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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Developer

£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A unique and rare opport...

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

People Change Manager

£260 - £325 per day: Progressive Recruitment: IT Trainer: E-Commerce Experienc...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn