Luck of the Irish evades Shamrock Rovers

Tottenham 3
(Pavlyuchenko, 60. Defoe, 62. Dos Santos, 65)

Shamrock Rovers 1
(Rice, 50)

Three goals in six second half minutes condemned Shamrock Rovers to a second consecutive Europa League defeat, despite the Irish side giving the home team a second half scare.

Manager Harry Redknapp fielded a changed starting XI from the side that defeated Wigan Athletic on Saturday, Younes Kaboul the only player to start both fixtures, the Tottenham boss presumably with one eye on Sunday’s upcoming North London derby.

And it was Giovani Dos Santos who tested Richard Brush during the first but the Mexican international was unable to find hit the back of the net, one of his efforts being superbly pushed on to the post.

The woodwork again saved the Irish champions as Danny Rose hit the crossbar before Roman Pavlyuchenko saw his headed effort rebound back off the crossbar.

Rovers, having soaked up much of the pressure, then went ahead against the run of play. Carlo Cudicini palming away Gary McCabe’s free-kick before Gary Twigg’s drilled cross was turned in by Stephen Rice.

A nervy 10 minutes followed but that turned to relief after 60 minutes when Pavlyuchenko headed in the equaliser before Defoe’s header two minutes saw the home team take the initiative for the first team.

And the tie was put beyond doubt when Dos Santos doubled Spurs’ lead in the 65th minute leaving the North London side still well equipped to qualify from the group.