90 mins: Dean’s first act is to be put through for a one-on-one – Liverpool’s defence have completely abandoned stations – but she’s just offside. We’re into injury time now.
89 mins: A final substitution for Tottenham. Last season’s top scorer, Rianna Dean, comes on for Rosella Ayane, who leaves to hearty applause. Liverpool continue their arial bombardment to little effect.
85 mins: It’s kitchen-sink time for Liverpool, who have begun to hump long balls towards the Spurs box. The hosts deal with them easily, one eye on the clock.
83 mins: Preuss is called into action again as Peplow bends one in from range. Spurs are looking to put this to bed.
80 mins: David has a chance to wrap up the win, sent clean through by Furness down the inside-right channel. She bear down on goal at a slight angle, but rather than striking across Preuss she goes for the near post and the Liverpool keeper is able to palm it wide.
76 mins: Liverpool, somewhat inevitably, have had the wind taken out of their sales by that sending off. A rare incursion into enemy territory sees Babajide sprint clear down the right but her cross goes straight out for a goal kick. Vicky Jepson throws on Ashley Hodson for Jess Clarke.
74 mins: Spurs make another change: Kit Graham off, Lucy Quinn on.
72 mins: Babajide scampers in behind the Spurs defence but the through-ball is just overhit, and she trots back to her position.
69 mins: Liverpool’s job has just got a whole lot harder. Although not strictly because of Fahey’s foul. Had she let Ayane go, they’d likely be 2-0 down.
Fahey is given her marching orders and it’s just about the clearest red card decision you’ll ever see. A Spurs punt upfield looks unthreatening enough but the cheetah-like Ayane gives chase anyway – and makes up a good 10 yards on the lumbering Fahey before stealing the ball to find herself clean through, 30 yards from goal. Fahey has a decision to make: take the striker down or let the one-on-one unfold. She opts for the former, halting Ayane with an excellent double-handed waist-grab. And that’s her afternoon over. Liverpool promptly make a change: Rodgers off, Purfield on.
60 mins: A purposeful surge forward from Ayane kickstarts a Spurs attack, which ends with Gemma Davison jinking in from the left and battering the ball at goal. It’s a terrific effort. Preuss dives to palm wide, and from resulting corner finds its way out Peplow, whose ambitious long-ranger flies over. Green replaces Worm.
58 mins: Liverpool change: Charles off, Babajide on.
55 mins: Good hold-up play by Sweetman-Kirk, who collects a long clearance, controls perfectly and funnels the ball to the advancing Clarke. She exchanges passes with Charles, and square to Sweetman-Kirk, who has made her way to the penalty spot. But the striker can’t connect properly with the cross and her mis-hit shot bobbles wide. That was Liverpool’s best attack.
51 mins: Neville and Robe clatter into a good old-fashioned 50-50. The Spurs players gets there first, swiftly followed by a set of her opponents’ studs. Neville rubs her shin, wincing. Robe sees yellow.
48 mins: Liverpool have begun with intent, working the ball crisply upfield, but still appear unsure as to how to create a clearcut chance. Sweetman-Kirk has been anonymous.
There’s no good time to concede. But that was an especially bad one for Liverpool, who had weathered a period of Spurs pressure to resume their early dominance and were looking the better bet to open the scoring. But the signs were there that they were overcomplicating things at the back. They’ll need less of that sort of nonsense in the second half – and a lot more bite in the final third. Spurs, meanwhile, just need to shut up shop. Easier said that done though. The teams are back out.
Half-time: Spurs 1-0 Liverpool
It’s the last kick of the half, and it certainly changes things for Liverpool. They’ll need to come out swinging now.
Goal! Spurs 1-0 Liverpool (Furness 45)
And Furness gets up to slot the spot-kick home with her left foot, Preuss sent the wrong way.
Liverpool’s dallying at the back costs them as Fahey is robbed by Percival, who give it to Furness. She steams into the box and is taken down in desperate fashion by Jane.
43 mins: Furness uncorks one from long distance. It’s a powerful hit, but Preuss parries to safety
40 mins: Liverpool maintain pressure but seem to run out of ideas as soon as the goal comes into view. Tantric football.
36 mins: Liverpool begin to turn the screw again, Lawley working the ball out to Rodgers, whose shot is blocked. Then Clarke, roving forward from the left, cuts inside and lashes a decent 25-yard effort at goal, which Spencer saves with relative ease.
32 mins: Lawley toys with her marker in midfield, showboating with a pair of stepovers before drifting out to the right. But it’s a cul-de-sac. She loses the ball – but she’s Liverpool’s brightest creative spark by some distance.
29 mins: It’s end-to-end stuff now. Spurs keep pressing, Furness underhitting a cross before a Liverpool counter ends with Sweetman-Kirk slide-tackled at the last.
24 mins: A marauding run form Gemma Davison, past a nonexistent Liverpool midfield and towards the heart of their defence. The ball is worked out to the right and Neville’s cross is blocked, before Davison belts another shot into a red-clad midriff. You sense a Spurs goal coming.
21 mins: It’s nearly one-nil Spurs as Graham feeds Furness in the inside-left channel, sending the winger haring into the box after the ball. The onrushing Pruess gets there first and smothers, but it only by a split second.
18 mins: Spurs have settled a bit and have begun to pass the ball with conviction. Liverpool’s attempts to play it out from the back are less reassuring and result in a halfhearted Spurs penalty appeal when they steal the ball and Percival falls in the box. Percival then sends a long-ranger harmlessly wide. But Spurs have gained momentum.
14 mins: The game’s first moment of true quality comes from Amy Rodgers, who picks up the ball in the centre circle and surges forward before dispatching goalwards from 25 yards. The shot is struck sweetly and has Spencer scrambling, but flashes just wide of the post.
11 mins: A loose pass from Jane is pounced on by the Spurs midfield and Furness is released down the left. She needs to decide whether to shoot or cross, but does a hopeless combination of both and the ball skitters out for a goal kick.
9 mins: A first involvement for Preuss in the Liverpool goal, who marches off her line confidently to claim a free-kick floated in by Percival. Good goalkeeping.
6 mins: It’s Spurs’ turn to attack: their first foray into Liverpool’s box culminates with Ayane latching on to a half-cleared ball and miscuing a left-foot volley well wide.
4 mins: The visitors continue to make inroads into Spurs territory. Jane surges forward from right-back and is brought down by Peplow. Lawley uses the free-kick to disguise a square pass to Rodgers, whose 20-yarder flies just over the bar.
2 mins: Liverpool with the better of the opening exchanges, Lawley already embarking on a couple of dribbles down the left. One earns a corner, easily cleared.
And we’re off. Liverpool with kickoff, from which Lawley scampers forward from kickoff before possession reverts to the back four.
The teams are out. And Ria Percival, who joined from West Ham in the summer, will be captaining Spurs today.
Tottenham: Spencer, Neville, Godfrey, Filbey, Worm, Percival, Peplow, Furness, Ayane, Davison, Graham. Subs: Morgan, Schillaci, Wynne, Green, Haines, Dean, Quinn.
Liverpool: Preuss, Jane, Bradley-Auckland, Fahey, Robe, Bailey, Rodgers, Charles, Lawley, Clarke, Sweetman-Kirk. Subs: Kitching, Purfield, Hodson, Babajide, Linnett
The Hive will witness history being made today when Liverpool visit the capital for the first ever meeting between these two sides. It’s a game they’ll both be rather more desperate to win than they’d like: both slumped to 1-0 opening-day defeats, Liverpool felled at home by Reading – and a former member of their ranks in Fara Williams – while newly promoted Spurs battled gallantly in front of a bumper crowd at Chelsea but were outplayed and ultimately beaten.
Just as well, then, that this afternoon presents both with the opportunity to go some way to rectifying that. And both will rightly fancy their chances: Spurs playing their first game at their new home ground against an eminently beatable Reds side, Liverpool bolstered by a handful of summer signings – most notably Melissa Lawley from Manchester City – who give the visitors the edge on paper.
But football, as you may be aware, isn’t played on paper. And while being part of history is all well and good, no one wants to play the role of loser. Stay tuned.