Sunday, March 05, 2006
Vital Win - but it was HARD Work!
Spurs 3 Blackburn 2 (h.t. 2-1)
Two goals from Robbie Keane in the first half and one from Mido in the second half gave Spurs the vital three points from this very difficult game. In an exciting and tense game, Spurs had to withstand extreme pressure from Blackburn who came back from two goals down to level the scores and right to the last kick were looking for a late equaliser. For their endeavour and play Blackburn should have had something from the game but Spurs were delighted and relieved to take all three points.
Spurs started with Keane partnering Mido and Jenas and Tainio returning in midfield. Lennon and Defoe were on the bench.
As always Spurs started cautiously but were ahead inside ten minutes when Mido won a throw near the corner flag and took it quickly to Keane. Robbie controlled, juggled and flicked the ball around defenders and goalkeeper to score an amazing goal. As the commentator said, 'It's won 'Goal of the month' already.'
Certainly, the close control of the players seems to be much better this season, perhaps something to do with the skills coach who was appointed earlier in the year.
Blackburn overcame the set-back and came into the game putting Spurs under considerable pressure. However, Spurs defended well and dealt with everything comfortably. On the break Keane was given off-side when through on the goalkeeper - a close call. With five minutes to half-time Spurs earned a free-kick at the corner of the penalty area. Mido hit a great shot which the goalkeeper parried but Keane followed up to score.
All Spurs had to do was to keep it tight until half-time and have the comfort of a two goal lead. Two minutes later Blackburn scored.
In the second half, Blackburn pressurised Spurs and threatened to get the equaliser. For much of the time all Spurs could do was hoof the ball clear in desperation and it just kept coming straight back. Lennon replaced Davids to give them a possible outlet. Robinson keptSpurs ahead with a great save but eventually Blackburn scored when King mis-headed a basic clearance outside the area.
However, unexpectedly, Spurs responded immediately when Keane set Lennon free on the right, he cut in and put over a low cross which Mido hit into the roof of the net.
Spurs had responded well and although continuing to be under pressure, they had a couple of opportunities to increase their lead but held on to earn the three vital points to restore the important cushion of being 5 points ahead of Arsenal. Other European challengers also lost ground - Bolton lost, West Ham drew and Spurs win restricted Blackburn's progress. Overall, it was a good weekend for Spurs - although a very tense and stressful game but the right result which is all that matter at this point in the season.
On to Stamford Bridge - wouldn't it be GREAT to win there.