Tottenham ended 2013 with a comfortable 3-0 win over Stoke City at White Hart Lane, goals coming from Roberto Soldado (penalty), Mousa Dembélé and Aaron Lennon.
Spurs began the game with great energy and power. They used the pace of Aaron Lennon to their advantage with the English winger making many dynamic runs and taking on his men with ease. Kyle Naughton linked well with Lennon throughout the early stages. Brazilian Paulinho proved to be the best acquisition in the opening minutes as he showed much of his Samba skills to evade and embarrass the Stoke midfield and backline. A particularly noticeable flick include that of which curled past Walters near the edge of the area after quarter of an hour of play. Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen were linking well to start with the Spaniard winning a freekick for the Dane to strike against the wall, only for the same action to be repeated not long after. The referee was struggling to keep up with play as the game progressed, with the official behind on pace as he missed several key tackles.
On around 9 minutes, Aaron Lennon was proving effective in breaking through the Stoke backline as the atmosphere was building in the Lane. Moments after, Lennon attempted to play in Adebayor only for Wilkinson to cut the ball out. The best early chance fell to the Toga international as he fluffed an effort inside the six yard box after a top ball from Lennon. Paulinho continued his excellent start after returning from suspension, as he flicked the ball through to Soldado, only for the Spaniard to shoot inches wide from a good effort.
Around the 25 minute mark, Paulinho showed his true Samba nature as he produced multiple spectacular flicks, skills and passing to really help the Spurs midfield click. Tottenham were to be rewarded for their dominance with a penalty. Emmanuel Adebayor found himself performing a volley inside the area only for the Stoke defender to hit the ball with his hand. Roberto Soldado stepped up to score his 4th Premier League penalty for Tottenham and his tenth in all competitions so for this season. Paulinho almost had his own share of the action, as his driving run through the centre saw him shift the ball beyond the defender but slice the effort wide! The first half then came to a close as Spurs entered the break 1-0 up and playing very good football.
The second half continued well. Mousa Dembélé saw himself booked after battling well with Walters but having too much to say to Shawcross afterwards. Soldado looked to continue his goals for the day however his next effort was hit straight at Sorensen after Lennon did well to pick him out of a congested Stoke box. The real Spurs period of dominance was just around the corner. The substitution of Etienne Capoue on for the excellent Paulinho meant for a re-shuffle in midfield which saw Mousa Dembélé push forward. He was rewarded not long after for his bravery in attack. The Belgian broke into the midfield evading several challenges and hit a splendid effort into the right corner of the goal from outside the area to make it 2-0 to Spurs and score his second of the season.
The season of scoring continued for Tottenham not long after. Stoke were beginning to look helpless as the Potters endured relentless attacks from the home side. Spurs secured the points around 70 minutes as Aaron Lennon hit a marvellous volleyed effort which flicked over Wilkinson and over the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 to Tim Sherwood’s side. Spurs were flying and the goal capped off a good performance from Lennon who looks back to his best after spells on the sidelines.
The game did not entertain much else in the way of direct chances. The appearance of Tottenham’s £30million man saw a glimpse of what the Argentine can offer, Lamela almost grabbing a goal after scooping his effort towards Sorensen, after receiving it from Emmanuel Adebayor. The game teetered out and saw the Lilywhites grab all three points to cap off 2013.
Lloris – “Faultless.”
Naughton – ” *squirms because he didn’t do too badly* ”
Dawson – “You make my liver quiver.”
Chiriches – “Super, super Vlad.”
Fryers – “Are you Danny in disguise?”
Paulinho – “Samba King.”
Dembélé – “the Moose is loose.”
Eriksen – “Eeeeeerik sen sen sen.”
Lennon – “guess who’s back, back again.”
Soldado – “Who cares if it’s a penalty. Mandem scored.”
Adebayor – “I like this version.”
Paulinho. Marvellous stuff and he didn’t even play the full 90. So much skill, Soccer AM will be drooling over it ready for Showboat next Saturday.