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A brief history of Dejan Lovren crumbling to pieces against Harry Kane

The two come face to face tonight in one of the key battles between Croatia and England

Dejan Lovren is the perfect epitome of the Jeykll and Hyde defender.

One week he’s showing shades of Paolo Maldini, the next he’s closer to Titus Bramble.

And certainly in recent meetings just the sheer presence of Harry Kane has seen him far closer to the latter.


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One way battle

AFP or licensors
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One way battle

Lovren, perhaps more than any other Liverpool player, is a divisive figure and his Reds career to date has been a rollercoaster of dramatic highs and debilitating lows.

So with their personal duel just one of the many sidenotes to the enthralling World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England, who will come out on top tonight?

February 2018 – Anfield

One of the most pulsating encounters in the Premier League last season effectively hinged on two Kane penalties at Anfield.

Liverpool and Spurs drew 2-2 thanks to two stoppage time goals from Mo Salah and England’s captain.

But Kane had already squandered a great chance just minutes before the late drama thanks to a proper brain fart from Lovren.

Lovren completely misses a routine clearance

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Lovren completely misses a routine clearance

For 80 minutes Lovren had kept Kane relatively quiet, but his one moment of madness saw him take a complete air shot at a routine clearance which allowed the Spurs man to run through and win a penalty.

Kane would miss that one but made amends in injury time to earn Spurs a share of the spoils.

October 2017 – Wembley

Lovren reached his nadir in October of last year when two mistakes inside the first 15 minutes against Tottenham saw him hooked after just half an hour.

Firstly he inexplicably ducked a header from a throw in, allowing Kane to round Simon Mignolet and put Spurs one up.

First missed header

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First missed header

Second missed header

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Second missed header

It didn’t get much better for Lovren eight minutes later when his mistimed jump released Kane again, who squared for Heung-Min Son to double Spurs’ lead.

The Croat was visibly shaken and was swiftly replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after 32 minutes to take him out of the firing line.

Liverpool never recovered from his calamity and would end up losing 4-1.

Dejan Lovren had a shocker of a Sunday against Tottenham

AFP
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The ignominy of a first half substitution

April 2016 – Anfield

This occasion owed far more to Kane’s brilliance than Lovren’s failings.

With Liverpool edging a tight content 1-0 at the time, Kane produced a sparkling finish from absolutely nothing to clinch a point at Anfield.

With his back to goal and Lovren for company, the Spurs hitman collected Christian Eriksen’s flick, turned his marker expertly and fired into the bottom corner emphatically.

Striker’s finish

EPA
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Striker’s finish

It was a moment of genius of Kane that the Croat simply didn’t see coming.

Basically if this was a boxing fight, the referee will have stopped the contest a long time ago.

Here’s hoping for more of the same in Moscow tonight…