On an afternoon when Harry Redknapp has asked for nineteen points (a sixty eight point total) to achieve Champions league football, Tottenham stood up and dispatched a Blackburn team, which baring the hulking Christopher Samba lacked the physical hall marks of a Sam Allardyce team. It was a game in truth that spurs won at a canter with the core of Gomes, Dawson and Wilson Palacios knocking the heart out of the Blackburn’s five man midfield, allowing our breadth of attacking talent to make our opponents look very ordinary.
Howard Webb once again proved that he is desperate to be more famous than anyone at Tottenham with his headline grabbing refusal to give a penalty to either side despite Corluka practically mugging Klansic in the first half; this might have been forgiven as Palacios got a touch in just before said mugging occurred. Gareth Bale not once, but twice in the space of five 2nd half minutes was tripped firstly by the awful Salgado and then by Morten Pedersen whose link with Spurs is as synonymous with British summertime as the Sun printing a picture of some local girl frolicking on Brighton beach as soon as we hit 72C. Webb failed to see any of these occasions and this was on top of a very strange decision to allow Blackburn’s goal when there was more than one reason to disallow it. Then he compounded a miserable day for the hard working Klasnic by cancelling out his turn and volley in injury time.
The game its self moved in to a pattern within the first 10 minutes of the first half. Blackburn would run around chasing Tottenham’s collective tails almost looking surprised when they got the ball such was Tottenham’s dominance in the first Half. The charge in the first half was led by the excellent Gareth Bale who made Salgado wishing he was back in Madrid with a glass of rioja and some bravas. With Assou-Ekotto Tottenham’s left side had pace and purpose and this is where most of the promising play was built in the first 45 minutes. There were early chances for Pavlyuchenko who missed timed a volley before putting a snap shot from a narrow angle wide. Blackburn looked dangerous on their rare ventures in the Tottenham half but in Michael Dawson they met a central defender who is not only in good form but seems to be growing into the captain’s armband with every passing game. The first goal came in first half stoppage time from a unlikely source – a Tottenham set piece. A kranjcar corner from the left was met by an excellent flick at the near post by Corluka which Defoe prodded home. On the basis of the play this was deserved and certainly made my burger taste all the more savoury at half time.
The second half started and followed the same pattern as the first. It was ten minutes before Blackburn threatened and that led to an excellent counter attacking goal. The quiet Modric picked up the ball on the edge of the box, rounded Emerton before putting a beautifully weighted ball for Defoe, he passed for Pavlyuchenko who turned the returning Chimbonda before hitting a powerful low shot witch bounced low and under Jason Brown who had replaced former Spur Paul Robinson in the first half. Blackburn looked beaten and Spurs piled on the chances and passes and with a better referee would have at least 1 more chance to make it 3-0. The Blackburn goal came ten minutes from time when Samba nodded in a far post header from a corner, despite Samba climbing on Dawson and Gomes being blocked off, this goal was allowed to stand.
If a nervous finish was then expected then this was all but put to bed four minutes later by Pavlyuchenko. A Bale free kick avoided everyone including the four players marking substitute Peter Crouch, Pavlyuchenko somehow managed to scuff his shot. The clearance went straight to Kranjcar and he delivered a great ball for Bale who on the half volley rolled an inviting ball across the 6 yard box back to Pavlyuchenko who slipped home his 8th goal in 6 matches. The injury time disallowed goal simply summed up what a great day Howard Webb had.
So three points down and sixteen to go in nine games, Palacios not booked, Defoe scoring and we out played and fought a team who see us as southern softies. All in all, job done. Now on to Ice station Zebra (Britania) to meet Delap and his performing seals.
Gomes 7- nothing to do, but he did that well
Corluka 6- Could have given away a pen and caught out of position a couple of occasions
Assou-Ekotto 7 -Really solid and great foil for Bale
Bassong 7- Looked alert but tested little
Dawson 8 – Great positional sense and leading the back line –more please
Kranjcar – 7 Came into the game in the 2nd half. Defensively in the right place.
Bale 8 – Another great show by the Boy Bale. The best January signing we made
Modric 6 – quiet until the 2nd goal looked lost against 3 man midfield
Palacios 8 – Immense, if we were a person he was the heart and the lungs today
Defoe 6 – Scored but otherwise was quiet
Pavlyuchenko 7 – Another two goals perhaps should have had a hat trick but that would be nit picking wouldn’t it?
Subs Crouch for Defoe (80) and Gudjonson for Modric (88)
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