Match Review – Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

The battle of the Britannia ended in sensational Spurs securing the points. Spurs fans entered the game optimistic ahead of the tie despite a poor recent record against the Potters. The final score displayed the fight, power and determination to win from Spurs whom for the first time in a number of weeks looked like they wanted that Champions League spot. Spurs entered the game without the injured Mousa Dembele however Tom Huddlestone continued alongside Scott Parker in the centre of the pitch. Stoke entered the game with nothing to lose having already secured their top-flight status for another year. This showed as their performance was lack lustre and they showed no real drive to win the game or continue to secure the points in traditional Stoke style – sitting back and holding on.

Spurs began the game poorly. The re-introduction of Steven Caulker to the side looked un-necessary early on as the balanced height at the back looked useless to the power and physicality of the Stoke front men and it took its toll early on. Stoke took the lead through Steven N’Zonzi who headed in a Charlie Adam freekick. The early goal looked inevitable as Spurs found themselves powerless to the force of Stoke.
The game however turned in Spurs’ favour. Tottenham enjoyed a magnificent spell in which they played the ball around very well. The Spurs fans were left frustrated as, as much to the skillfull play and ability of Spurs they could not break down the Stoke defence. Our break came on the 20th minute as Clint Dempsey made the most of a Stoke poor clearance as he stretched a shot from distance into an empty net. An outstanding ball from Scott Parker put the ball into a dangerous area for Lennon but the ball was half cleared when Clint leapt onto the ball.

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This sparked a new lease of life for Tottenham. Several Gareth Bale runs and crosses continued to be delivered despite no-one finishing the chances. Stoke entered a defensive spell in which multiple freekicks were given away by the goal scorer N’Zonzi and other Stoke players. The half ended with the side’s level and left myself and I’m sure many other Spurs fans happy that the score was as such.

The second half began in dramatic style as Charlie Adam was sent off in the 47th minute as a result of conceding a poor challenge on Jan Vertonghen in which the referee Kevin Friend showed him his second yellow card of the day, the first card too being shown because of a foul on Super Jan. This dismissal however acted as just the catalyst Spurs needed to turn the game. We became powerful enthusiastic and intelligent in our play and looked like a side that wanted a spot in the illustrious competition that is the UEFA Champions League.

Both sides began to make substitutions as the game progressed. The introduction of Mousa Dembele sparked some belief into the Spurs faithful and team as he enjoyed some of his trademark runs and tricks. Jermain Defoe too came on for a not fully fit but still influential Aaron Lennon whom had enjoyed a reasonable game.

But the big break finally came for Tottenham in the 83rd minute of time. Emmanuel Adebayor found the back of the net from inside the six-yard box low into the goal after Clint Dempsey found himself in space, sneaking past the offside trap to supply the Spurs striker whom has had an essential good week for Spurs. Adebayor enjoyed multiple celebrations as he looked to enjoy the most of his 5th goal of the Premier League campaign.

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The game teetered out as Spurs secured the three points that allowed them to leap-frog North London rivals Arsenal into fourth place with the Gooners set to play on Tuesday night. The Spurs faithful cheered the boys in the wet English rain and enjoyed our tenth away win of the campaign – our highest amount of away wins in the Premier League. Andre Villas-Boas spoke after the game saying: “We’ve done our job. This is a huge win and gives us the confidence to end the season well.” Spurs now enter their final game of the season against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland next week looking to secure a Champions League placement, hopeful Arsenal will slip up themselves.

TalkingTHFC’s Conclusion: This game was just what the Doctor ordered in the run-in to the end of the season. I was glad to see another Spurs win and thought the boys, for the first time in a while, showed the passion we all craved.

Our Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey.
Clint showed determination and strength today – a quality he has lacked for quite some time. He scored a magnificent goal to equalise as well as set up Emmanuel Adebayor for the second. All-in-all, a decent effort from the American and a rating of 9 from us today.

Player Ratings:
Lloris – 7
Walker – 5
Dawson- 6
Caulker – 5
Vertonghen – 6
Parker – 4
Huddlestone – 6
Lennon – 5
Dempsey – 9
Bale – 7
Adebayor – 8

Subs: Sigurdsson , Dembele and Defoe – all made a positive contribution towards the end.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our second Match Review here. Put a lot of time and effort into a real reporter based blog, so hope you enjoyed it. Our next involvement on here is our mid-weekly blog. The topic is still undecided. We hope you followed our coverage on Twitter, @TalkingTHFC, in which we brought Live Match Commentary as always. We now sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League, at least until Tuesday night when Wigan face Arsenal – whom have a game in hand.

Great win, up the Spurs!


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