthless in denying space, the new midfield could fuel a battlecruiser, while Johnston and Whelan are defensive wingers fashionable in this decade.
Dalglish is still linking while Rush, as his goal proved, remains the lean Lone Ranger and deadly sharp-shooter. Even with Nicol temporarily absent, the back four are faster and fiercer. In a phrase, Liverpool are back.
For the first 40 minutes, there was little between the teams but Liverpool's heavy tackling promoted retaliation. The free kicks erupted like boils across the glazed greensward and the first half had stretched to 48 minutes when Lawrenson, creeping along the by-line, beat Clemence from the narrowest of angles.
Falco had Grobbelaar in full soaring flight immediately on the restart, MacDonald having replaced the injured McMahon. While Liverpool were still applauding, Chiedozie wriggled past his cover to fire the equaliser high over the goalkeeper's right shoulder.
In 10 minutes Liverpool were ahead again as Beglin's measured pass cut out Roberts to leave Rush in his favourite position to shoot in low and diagonally from 15 yards.
What broke Spurs hearts were two penalty awards in the 61st and 67th minutes. Whelan appeared to do no more than run across Hughton, but Roberts did seem to foul Rush. Mr Seel may have been reluctant to use his book but he was deadly with his whistle. Molby - Rambo to the Kop - fired in the penalties as if with a stolen Kalashnikov.
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