Football: Ginola holds secret of Spurs' survival

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Liverpool 3

By Mike Rowbottom

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.

Attendance: 30,245.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain