Over the years Tottenham have had some horrendous records against certain sides especially at Anfield against Liverpool. Gradually, in recent years they have managed to bring some of those to an end – against Chelsea, at Old Trafford, away to Arsenal and at Anfield. Such difficulties, however, haven’t been restricted to the Premier League era.
Tottenham’s win at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground in 1968 when new signing Martin Chivers and Jimmy Greaves scored the goals in a 2 – 1 success, was their first since 1937. Even the great ‘Double’ team surrendered their unbeaten start to the season at Hillsborough in November, 1960.
The worst record of all, however, was at Anfield where Tottenham’s last win prior to 1985 had been before the 1st World War – in March, 1912. Up until 1985 Tottenham’s annual trip to Anfield was associated with the sinking of the Titanic as Spurs had not won there since before that sad event. On 15th April, 1912 the Titanic went down on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. A month earlier, Spurs had achieved their last win at Anfield on 16th March, 1912.
16th March, 1912
Liverpool (a) 1st Div. Won 2 – 1 Newman, Mason
Ahead of this game Spurs had won only twice since defeating Woolwich Arsenal 5 – 0 at White Hart Lane on Christmas Day. Their record included five defeats and four draws from eleven League and Cup games. Spurs goals at Anfield were scored by Ernie Newman and Tom Mason. This was Mason’s only goal for Tottenham and neither player had lengthy careers with Spurs but results at Anfield over the next 73 years were to provide them with a place in the Tottenham history books. Spurs had taken a fifth minute lead with a header from Mason. Newman added a second before half-time and although Liverpool scored early in the second half they couldn’t get a second. This was Spurs’ second success in three visits to Anfield, having won by the same score the previous season.
Many Had Tried
During Tottenham’s barren years at Anfield, many outstanding Tottenham players had faced away games at Liverpool but with the same result. In the spring of 1963, just weeks before lifting the European Cup Winners’ Cup, a Spurs team including Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones and John White lost 2 – 5 at Anfield. Three days later, Spurs won 7 – 2 at White Hart Lane when the two teams played the return Easter fixture with Greaves scoring four goals. Why could they not do it at Anfield?
The very best of Pat Jennings could only achieve a very honourable draw in March, 1973. He produced one of the most memorable performances by a Spurs player at Anfield in a 1 -1 draw, saving two penalties to deny Liverpool.
Kevin Keegan had taken the first penalty but Jennings saved it, diving to his right to palm the ball away. Tommy Smith put the next one to Jennings’s left, with similar results. There is a photograph of Jennings springing up from his second penalty save, punching the air with one hand. The referee looks on, grinning wildly in sheer disbelief. On the turf, down on his knees, is Smith, hammering the ground with both fists in total rage.
Alan Gilzean had scored the opener, but Keegan eventually put the ball past Jennings with, of course, a mishit, deflected shot.
Seventy three years later, on the same date, 16th March, Spurs brought their terrible record at Anfield to an end. During that time they had played 43 matches in League and Cup competitions, achieving 15 draws and 28 defeats.
16th March, 1985
Liverpool (a) 1st Div. Won 1 – 0 Crooks
Tottenham were challenging near the top of the 1st Division but had lost in midweek at home to Manchester United. It was actually their away record which was keeping them in the title race and they were undefeated in their previous 10 away League games with six victories. They had lost at Anfield in the 4th Round of the FA Cup but on this occasion a Garth Crooks goal with twenty minutes remaining earned them the three points. Spurs finished the season in third place, level on points with Liverpool.
Over the next 28 years Tottenham have won at Anfield on another five occasions in League and Cup:
Premier League Record at Anfield
P 20 W 2 D 6 L 12 For 17 Ag 38
While it’s never easy at Anfield as Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa discovered on the baptism at Liverpool, losing by seven goals, at least since that 1985 success, Spurs have recorded a number of wins and haven’t lost in the last two visits.
Oct. 1986 1st Div. Won 1 – 0 Allen, C.
Aug. 1993 PL Won 2 – 1 Sheringham (2) (1 pen)
Mar. 1995 FAC Won 2 – 1 Sheringham, Klinsmann
Everyone was beginning to think that this was going to be Tottenham’s year for the FA Cup. They had shown great determination to win at Anfield with Jurgen Klinsmann’s late goal. Liverpool had taken the lead late in the first half but Teddy Sheringham brought them level just before the interval. A draw was looking the most likely result when with two minutes remaining Sheringham put Klinsmann through to score the winner. Sadly, Everton ended Spurs’ Wembley dreams in the semi-final.
Nov. 1998 LC Won 3 – 1 Iversen, Scales, Nielsen
This victory enabled Spurs to continue on their Road to Wembley and success in the Final of the Worthington Cup against Leicester City.
May, 2011 PL Won 2 – 0 Van der Vaart, Modric (pen)
Liverpool and Spurs were both in contention for a place in the Europa League with two matches to play at the end of the season. Ledley King made a surprise return to the Tottenham defence having been absent since October and helped keep a clean sheet for the first time in ten games. Rafael van der Vaart gave Spurs an early lead and Luka Modric’s second half penalty helped secure the victory and Liverpool’s first home defeat since Kenny Dalglish’s return as manager. This was only Spurs second Premier League win at Anfield.
Jan. 2012 PL Draw 0 – 0
It was a backs to the wall effort for Tottenham at Anfield last season with Scott Parker leading by example in a scoreless draw. The best chance of the game, however, fell to Gareth Bale, late in the second half, but he was unable to make it count for an injury stricken Spurs.
With Liverpool’s improved form over the past few weeks, especially at Anfield, Tottenham can expect a severe test as they try to hold on to 3rd place in the Premier League. With no other team in the top 5 playing this weekend, Tottenham want to take advantage of that and increase the pressure on those chasing clubs by strengthening their hold on third with another three points.