PREMIER LEAGUE: Tottenham back to fifth with away win at Liverpool
Tottenham have moved back to fifth on the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield. Spurs deserved maximum points from the match as they took it right up to and away from a Reds outfit who did not provide that attacking presence which had been so prominent in recent matches.
Rafael van der Vaart got the opener in the ninth minute with a neat finish before Luka Modric converted a 56th-minute penalty to see off Kenny Dalglish and his men who had not lost in their five previous outings.
Venue: Anfield, LiverpoolCrowd: 44,893 Referee: Howard Webb Yellow cards:LIV - Luis Suarez 20', John Flanagan 70' TOT - Sandro 45'
GOAL Tottenham kicked off the match with an early goal after dominating the opening stages and it came via Rafael van der Vaart who controlled the ball on the edge of the area from a poor Liverpool clearance before volleying home past Pepe Reina in the ninth minute.
The midfield was particularly congested as both sides tried to close each other down after Spurs' dominant start but the match eventually opened up when Liverpool were given more room to move.
Andy Carroll had a great chance to put Liverpool on level terms in the 38th minute when Martin Skrtel floated a ball to the back post from the right but the striker's header was off target in an uncustomary piece of play from the former Newcastle United man.
There were no out-and-out chances to speak of in the remainder of the first half as Tottenham kept themselves ahead of the Reds, both on the scoreboard and terms of possession.
The scrappy nature of the match continued early in the second half before the game's only goal scorer van der Vaart had to be brought off after injuring himself when trying a chip from 20 yards which was saved by Reina.
But only a few minutes of his absence and Spurs were 2-0 ahead when Reds defender John Flanagan clumsily barged into Steven Pienaar in the area, giving referee Howard Webb no choice but to point to the spot. GOAL Star midfielder Luka Modric stepped up to the plate, sending Reina the wrong way by putting his shot straight down the middle to give the visitors a commanding lead in the 56th minute.
Kenny Dalglish brought on Jonjo Shelvey in the 64th minute and the midfielder almost had an immediate impact with a cracking shot from 25 yards as the Reds went on the attack but were continually held at bay by a dour Spurs defence.
Time was running out for Liverpool as Tottenham simply tried to soak up the clock and there was no further addition to the 2-0 scoreline as Spurs replaced the Reds in fifth place on the table.
Liverpool Pepe Reina (gk) - John Flanagan, Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson - Dirk Kuyt, Jay Spearing (Shelvey 64'), Lucas Leiva, Maxi Rodriguez (Ngog 75') - Andy Carroll (Cole 87'), Luis Suarez
Subs - Peter Gulacsi (gk), Jonjo Shelvey (64'), David Ngog (75'), Joe Cole (87'), Christian Poulsen, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jack Robinson
Tottenham Carlo Cudicini (gk) - Younes Kaboul, Ledley King, Michael Dawson, Danny Rose (Bassong 80') - Luka Modric, Sandro, Steven Pienaar (Kranjcar 90'), Aaron Lennon - Peter Crouch, Rafael van der Vaart (Defoe 53')
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