The match had started so well for Spurs with Berbatov’s first goal giving them a sixth minute lead as he scored from Keane’s well placed cross.
Spurs’ defensive frailties then came into play as Reading equalised following a free-kick after a quarter of an hour. Level at half-time, no-one realised the late Christmas cracker that was to be served up after the interval.
Further defensive woes saw Reading go ahead from a corner and have chances to increase their lead. Berbatov kept Spurs alive when he levelled the score with a powerful shot when a cross from the right fell to him, only for Reading to regain the lead from another corner. Berbatov responded again with his hat-trick scoring a lovely goal from a corner as he got between two defenders and carefully stroked the ball into the net.
Spurs fell behind again as Reading scored on the break. This time it was Steed Malbranque who rifled in a shot to bring the score to 4 – 4. So much excitement as every attack seemed to bring a goal.
Spurs weren’t satisfied and when awarded a penalty for a foul on Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe headed the rebound home after Keane missed his second penalty in a week.
To make the victory safe, Dimitar Berbatov powered past a Reading defender to smash home his fourth and Spurs’s sixth for a win that had seemed improbable less than thirty minutes earlier.
Berbatov the enigma showed all his goal scoring prowess and was a constant threat to the Reading defence. Over the past months as Spurs’ season has struggled along, many have criticised Berbatov for his seeming disinterest and lethargic approach, convinced that he was wanting away to Manchester United or some other big club. However, against Reading, he responded in the most positive of ways and reminded Spurs of why they need him to stay and be part of the team that Juande Ramos is building at Tottenham.
Spurs last Premier League hat-trick:
Jermain Defoe – 18th December, 2004 v Southampton Won 5 - 1
Last Player to score 4 League goals:
Jurgen Klinsmann – 2nd May, 1998 v Wimbledon Won 6 - 2