Football: Ginola holds secret of Spurs' survival
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Liverpool 3
Monday 16 March 1998
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Liverpool 3
SIX MINUTES remained, Spurs were hanging on desperately to a precious lead and David Ginola made one of his gloriously mad executive decisions. Accelerating suddenly towards the Liverpool goal, he entered a thicket of seven visiting players and all but emerged on the other side with a shot on goal.
Magnifique. Mais ce n'est pas la guerre. The face of Tottenham's beleaguered coach, Christian Gross, grew even more darkly intense as he gestured brusquely for Ginola to get back to his defensive duties.
Within a minute, Ginola - who had made two of Spurs' goals and claimed one sublime effort from 25 yards for himself - was substituted. "He was tired," said Gross, whose curt acknowledgement of Ginola's contribution as he walked off was in marked contrast to that of the spectators, who gave the Frenchman a standing ovation.
Hardly had Ginola's backside touched the bench than he was leaping up in anguish and hurling away his water bottle as his team-mates surrendered a lead for the third and final time.
With Bolton, Everton and Barnsley all winning, the odds on Tottenham avoiding relegation are beginning to look similar to those which faced Ginola as he made his mad final dash.
This was a truly exhilarating match to which Tottenham - and Ginola in particular - contributed hugely. But when it was suggested to Gross that he must be satisfied with the performance, he reacted with horror. "No, no," he said. "Today we lost two points. We made too many mistakes in defence."
Slow wits, as much as legs, were the problem for the home side's defensive line. It proved a perfect environment for Steve McManaman, who had one of his amazing days, scoring Liverpool's first following an exchange of passes with Michael Owen, and equalising in the final minute as he beat Sol Campbell to the loose ball after Owen's pace had confounded the converging Ramon Vega and Espen Baardsen.
For all Tottenham's manifest desperation at that moment, the draw was a fair result - although one point was no more useful for Liverpool's Champions' League ambitions than for Tottenham's hopes of survival.
Gross, however, was forced to admit that he had drawn some comfort from a performance in which Jurgen Klinsmann, whose row with him over team policy had been rumbling all week, emphasised his commitment to the cause. "Jurgen had his best game since I took over," Gross said. "And David gave an outstanding performance. I need these two players as leaders in the team. They have to perform like this in the last eight games."
Insiders at the club suggest that it is not only Klinsmann who has been disaffected by Tottenham's Swiss coach. But if the German can regain his appetite for goals - he headed home Ginola's 12th-minute cross with all the old inevitability - then Spurs may yet scramble clear.
Goals: Klinsmann (12) 1-0; McManaman (21) 1-1; Ginola (49) 2-1; Ince (64) 2-2; Vega (80) 3-2; McManaman (89) 3-3.
Tottenham Hotspur (3-5-2): Baardsen; Carr, Vega, Campbell; Fox, Ginola (Brady, 85), Berti, Nielsen, Wilson; Klinsmann, Armstrong (Howells, 59). Substitutes not used: Calderwood, Mabbutt, Grodas (gk).
Liverpool (4-5-1): Friedel; Jones, Matteo, Harkness, Bjornebye; Carragher (Thompson, 80), Ince, Redknapp, McManaman, Leonhardsen (Babb, 67); Owen. Substitutes not used: Kvarme, Murphy, James (gk).
Referee: U Rennie (S Yorks).
Bookings: Tottenham Ginola, Berti. Liverpool Harkness.
Man of the match: Ginola.
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
EXCLUSIVE: F1 heading for eastern revolution as new team emerges from Romania
Impressive Kurt Zouma may save Chelsea millions by replacing John Terry
Daniel Sturridge injury: Liverpool striker suggests problems could be linked with 'Caribbean vibes'
Capital One Cup fifth-round draw: Chelsea meet Derby, Tottenham face Newcastle, Liverpool travel to Bournemouth
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 3 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 4 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
- 5 Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...
£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...
£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...