Klinsmann keeps the dream alive

FOOTBALL COMMENTARY

The irony will surely not be lost on the Football Association. As Alan Sugar recognised after Tottenham Hotspur's impressive 2-1 win over Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup at Anfield on Saturday, the FA's ban on his club from this season's competition and its subsequent overturning have conspired to improve Tottenham's chances of a record ninth Cup win.

The Tottenham chairman, who was in magnanimous mood, said: "When we got back in, it gave us that extra bit of adrenalin. The [Cup] run has attracted so much attention because we were out of it.

"Otherwise, we would be just like any other club which had started the season with the right to be in the tournament. All I did was fight for our rights. It was an impossible dream to get into the FA Cup semi-finals after being kicked out."

Tottenham, who face Everton in the semi-finals, may now go all the way to Wembley itself for the final of a competition in which they should not be taking part.

This is not to denigrate Gerry Francis, who has done an exceptional job since taking over as manager; nor his players, who have responded magnificently; nor Tottenham's supporters (of which there are several at Lancaster Gate). But their successful legal challenge to the FA's ban on their participation has invited anarchy into the game. While one cannot blame Sugar for his tenacious action, its success has not been helpful to football's long- term interests.

Tottenham were, indisputably, guilty of a number of financial irregularities, and deserved to be severely punished. That Sugar was not chairman at the time is largely irrelevant. The club won the 1991 FA Cup with a team that included several players who had received illegal payments, and some members of the then administration and board are still at White Hart Lane.

Sugar shared the Anfield directors' box with Graham Kelly, the chief executive of the FA, who must have groaned inwardly when Jrgen Klinsmann scored Tottenham's 88th-minute winner. Whatever one's opinion of Tottenham's participation, there is a certain delicious irony surrounding the prospect of Sugar and Kelly sitting alongside one another at Wembley.

However, it appears there will be no need to have a steward standing between them. Sugar, who sat with arms folded and mouth pursed until the dramatic denouement - when he broke into applause and smiles while all around leapt to their feet - said he and Kelly had "shaken hands and talked in a civilised manner. That is how it should be; we get on and respect each other."

There was much mutual respect at Anfield. Several Liverpool supporters reached up to shake Sugar by the hand after the game; Ian Rush said he hoped Klinsmann would go on and get a winners' medal; and the home supporters put aside their disappointment to give Tottenham - and Klinsmann in particular - a generous round of applause when they left the field.

Heartening stuff, as was the sight of two Tottenham scarves laid alongside the fresh flowers at the Hillsborough memorial in the Anfield Road. A Newcastle scarf, left last week, also paid silent tribute.

The game itself was as uplifting as the sentiments around it, with the first half as good as any this season. So much so, that no one wanted it to end - including, it appeared, the otherwise admirable referee, Martin Bodenham, who was in the sixth minute of injury time when he finally looked at his watch and, almost immediately, blew.

Tottenham had equalised 30 seconds into added time, Klinsmann running on to David Howells' excellent through-ball and feeding Teddy Sheringham, who scored off the post from 20 yards. It was a heavy blow to a Liverpool side that had deservedly taken the lead seven minutes earlier through Robbie Fowler, after a marvellous run by Mark Walters.

Having collected the ball in his own half, Walters ran into the Spurs box and tied up four defenders before chipping a cross to the back of the six-yard box. Fowler, having pulled away from Justin Edinburgh, headed home his 28th goal of the season.

Liverpool had dominated the half, with Jamie Redknapp ruling the midfield. But it had been Spurs who had the better chances - David James denying Klinsmann with his knee in the second minute - and looked the more solid in defence.

Their secret, as Francis noted afterwards, is the wholesale observance of the philosophy that made Liverpool great. They have good players who work hard for each other. Even Ronny Rosenthal and Darren Anderton - both poor tacklers - harried and chased, while Klinsmann was regularly to be found on the edge of his own penalty area.

In the second period, Spurs "zoned up" like a basketball team, the entire side retreating into defence while Liverpool passed the ball across the midfield and back again, searching in vain for an opening.

While they were restricted to 20-yard shotsand one burst from Steve McManaman, Tottenham broke with pace and skill. By the end they looked the more likely winners, but it was still a surprise when they scored.

When taking a defensive throw-in, Liverpool have a habit of lobbing it to John Scales, who volleys upfield. It is impressive when it works - as it did in the first half when he found Fowler's chest and set up an attack - but this time Scales mis-hit the volley.

It fell 10 yards away, and Anderton brushed past Michael Thomas to supply Sheringham. He flicked on with the outside of his boot, and Klinsmann swept past Rob Jones and Neil Ruddock to score.

"It has been quite a weekend," Sugar said after the game. "My daughter celebrated her 21st birthday by getting engaged on Friday, and now this. The last time we were at Wembley, it was for an FA commission which deducted 12 points, fined us £500,000 and kicked us out of the Cup. It would be nice to go back for a different reason." Should Tottenham do so, Sugar should perhaps commission a second set of medals - for his lawyers.

Goals: Fowler (38) 1-0; Sheringham (45) 1-1; Klinsmann (88) 1-2.

Liverpool (3-5-2): James; Scales, Ruddock, Babb; Jones, McManaman, Redknapp, Barnes (Thomas, 74), Walters (Bjornebye, 74); Rush, Fowler. Substitute not used: Warner (gk).

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Austin, Mabbutt, Calderwood, Edinburgh; Barmby, Anderton, Howells, Rosenthal; Sheringham, Klinsmann. Substitutes not used: Nethercott, Caskey, Thorstvedt (gk).

Referee: M Bodenham (Cornwall).

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
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

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?