Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tottenham 3 QPR 1

Tottenham maintained their unbeaten run as they defeated Queen's Park Rangers at White Hart Lane.  Two goals from Gareth Bale and one from Rafael Van der Vaart secured the three points as Spurs return to fifth in the Premier League, level on points with Chelsea and Newcastle United.

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Queen's Park Rangers 1
                            Scorers: Bale (2), Van der Vaart          Bothroyd 

Team: Friedel; Walker, King, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Parker (Sandro), Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart, Adebayor.  Subs: (unused) Cudicini, Gallas, Bassong, Livermore, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko.
Tottenham opened with an obvious intent to score an early goal against their London neighbours.  The team showed one change from last week's success with Ledley King restored to central defence in place of Sebastien Bassong.  William Gallas was on the bench for the first time this season.  

Two goal hero - Gareth Bale
Rafael Van der Vaart could have scored in the opening moments but Kenny saved as the Dutchman looked to score for the fifth successive game.  Spurs were playing fluent football, creating more chances which came and went as they dominating possession and chances.  Emmanuel Adebayor headed narrowly wide but in the twentieth minute Gareth Bale scored his first goal at White Hart Lane since New Year's day in the one goal defeat of Tottenham's next opponents, Fulham.  It followed a Friedel goal-kick, flicked on by Adebayor to Van der Vaart who passed to Aaron Lennon coming infield to find Gareth Bale free on the left to shot past Kenny.

Spurs continued to enjoy their football and created patterns of passing and movement all round the pitch.  Such a passage of possession ended with Van der Vaart unmarked and in front of goal as a shot from Ledley King was deflected to him.  He scored with ease from the edge of the area.  That goal was Van der Vaart's sixth in the last five Premier League games.  Two goals up and cruising to such an extent that Spurs should have had four goals and could easily have had six if they hadn't spurned so many of the chances they created. 

In the second half it all changed.  Neil Warnock introduced two substitutes with former Spur Adel Taarabt being substituted and Queen's Park Rangers came out fired up to put Spurs under pressure.  This they did and gradually came into the game - no longer were Spurs able to play their intricate passing game and after an hour they scored a well deserved goal.  Jay Bothroyd who had made a nuisance of himself since coming on at half-time was on hand to head in from a corner which Spurs failed to clear.

Tottenham took five minutes to regain their composure and then created a couple of chances to add a third when Kenny denied van der Vaart.  Then on 72 minutes Bale received the ball from Lennon to shoot past Kenny from the edge of the box.  The goal drained Rangers confidence as Spurs started to control the game again.  They failed to add to the score and it took two goal line clearances by Lennon and Bale in injury time to preserve the three points as QPR made a late effort to snatch a point.

if Rangers had succeeded in that late final surge Spurs would have been thoroughly down-hearted as they had so dominated the game in the first half and failed to make the most of it before relinquishing the advantage to QPR in the second period.

Another win takes Tottenham to fifth place, level on points with Chelsea and Newcastle United.  Undefeated Newcastle visit Stoke tomorrow night and a defeat by two goals would see Spurs move above them on goals scored and with a game in hand.


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