Torres saves sorry Reds
Liverpool earn late draw
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: 07/10/07 6:33pm
An injury time equaliser from Fernando Torres saved Liverpool from their second home defeat in five days.
Torres headed home in the second minute of added time to earn his side a point in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Anfield.
Andrei Voronin had put Liverpool, who lost to Marseille in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, in front when he poked home on 12 minutes after Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson had spilled a Steven Gerrard free-kick.
However, Robbie Keane pounced in copy cat poaching style either side of the half-time interval to put Spurs in front.
Keane latched on to a Dimitar Berbatov flick on to prod in his first on 45 minutes and with Liverpool still stunned by the equaliser the Spurs striker pounced again in the first minute after half-time.
On 47 minutes Berbatov again provided the assist as Keane beat Jamie Carragher to the ball to steer past Jose Reina in the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool looked destined for their first Premier League defeat of the season as frustrations grew, but Torres demonstrated why he earned such a high summer price tag as he saved the day.
The match brought together two managers under pressure; Rafa Benitez because of his tinkering with the side and the abject European defeat in midweek, and Martin Jol because his job seems to be under threat on a match-to-match basis.
There was extra tension in the air, but it did not stop Spurs from venturing forward. They almost took the lead after just two minutes when Gareth Bale curled a 20-yard free-kick inches wide of a post.
Voronin saw a 20-yard shot easily saved by Robinson four minutes later, but after 12 minutes the Ukrainian was more successful.
Jenas had pulled back Gerrard 25 yards out and, when the Liverpool skipper crashed the free-kick through the wall, Robinson could only half stop the deflected effort, and Voronin punished him by scoring on the rebound.
Undaunted Spurs retaliated with a flicked header from Keane which dropped just wide, and then a right-footed drive from the Irishman flashed across Reina's goal.
Gerrard almost made it 2-0 with a 20-yard free-kick which crashed against the foot of Robinson's left-hand post after 28 minutes.
Liverpool should have scored after 34 minutes when Torres, Voronin and Gerrard broke away, but the chance was wasted in the box after a flurry of passes and a Voronin effort was deflected away.
But Spurs deservedly equalised after 44 minutes when Dimitar Berbatov nodded on Robinson's long clearance, and Keane got in between Steve Finnan and Sami Hyypia to flick a shot past the advancing Reina.
Two minutes into the second half Keane struck again. Robinson's free-kick for a foul by Torres soared down the field to be headed on by Berbatov, and this time Keane got to the glanced pass to lift the ball over Reina into the roof of the net.
Spurs continued to come forward and, after Bale's grafting had retained possession on the left, the ball was transferred to Jenas, who fired wide from the edge of the box.
Liverpool were being forced into mistakes as Spurs continued to press for a third. The home side did break out, but after Voronin's surge the chance fell to Gerrard, who drove over.
There was an air of desperation now about Liverpool - yet another team had come to Anfield and attacked them - and they were not enjoying it.
The hard-working Teemu Tainio was replaced by Steed Malbranque after 75 minutes, with Liverpool still showing little sign of an equaliser.
That was until Robinson spilled another long-range effort, this time from Steve Finnan. But Dawson managed to hook the ball away from the danger area.
Robinson saved well at his near post from Javier Mascherano, while John Arne Riise and Torres both blazed efforts high over.
Mascherano fired just wide from 20 yards, with time apparently running out for Liverpool who had not been able to mount the expected grandstand finish.
But two minutes into injury-time, Torres finally found some space in the box when he rose to head home Finnan's cross to give Liverpool a fortunate point.
|Liverpool||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|7||Shots on Target||3|
|12||Shots off Target||8|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||30||42|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||30||33|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||30||22|