Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham played to a 0-0 tie in front of 42,000 fans in Baltimore, MD. Photo Credit: Joe Pantorno
Soccer News: Liverpool and Tottenham Play to Scoreless Draw in Friendly in Baltimore
Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham continued their United States tour at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD, with a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon as over 42,000 American supporters came out to see their English heroes.
“I would love to say a massive thank you for the whole North American tour,” said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. “The hospitality and everyone’s support has been great. It amazes me to see so many supporters worldwide. Every game for us on this tour has been like a home game and that’s due to the supporters and the kindness of the sport.”
With both Premier League sides with European aspirations, the result was right on for both managers especially in the scorching heat Baltimore had to offer. At kick-off it was nearly 95 degrees, conditions that are quite difficult to play in.
“I thought the players were outstanding to stay that focused and organized in that heat,” said Rodgers. “It really shows their concentration and actually the fitness levels that they maintained. I was very pleased.”
“We played extremely well under these conditions,” said Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas. “It was very, very hot to play in these conditions today. I understand for American sports, it may not be something new, but for us we come from different conditions and it is very, very hard for the body to adapt to play at this level and intensity.
Tottenham came closest to a winner right before halftime, when mercurial midfielder Gareth Bale’s cross from the left side, missed the head of striker Harry Kane and came to a streaking Aaron Lennon. All the England International had to do was tap it in, but he hit the post.
Despite the label of the game being an international friendly match, the intensity, like the thermometer was high. Chippy play and aggressive challenges almost left one of Europe’s biggest stars in deep trouble.
Tottenham’s Bale, voted Professional Football Association’s Player of the Year last season, was cut down by midfielder Charlie Adam. Bale was down for a few minutes, but was able to continue playing for another ten minutes.
“It was a very nasty challenge from Charlie,” said Villas-Boas. “He (Bale) is so-so. He is going to walk with a boot…it is extremely painful and twisted.”
Liverpool’s best chances came in the second half with the substitutions of some fresh faces. Twenty-one year old forward Nathan Eccleston and 17 year old midfielder Raheem Sterling seemed to lift the Reds, who were on the back foot for most of the first 45 minutes. The pace of Anfield’s newest youngsters caused problems for Tottenham down the wings, but the final ball was lacking all afternoon.
“I’ve been really, really pleased. I think that was one of the key things for me today was the development of the young players,” said Rodgers. “[Sterling] took on an experienced defender [Sebastien] Bassong, and he gave him a hard time. And that’s brilliant for me.”
Tottenham is off to New Jersey to take on Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls while Liverpool heads home to prepare for Europa League competition.
Rodgers on Liverpool’s upcoming Europa League match against Gomel in Belarus:
“We could’ve went to Ireland, we could’ve went to Scotland, but no…Like I say, it’s what’s dealt to you in life and that’s what put in front of you so I don’t cry. That was the draw, we’re in the competition, that was always the possibility of it. Now get on with it and deal with it.”
Rodgers on the rumors of Andy Carroll transferring to West Ham:
“[There’s no bid] that I’m aware of. Obviously I’ll know more when I go back. There’s been a lot written about Andy but I think seeing him today, he’s happy to be here, he’s worked very well…The reality is that he’s still a Liverpool player. He can fit in at how I want to play, there’s no question about that and he’s happy here…I’m certainly not looking to push him out the door.”
Villas-Boas on the rumors of Luka Modric transfer talks with Real Madrid:
“It is between the President of our team and the chairman of Real Madrid to reach an agreement that is highly valued by us. At the moment, we will follow the situation, but we know the interest is there.”
All photo credit: Joe Pantorno