West Bromwich Albion 1
(Mulumbu – 10)
(Adebayor – 25, 90+2, Defoe – 81)
A Jermain Defoe strike sandwiched in between an Emmanuel Adebayor brace was enough to see off a plucky West Bromwich Albion side, who took the lead courtesy of an early Youssouf Mulumbu header.
Harry Redknapp was forced to alter his starting park prior to kick off, Luka Modric missing out through illness while a hamstring problem kept Rafael Van der Vaart from adding to his impressive goal tally.
Sandro and Defoe came in for the pair and the former had the first chance for Spurs of the afternoon, his low drive forcing Ben Foster into action with a shot that could have been easily held but instead trickled out of play for a corner.
Nevertheless, it was the home side that took the initiative as the clock ticked over the 10 minute mark. The Spurs defence thought the danger had been cleared but with Zoltan Gera sliding to control the ball well, the Hungarian played it back to Steven Reid whose first time ball found Mulumbu un-marked who only had to hit the target from six-yards out.
A relatively quiet 15 minutes ensued before Spurs were gifted a way back into the game. Adebayor linked up well with Aaron Lennon before the plucky winger burst into the box, only to be felled by Nicky Shorey.
The Togolese front-man stepped up to take the penalty, but his effort was well stopped by Foster. Nonetheless, Adebayor did excellently to lift the ball over the England goalkeeper to bury the rebound and level matters on the afternoon.
Neither team looked to really stamp their authority on the game but the chances were still coming at either end, Chris Brunt testing Brad Friedel in the Spurs net while Adebayor’s 20-yard effort was easily gathered by Foster.
Mulumbu was proving a real thorn in the Spurs defences’ side and his marauding run forced Friedel into action as the first-half drew to a close, the American blocking the midfielder’s one-on-one attempt well.
Adebayor again tested Foster in the West Brom net, but the England man was again equal to the 27-year-old’s strike while Friedel did well to claw out Cox’s header as Spurs began to exert more pressure on the home sides’ goal.
Defoe had an effort cleared off the line by Reid while Ledley King, Scott Parker and Adebayor all had decent attempts to hand Spurs the lead while at the other end, Chris Brunt angled his effort over as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
However, Spurs took the lead for the first team with just nine minutes remaining, the England front-man broke into the West Brom half after some good work from Adebayor and despite the Togo international breaking down the left, Defoe took it upon himself to lash the ball past Foster and make it 2-1 to Harry Redknapp’s side.
Jonas Olsson did well to deflect Defoe’s shot on the post and out of player for a corner as the pint-sized hitman was denied by Foster before Adebayor and Gareth Bale both curled decent efforts wide of the mark.
Substitute Peter Odemwingie headed a decent effort high and wide late one but the points were secured in the 92nd minute, Younes Kaboul picking out Bale was an excellent clearance, the Welshman then rolling into Adebayor to take all three points away from Hawthorns as the North London giants made in nine wins out of ten.
What Redknapp said after the game
“We started poorly and didn’t move the ball quick enough,” he said.
“They started better than we did and went in front and there was more chance of them going two-up at that time than us pegging it back.
“But then the first time we upped the pace of the game we got the penalty but in the second half we opened them up and should have scored a lot more goals.”
Man of the match
Scott Parker again showed why Harry Redknapp splashed £5m out on the FWA Player of the Year, putting in another man of the match performance in the middle of the park. Putting in another Dave Mackay-esc performance, Parker continues to excel in the Spurs midfield, evident by only being on a losing side for 15 minutes since his arrival.
Moment of the match
Jermain Defoe’s excellent goal in the 81st minute gave Spurs the lead for the first time of the match and proved to be the winner on the afternoon, 11 miinutes before Adebayor added his second, and Spurs’ third, in the 3-1 win.