On the strength of a strong start from Gareth Bale and some good fortune, Tottenham held off Liverpool 2-1. The Spurs jumped all over Liverpool in the first 20 minutes of the match, and the lead held up.
This match was supposed to feature Bale and Suarez battling it out, but instead Suarez failed to convert repeatedly.
Tottenham's defense wasn't that impressive in victory. They were fortunate Suarez and other Liverpool attackers weren't on their game. They surrendered 17 shots, five on goal, but none of them found the back of the net.
The Spurs were outplayed in the second half, but Liverpool couldn't close the gap.
Bale the Creator
Bale's first-half assault began early. His aggressive run created the scoring opportunity for Aaron Lennon. Bale caught the Liverpool defense ball-watching, and he delivered a pass across the face of Pepe Reina.
Lennon took the left-footed pass and deposited it in the right side of the net to put Tottenham up 1-0 just before the seven-minute mark.
Bale the Scorer
The Tottenham star showed his shot accuracy after Clint Dempsey's aggressiveness created a free-kick opportunity. Bale was right on the mark as he blasted a shot in the left corner of the net to give his side a 2-0 lead at the 16:00 mark.
Gareth Bale looks sensational. Do, do, do believe the hype. It's him vs Luis Suarez tonight. Most entertaining players in the Prem League?— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) November 28, 2012
GOAL! Bale scores for Tottenham and he's tearing Liverpool apart here. 2-0 to Spurs. #THFC— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 28, 2012
Bale's Own Goal
No one is perfect—not even Bale on this occasion. Jonjo Shelvey's corner kick created a carom that bounded off Bale and into the net for Liverpool's only goal.
Gareth Bale: A- Man of the Match
Bale took control of this match early with a goal and an assist, and Tottenham never relinquished control. He couldn't have played a much better first half.
His pace, confidence and skills make him one of the very best in the Premier League.
Bale had a part in every goal scored in this match. An unlucky own goal off the Spurs' star gave Liverpool their only tally.
Clint Dempsey: B+
He didn't get the bulk of the attention, but his toughness created opportunities and appeared to take the steam out of Liverpool. He punked Jordan Henderson after an entanglement that lead to the free-kick with which Bale scored.
Hugo Lloris: B-
Lloris made a few nice stops in the match, but he made a few errors in the penalty area in the first half. Had Liverpool executed properly, they could have scored at least one goal on these gaffes, but he lucked out.
Aside from that, he was smart with the ball and made good decisions.
Glen Johnson: C-
His pace was less than ideal for much of the game. Whenever he was matched with Bale he was outworked. He isn't as gifted athletically, but there is never an excuse for a lackluster effort.
Luis Suarez: C-
The Liverpool star didn't hold up his end of the bargain in this battle of Premier League stars. Bale stepped up in a major way for his side, but Suarez squandered opportunities in the first and second half.
He was unable to enforce his will on the match.
Pepe Reina: C-
It was unclear as to whether Bale's free-kick was deflected, but Reina was badly fooled by the movement of the ball. On Tottenham's first goal, Reina was caught in an unfortunate position because his back line stopped running.
Still, he was victimized far more than he distinguished himself positively.
Spurs hang on, just, against a Liverpool sidewho finished stronger but for whom quality reinforcements can't come soon enough. 2-1.— Darren Lewis (@MirrorDarren) November 28, 2012
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