Lennon scores late on as Spurs beat Liverpool 2-1

Published Nov. 28, 2010 10:39 p.m. ET

Aaron Lennon ended a yearlong goal drought in stoppage time Sunday to complete Tottenham's comeback 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League and prolong the visitors' miserable away form.

Lennon secured Tottenham's third straight Spurs win by latching on to Peter Crouch's flick, racing past defender Paul Konchesky and slotting past goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

''I should score more goals,'' said Lennon, who last found the net in a 9-1 rout of Wigan last November. ''I've been working on that ... Les (Ferdinand, a Spurs coach) told me (I'd score) but I didn't believe him. He had a word with me and told me he had a little wager on me.''

The goal lifted Spurs to fifth in the standings, a point behind Manchester City, which occupies the fourth Champions League spot, and within six points of leader Manchester United.

''We're not a team that you can write off,'' Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said. ''Even if you're one down, we're always going to make plenty of opportunities and it's a case of sticking them away. I just feel we've got a belief in there that we can come from behind.''

Liverpool had looked set to record just its second away win of a lackluster campaign when Martin Skrtel capped his team's first-half domination by scoring just before halftime.

But Roy Hodgson's side squandered several chances to extend its lead. Jermain Defoe missed a penalty for Spurs, but Skrtel inadvertently turned Luka Modric's cross into his own net in the 65th minute after the Croatia playmaker had ripped through the defense.


While Spurs are celebrating a memorable eight days in which they beat north London rival Arsenal and secure a spot in the Champions League knockout phase, Liverpool's hopes of returning to the top four are fading after a third straight league loss at White Hart Lane.

Liverpool is languishing in 10th, seven points behind fourth-place City.

''We had plenty of chances and played well enough to put the game to bed,'' Hodgson said. ''We didn't do so and, as a result of course, you always run the risk that the other team's going to get themselves back in the game.''

It was the defeat here on the opening day of last season that marked the start of Liverpool's fall: going from runners-up in 2008-09 to having its Champions League spot taken by Spurs in May.

Sunday's game in freezing conditions had started as it finished, with Lennon outmuscling Konchesky. But from Lennon's cross, Modric's volley didn't goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Jamie Carragher came to Liverpool's rescue on the half-hour, tackling Jermain Defoe after Reina fumbled Modric's cross.

But it was Liverpool in the ascendancy, thanks largely to midfielders Raul Meireles and Lucas Leiva, while Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios was frustrating the home fans by constantly conceding possession.

It was free kick from Meireles that led to Liverpool going ahead, with Skrtel heading it against David Ngog and the ball coming back to allow him to stab it into the net in the 42nd.

The visitors could have been further ahead in stoppage time.

Striker Fernando Torres set up Maxi Rodriguez but, with only goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to beat, the Argentine scuffed the shot. Inside a minute, Torres rampaged down the left flank, but the Spain striker's advance was halted by Sebastien Bassong's sliding intervention.

The second half started in a similar fashion, with Torres charging forward only to be blocked again by Bassong.

Spurs finally gained a foothold, but Gareth Bale's volley was heading into the goal before Meireles' intervention and Defoe missed from the spot after Bale's free kick was blocked by Ngog's raised arms.

Skrtel's own-goal, though, gave Spurs the impetus to replicate last Saturday's fightback at Arsenal.

Carragher faces a lengthy injury layoff after dislocating a shoulder just before Lennon's goal.

''It's very bad,'' Hodgson said. ''It's a disappointing thing to happen on his 450th appearance in the Premier League. We'll now be without him and Steven Gerrard and they are the lifeblood of our club.''

Tottenham had two injury setbacks in the first half. Rafael van der Vaart, who missed the Champions League win over Werder Bremen on Wednesday with ankle injury, limped off with a suspected torn hamstring after just 10 minutes.

''It doesn't look too good,'' Redknapp said. ''He keeps picking up injuries, little injuries.''

Center back Younes Kaboul was replaced by Bassong in the 34th after being injured blocking a shot from Torres.