A few weeks ago, we looked back at Roy Evans’ tenure as manager of Liverpool. And it was
on this day 21 years ago that his team would take on a struggling Spurs side under the
management of Gerry Francis.
Liverpool 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday 8th November 1997 – Anfield)
The game itself would prove to be overshadowed by the clear discontent of Spurs fans over
how the club was run. Though Liverpool were not in the best form themselves, it was clear
that Francis’ side had set up expecting defeat as throughout the game chants of “Bye, bye
Gerry” and “We want our Tottenham back” could be heard from the terraces.
From one look at statistics of previous encounters between the two sides, it was easy to see
why the Reds’ opponents had set up with this losing mentality. Going into the game, Spurs
had just one win in their previous 10 fixtures and only five Anfield wins in 54. Statistics that
would only worsen once the game was over.
Despite all this, Liverpool were far from dominant in the first half and you could even argue
they were outplayed. Both sides had opportunities and with John Scales and Sol Campbell
repelling most of what Liverpool threw at them, Spurs had plenty to be encouraged about at
The second half would prove to be a tough one for the away side, particularly goalkeeper
Ian Walker who arguably shouldn’t have played due to the loss of his mother just a few days
prior to the match.
In the 47th minute, he parried a low cross by Jamie Redknapp into the
grateful feet of Steve McManaman who converted from close range into the empty net. Not
long after, Reds would net again in similar circumstances when Robbie Fowler’s effort was
parried into Øyvind Leonhardsen who would ram home the loose ball.
Walker would later deny Paul Ince and Fowler from adding to the scoreline but just past the
hour mark nothing could be done to stop a sensational 25-yarder from Jamie Redknapp. It
was the kind of performance that no doubt contributed to Spurs acquiring Redknapp’s
services in 2002.
Late on in the game, youngster Michael Owen would be given a run out from the bench and
he seized the opportunity, latching onto a pinpoint through ball by Ince and beating Walker.
The perfect conclusion to a second half where the goals were flying in for the Reds, who
now found themselves in 6th place after 13 games played.
Steve McManaman (47’)
Øyvind Leonhardsen (49’)
Jamie Redknapp (65’)
Michael Owen (86’)