- English Barclays Premier League
- 29 April 2012, 4:00pm
- White Hart Lane
- Attendance: 35,798
FULL TIME: Tottenham return to fourth spot in the Premier League and end a dreadful run of one win in ten games. As for Blackburn, words fail me really. That was among the most pitiful performances I've ever witnessed. For a side in such desperate need of points to set up so defensively and not alter their approach even after going a goal behind was truly bizarre. They did not register a single shot, either on or off target. That's why they will probably go down. They remain 19th, three points adrift of safety with two games left and Bolton just above them have a game in hand. Their plight, like their performance here today, is dire.
90+1 mins: Tottenham keep the ball moving fluently for 20-odd passes, before Defoe gets it and wellies it over the bar hurriedly from 25 yards. Two more minutes of total misery left for Blackburn.
89 mins: The final minutes are being played in almost total silence, bar the occasional 'Venky's Out!' chants from the away fans.
88 mins: And a third change for Spurs as Jermain Defoe comes on for Van der Vaart. "Oh all right. Well done Saints and welcome back where you belong." says Roy in Bury St Edmunds. Aw, shucks. Cheers Roy.
86 mins: Another change by Redknapp. Sandro is replaced by Jake Livermore.
85 mins: Just a hint of a chance for Blackburn as they finally commit a few men forward. Modeste slips in possession just inside the box, but manages to poke it back for Hoilett. He should shoot first time, but delays and enables Modric to dispossess him.
83 mins: Lennon finally succumbs to his ankle knock and is replaced by Giovani. Rovers throw on David Goodwillie for Dunn.
80 mins: Attempts at goal - Tottenham 15 Blackburn 0. Yes, that's NONE!
77 mins: Almost every neutral observer has leapt to the defence of Steve Kean this season after the horrid abuse he's received from Rovers fans. However, his tactics today, in a match they desperately need to win, have been simply bizarre. Spurs had won one of their last 10 games. Did he not think it was worth being slightly more ambitious than this?
75 mins: WALKER KILLS ROVERS OFF!! From the free kick conceded by Dunn, Walker steps up and curls an utter peach of a shot up and over the wall and into the top corner past Robinson. It may have taken a flick off Dunn in the wall, but that doesn't detract from the majesty of the free kick. That settles it then.
70 mins: Lennon falls awkwardly in a tackle and seems to twist his ankle as he falls. He limps off for treatment. Meanwhile, Steve Kean, whose team desperately need a goal remember, decides to take off Yakubu and replace him with Anthony Modeste.
68 mins: Pedersen isn't happy about being penalised for a trip but he needen't worry as the resulting free kick is headed clear. For all this pressure Spurs haven't really created anything this half. Surely, SURELY, Blackburn will have to start thinking about, y'know, trying to SCORE A GOAL sooner or later?
66 mins: Spurs attack, Blackburn hoof clear; Spurs attack, Blackburn hoof clear. If there's any break in this interminable pattern I'll be sure to let you know.
64 mins: Here we go again. Walker heads a deep ball back across the face, Van der Vaart can't connect cleanly but recovers to feed it back to Bale on the left. He delivers, Blackburn clear. And repeat...
61 mins: Blackburn get a free kick and chip it hopefully into the area. It's headed away and Spurs break quickly. Lennon whizzes it centrally to van der Vaart and he spreads it to Bale. The Welshman takes aim from an angle on the left but fizzes his shot five yards wide. Spurs just can't kill this one off.
59 mins: Modric romps into space but smacks a low daisy-cutter well wide from 20 yards. The atmosphere has gone a bit dead.
58 mins: Such is Tottenham's nonchalance that Friedel and Rose do a bit of showboating at the back. The American chips the ball daintily over the utterly anonymous Yakaubu, then Rose flicks it over Pedersen's head.
55 mins: Corner to Spurs. In it comes, but it's just too high for Gallas. Tottenham's tempo has dropped a little since the break, but that's pretty forgivable as they're being put under no pressure whatsoever.
53 mins: They may not have created a great deal yet, but Spurs have had 76% possession in this second half. What are Blackburn playing at here? They're showing not a single modicum of intent to score a goal.
50 mins: Apparently Junior Hoilett is out of contract at the end of the season. He'll be a great freebie for someone in the summer. "Sandro wasn't eating lasagne last night was he?" quips Christian in Southampton. Surely Spurs will have learnt the lesson not to eat pre-match lasagne by now?
48 mins: Here they come again. Adebayor slips Lennon in on the overlap but he thrashes his shot into the side netting with Modric waiting in vain for a cross.
47 mins: Well anticipated by Orr as he comes across to nip the ball off Adebayor's toe as he is sent through the middle by Modric. Blackburn have set up in exactly the same way for the second half - two massed banks of yellow shirts in front of their own area.
46 mins: The hosts begin the second half. Blackburn cannot get any more abject. I'm going for at least a 3-0 home win. No changes by either side at the break.
HALF TIME: A ridiculously one-sided half. Spurs have hit the bar twice, missed countless chances and had more possession than Barcelona playing keep-ball in training. What with Sandro decorating the pitch with his innards, it's been quite entertaining really. Stick around, won't you?
45 mins: A couple of hopeful deliveries into the box from Blackburn, but Hoilett is offside for the first and the second is repelled.
42 mins: Tottenham hit the bar again! From the corner on the right, it's whipped into the near post by Bale, Gallas peels off and flicks it goalwards but it kisses the bar and rebounds away to safety.
41 mins: Van der Vaart whips a free kick into a packed area but Givet gets a crucial flick on it to concede a corner. Spurs take it short and work a position for Walker to cross but his delivery is hoofed out by Formica.
38 mins: Modric exchanges passes with Rose and sends the young full-back into the box. Robinson rushes out and does well to get there first and make a stoic block.
36 mins: Almost a lucky break for Blackburn as Walker's header pings off his bonce along the edge of his own area and Hoilett is just beaten to it by Gallas.
33 mins: Still the white waves keep rolling in. Blackburn have so many players lined up on the edge of their own area that when they get it, there's no-one to pass to. Hence they give Spurs the ball back, and they swarm forward again.
30 mins: Blackburn have just kept the ball for four consecutive passes! It doesn't sound like much, but in this game it's their best achievement so far.
29 mins: The pressure on the Rovers goal is incessant. Rose's cross finds Adebayor with back to goal. He can't quite wriggle into enough space for a shot so offloads to Sandro but his low drive is blocked.
26 mins: Here's something you don't see every day. Sandro sprints to the near post as Spurs prepare to take a corner. He stops, doubles up in apparent discomfort and unleashes his lunch on to the turf. The ref comes over, spots the undignified dollop of puke and asks the Brazilian whether he wants to carry on. He nods his assent, and play is restarted!
24 mins: It really should have been two. With options either side of him, Lennon zips towards goal and opts to take the shot on himself. No-one closes him down so he may as well. Unfortunately for him, he slaps it hopelessly over the bar from 18 yards.
22 mins: SPURS TAKE THE LEAD!! You could say it's been coming, but in the end it's a bit of a weird one. Lennon's chipped cross from the right is met by the leaping Bale beyond the far post. He nods it goalwards, the retreating Dann heads it against the underside of the bar, it bounces out for Adebayor who shields it for Van der Vaart to shoot. He smacks it from six yards, it hits Dann on the shin and rebounds out. The Dutchman wheels off in celebration and sure enough, replays show it was well over the line when it hit Dann's leg. It takes a while for the fact to sink in among the crowd, but Spurs are indeed ahead.
20 mins: Pedersen slides in for a 50-50 with Sandro and comes off worst. He'll be alright after a bit of a rubdown from the physio.
18 mins: Walker dashes down the right but can't pick out Van der Vaart with his centre. Givet slides in to block.
17 mins: I've forgotten to mention thus far that you can send me any word of wisdom, abuse or words of congratulations on the mighty Southampton's promotion by using the boxes on the right. Dave in Liverpool has already done so: "I've backed lennon 2-0 but the way its started it looks like another goal fest. great for entertainment, not so good for the wallet!"
14 mins: Tottenham break quickly from that corner and Adebayor slides in Lennon in unfamiliar territory down the inside left channel. He tries a strange chipped cross which loops to no-one inparticular and rolls out of play. I think he should have had a shot there.
13 mins: Walker has his pocket picked by Olsson who gambols down the left but can't beat the first man with his cross. The consequent corner is headed away.
11 mins: Blackburn have barely got into the Tottenham half yet. Good battling by Hoilett, back helping his defence, and he wins a lucky free kick after some minor grappling with Walker.
8 mins: Sandro hits the bar! What a piledriver! Adebayor's return pass to Modric is misplaced but the ball comes out for the Brazilian to smash an exocet that whistles past Robinson but smacks against the bar. Modric and Adebayor scrabble for the rebound but get in each other's way. Spurs may have won only one of their last 10 games, but they've started full of venom here.
5 mins: Now it's Sandro pulverising through the yellow shirts on his way into the box. His cross is blocked back into him and deflects over the byline for a goal kick. Unlucky.
3 mins: This time it's Lennon hurtling into the Rovers area and his powerful cross is hoofed out for a corner by Dann. It comes to nowt. Strong start by the hosts.
1 mins: Wonderful chance for Spurs! Modric races on to Bale's square pass and drives through three defenders into the area. None of them are prepared to risk sticking a foot in and conceding a penalty, so the Croat gets to the byline, his cross is deflected through the six yard box and Lennon must surely bury it at the far post... Nope. He hoofs it into the side netting. Just couldn't 'sort his feet out' as Gary Neville eloquently puts it.
0 mins: We're off and running here at the Lane. The hopes of both these sides achieving their respective aims are rather slender, and this game will go a long way to decide their fates.
Welcome to Orange's live commentary of Tottenham's home clash with Blackburn at White Hart Lane. Chelsea's walloping of QPR has shoved Spurs down into sixth place but, due to their healthy goal difference, they will return to fourth with a win here today. Rovers are 19th and need to win by three goals here to climb above the dreaded dotted line. Nearly ready for the off now...
Team news: Scott Parker is missing for Spurs with a sore Achilles. Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor have recovered from their respective knee and hamstring injuries and both start. Ledley King drops to the bench. Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been ruled out for the season after dislocating his shoulder so Danny Rose fills in at left-back.
Blackburn manager Steve Kean names an unchanged side from the victory over Norwich last Saturday. Simon Vukcevic has had a virus and is absent. Jason Lowe has shaken off a knee problem and he starts so only Grant Hanley, who has an ankle ligament injury, is missing.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 29 April 2012, 4:00pm
- White Hart Lane
- Attendance: 35,798
Kyle Walker scored a fantastic free-kick as Tottenham beat Blackburn 2-0 at White Hart Lane to go fourth in the Premier League.
Despite winning only one of their previous nine league games, Harry Redknapp's side were on top for almost the entire 90 minutes with their opponents not managing a single effort on goal - the first time that has happened in a top-flight match since 2004.
Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring in the first half but it took the hosts until the 74th minute to secure the points as Kyle Walker hit an unstoppable 30-yard free-kick past Paul Robinson.
Spurs should have taken the lead in the opening minute as Luka Modric skipped into the box and squared for Aaron Lennon, who could only fire into the side netting from five yards out.
The home side had a stranglehold on proceedings from the off and Sandro almost put them in front in the ninth minute, but his long-range effort came back off the crossbar with former Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson well beaten.
Redknapp's side continued to dominate possession and worked the ball well down both flanks but the final ball into the box was lacking on almost every occasion.
They finally got it right in the 22nd minute as Lennon's cross was met by the head of Gareth Bale with his effort bouncing off the crossbar and to the feet of Van der Vaart, who tapped home from close range.
Blackburn had no answer to the constant attacking threat being posed by their Champions League-chasing opponents as the play continued to be almost constantly in the Rovers' half.
Robinson showed quick reactions to close down Danny Rose as the young full-back burst through from the left side of the area after a neat interchange with Modric.
Gael Givet then cleared a Van der Vaart free-kick with Spurs again building up a head of steam in search for their second goal.
It almost came from the resulting corner as captain William Gallas glanced a header on to the crossbar, which came to Blackburn's rescue once again.
The second half started in the same one-sided manner as the first and it was Lennon who again came close to scoring for Spurs.
Following a neat back-heel from Van der Vaart, Modric drove forward and his pass eventually found Lennon whose shot hit the side-netting.
Despite their clear superiority, the hosts were not creating chances on a regular basis and Blackburn's defence did not appear to be overstretched.
Modric dragged a shot wide on the hour and Bale followed suit moments later after a quick counter-attack caught Rovers short at the back.
Yakubu was becoming a very isolated figure as the rest of Kean's side worked to close Spurs down all over the pitch and he was getting little joy from his lone tussle with both Gallas and Kaboul.
As the game wore on the Blackburn players looked to tire and more fouls were conceded as a result, Kean then introduced striker Anthony Modeste as a direct replacement for Yakubu to jeers from the travelling Rovers fans.
Another foul was conceded by the visitors in the 74th minute when David Dunn brought down Lennon with full-back Kyle Walker looking to take aim.
The recently-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year did not disappoint as he hit an unstoppable 30-yard free-kick past Robinson as Spurs finally managed to double their lead.
That really killed the game as a contest as Blackburn never looked like scoring and did not give their former goalkeeper Brad Friedel anything to do in his 301st successive league start.