Barclays Premier League – Sunday May 11th 2008 – Result
Tottenham 0 Liverpool 2
A game that was pretty meaningless ended with another three points for Liverpool, and for one player at least it certainly wasn’t meaningless.
Fernando Torres got his 24th League goal from 33 appearances, 33 goals in 46 appearances overall. The league total makes him a record holder, beating the total Ruud van Nistelrooy previously held for the most goals in a first season by a foreign player in the Premier League.
Free-signing Andriy Voronin got Liverpool’s other goal, his 5th league goal from 19 appearances, 6 goals in 28 appearances overall.
Pepe Reina made it 18 clean sheets in the league, the best in the league this season, meaning he’s won the golden gloves award every season he’s been at Anfield, this being the third season in a row.
Liverpool end the season in fourth place, 11 points from top, and 11 points above 5th place. They scored 67 league goals, 119 in all.
Peter Crouch, Jermaine Pennant and John Arne Riise, all strongly linked with a departure from the club before the new season, were left out. So too was Xabi Alonso, although in his case it was due to injury.
George Gillett sat in the stands to see what might be his last game as a co-owner of Liverpool.
Rafa Benitez: “We knew we had a lot of supporters here and we wanted to win for them. We created a lot of chances and could have scored more goals. The first half was frustrating but the second was much better and we deserved the victory.
“Gerrard and Torres are good players and they have a great understanding, but you have to credit the whole team.
“You know when you sign a player like Torres you will get goals and you expect that but this season he has been amazing. He has been fantastic. We were talking about the record before the game. He wanted to play in this game and wanted to score.
“Always when you sign a player it’s difficult to know if they’ll settle in the Premier League, but Torres is young and hungry. He wants to be successful for a number of years. He has shown all these things on the pitch. He is a good striker and there are a lot of good strikers in the Premier League. I don’t like to say he is the best because other strikers have other skills, but he is the best for us.
“When you talk about 119 goals, more than anyone in England, another clean sheet and a goalkeeper who’s won the Golden Glove three years in a row, and Torres being the most prolific foreigner in a first season, there are a lot of positives. People say we are a defensive team but the numbers are there. We play good, attacking football, and try to win every game. Sometimes you cannot do this.
“The only thing, and this is the most important, is that we didn’t win a trophy.”
(On possible new signings) “We are working hard trying to improve the squad. We have a list of players in different positions and we’ll try to progress. I think we will go forward. We now have a week more training and a lot of meetings. Then maybe I will have a holiday for a week, then I’ll be back doing interviews with you again!”
(On Spurs boss, and compatriot, Juande Ramos) “Sometimes I look over to the bench to see if they have anyone who speaks Spanish, but this was difficult because I knew when I was talking to Mascherano or Arbeloa that they could hear. I was having to talk in English and then in Spanish! He is doing a good job. It’s always hard when you come here and you can’t speak perfect English. It’s difficult but he’s doing a good job.”
Spurs assistant boss Gus Poyet: “It was a disappointing performance and we expected something different and something better than that. We wanted to win and prove ourselves against Liverpool. But they were better than us and we need to learn from this.
“We cannot complain too much, we have won silverware and qualified for Europe this season.”
Tottenham: 12 Cerny, 28 Hutton yellow card, 20 Dawson (23 Bent, 75), 39 Woodgate, 11 Gilberto, 15 Malbranque, 8 Jenas (22 Huddlestone, 45), 4 Zokora, 24 O’Hara (6 Tainio, 45), 9 Berbatov, 10 Keane
Unused subs: 1 Robinson, 2 Chimbonda, 6 Tainio, 22 Huddlestone, 23 Bent
Bookings: Hutton 63
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 48 Insua yellow card, 18 Kuyt (21 Lucas, 80), 8 Gerrard, 20 Mascherano, 19 Babel (11 Benayoun, 59), 9 Torres, 10 Voronin (3 Finnan, 71)
Unused subs: 30 Itandje, 3 Finnan, 4 Hyypia, 11 Benayoun, 21 Lucas
Booking: Insua 58
Goals: Voronin 69, Torres 74
BBC Stats: (Spurs – Liverpool)
Possession: 45% – 55%
Shots on target: 3 – 12
Shots off target: 3 – 6
Corners: 8 – 4
Fouls: 11 – 9
Setanta Stats: (Spurs – Liverpool)
Possession: 48.8% – 51.2%
Shots on target: 3 – 11
Shots off target: 5 – 6
Blocked shots: 0 – 1
Corners: 8 – 4
Fouls: 12 – 9
Referee: Uriah Rennie