Spurs made it two wins in two, after a Danny Rose goal sealed a 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium.
Tottenham began the game very well indeed. Contrary to recent first half performances, Spurs defended well, pushed forward and countered excellently, with the odd Paulinho surge looking dangerous.
Nacer Chadli was failing to make an impact to start as his manager engaged in vicious ranting towards the Belgian. Despite his physical presence, the former FC Twente man was failing to handle those expected to be marked and at times it proved costly.
Emmanuel Adebayor was involved in a brief skirmish with Ryan Shawcross as it appeared as if the striker jabbed the defender in the jaw, involving some small treatment for Shawcross. Adebayor escaped without punishment. Whelan dealt well with Chadli as he made an attempt to break into the box, however it appeared that today just wasn’t going to happen for the Belgian. Tottenham continued to show glimpses of brilliance as they were pinging the ball around delightfully, playing with much freedom.
The conditions were proving difficult for the Potters as the windy conditions were making clearances very difficult. Former Spur, Peter Crouch handballed inside the Tottenham half only to be bundled over by Danny Rose moments later. Stoke began to build some considerable pressure and the defensive skills of Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon were proving excellent enough to counter this. Hugo Lloris briefly collided with Crouch as the keeper climbed to get the ball, after spilling it, he was quick to pounce on the falling ball.
The game then entered a period of chances, with both sides getting involved. Paulinho made a darting run into the corner, only to cut in on his right and whip a cross into the middle towards Adebayor, however it was slightly too high for the striker. Ireland then came rushing down the other wing for Stoke, working the ball onto his right foot and curling a chance wide. Tottenham were dealing defensively very well with Stoke. Aaron Lennon was doing his part by coming back and making himself a nuisance, captain Michael Dawson similarly playing a crucial role. Kyle Naughton was producing a strong performance as well as Danny Rose, who despite some wobbles, was working his socks off.
Then came the winner. Danny Rose made a fifty yard dash toward the box to head home a fabulous Emmanuel Adebayor cross and give Tottenham the lead. A rare goal from the defender seem to silence the Stoke crowd, having come from an unlikely source. Spurs then held on until half time to secure the lead. Reports came out of an altercation between Charlie Adam and Emmanuel Adebayor at half time, after BBC believed to have spotted the pair squaring up after Adam ‘bumped’ into the striker.
The second half began slowly, until the moment that changed the landscape of the game. Ryan Shawcross committed a dangerous, albeit yellow-worthy tackle on Danny Rose in order to earn his second of the match. It was not until Younes Kaboul had pointed this out, that the referee brandished the red card, bringing Stoke down to ten men.
The red card then changed the game. Although most spectators would have though Tottenham would have pushed on from this moment, they did not capitalise on their advantage and if anything, this gave Stoke the push to go on and score. The Potters came flying at Tottenham, and Lloris was forced to make saves from Arnautovic and Odemwingie. Stoke continued to press and a rash booking received by Danny Rose led Sherwood to make the change, with Fryers taking his place. Admittedly this was particularly clever from the Tottenham manager, whom later brought on Sigurdsson and Townsend.
It was simply not to be for Stoke however as the game teetered out despite toe close freekicks for Spurs. Tottenham’s 1-0 win meant they moved to within three points of Everton in the race for fifth place.
Lloris – Delicious clean sheet and some smart saves (Very good)
Rose – Worked hard, admittedly and scored the winner. (Good)
Kaboul – Nice performance with solid challenges (Good)
Dawson – MOTM. Superb performance from the Captain (Excellent)
Naughton – Not too shabby either. A good all round game. (Good)
Paulinho – He just doesn’t fit. He hasn’t got a role. (Poor)
Lennon – Superb. Smashing performance (Good)
Chadli – Diabolical. Just utterly dreadful. (Poor)
Eriksen – Didn’t really show up today. Bitterly disappointed. (Average)
Kane – Didn’t get involved as much but pulled off some good shots (Average)
Adebayor – Despite the decent assist, wasn’t convinced today. (Average)