Sunday, April 29, 2012
Tottenham 2 Blackburn Rovers 0
Spurs comfortable win over relegation fearing Blackburn restored their grip on fourth place in the Premier League having slipped to sixth after Chelsea's win over Queen's Park Rangers earlier in the day. A goal in each half secured the points with Kyle Walker's strike from a free-kick the outstanding memory from one of Spurs' easiest and most one-sided Premier League victories.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Blackburn Rovers 0
Scorers: Van der Vaart, Walker
Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon (Giovanni), Sandro (Livermore), Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Defoe); Adebayor Subs: (unused) Cudicini, King, Nelsen, Saha
Spurs won a game which they totally dominated with Blackburn unable to make even one attempt on goal during the ninety minutes. Spurs controlled the game and were given the time to pass the ball around at will and the only disappointment was that they failed to capitalise on the visitor's lack of ambition and score some more goals.
Younes Kaboul, Danny Rose, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor started in place of Ledley King, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Scott Parker and Jermain Defoe who had played against Queen's Park Rangers. King and Defoe were on the bench while Assou-Ekotto and Parker were injured.
Spurs started quickly and could have scored inside a minute when Luka Modric's cross found its way to the back post but Lennon put his shot into the side netting. A few minutes later Sandro made a powerful run into the penalty area but was unfortunate that as he fell after being tackled, the ball struck him and went out for a goal kick. After seven minutes good play between Modric and Adebayor found Sandro whose powerful shot from the edge of the box struck the bar.
Blackburn were posing no threat and Spurs continued to dominate but without creating any clear goal scoring opportunities. After twenty two minutes, the breakthrough came when Lennon's cross from the right was headed against the bar by Bale and while Adebayor and Rafael Van der Vaart seemed to get in each other's way, Van der Vaart managed to give Spurs the lead.
Almost immediately, Spurs had the opportunity to increase their lead with a quick break in a three against three situation but Lennon who carried the ball from his own half shot over instead of putting Bale or Adebayor into a scoring position.
After half an hour the stats showed Spurs to have had 71% possession and 6 attempts on goal to the visitors none. This total Tottenham possession continued and a good move on the left between Modric and Rose ended with the full back through on goal but Paul Robinson was out quickly at Rose's feet to smother the danger. William Gallas struck the bar with a header from a corner, three minutes before the interval.
The second half continued with the same pattern of Rovers pulling eleven men back into defence and Spurs passing the ball about as if it were a practice match. Brad Friedel had a very comfortable afternoon and was untroubled in his 301st consecutive Premier League match. With such dominance the match lacked urgency and Spurs didn't really threaten Robinson's goal but with fifteen minutes remaining Kyle Walker brought White Hart Lane to life.
Spurs were awarded a free-kick in the centre of the pitch about thirty yards out. Rovers lined up a wall with Van der Vaart looking as if he was once again taking responsibility for the set-piece. Then, Walker stepped up and curled a shot around the wall and past Robinson, giving the former Spurs goalkeeper no chance. It was Walker's second goal for Spurs - the PFA Young Player of the Year doesn't go in for ordinary run of the mill goals, with his first having been the winner against Arsenal earlier in the season. This goal gave Spurs the comfort zone they needed to see out the rest of the game without any trouble.
In ninety plus minutes Rovers had one corner and no attempts on goal, a very strange performance from a team needing the points to avoid relegation. Spurs had 71% possession with 17 goal attempts and five on target. Spurs have now won their last six matches against Blackburn.
Now its on to the Reebox Stadium on Wednesday evening where Spurs will face another team with relegation worries but it will be a much sterner test against Bolton.