With a good ratio of goals to shots, Tottenham punished Charlton
Athletic for a woeful defensive performance and to run up a useful
addition to the goal difference with a 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane.
Dimitar Berbatov showed that he is able to
perform to a high level in the Premiership and not just in Europe, while
goals came from midfield as well as Jermain Defoe getting his customary
goal against the team where he started his career. Spurs had been
quiet in the early part of the game, but on the half hour they came
While the Addicks had a large percentage
of the possession, they failed to make much of it and Paul Robinson had
to wait until the 87th minute to make a save in anger. Amdy Faye
was the player who went closest most often. In the first half, he
skied an early effort, struck a first time volley from 25 yards across
the goal but wide and then put three near post chances wide in the
Michael Dawson let Darren Bent know he
was there early on and got a yellow card for the foul, which meant that
he had to be careful not to offend again, but his performance was one of
control and excellent timing of his tackles. The man is really a
star. He put his body in the way of shots on goal, won most things
in the air and found time to make a raid down the right wing before
being body-checked in the box by Faye, but the ref did not want to know.
Having set his stall out early, the ref
booked Hughes for a tackle from behind on Lennon and it looked for all
the world that the game would not end with 22 on the pitch.
However, Mike Dean had a sensible second half (apart from booking
Malbranque for celebrating his first goal for Tottenham) and the game
passed without a dismissal.
Half an hour in and Tottenham took the
lead, a little against the run of play. Tom Huddlestone made a run
forward and ignoring the crowd's exhortations to shoot, played a
disguised pass right to Aaron Lennon on the edge of the D and he nimbly
flicked the ball forward to Dimitar Berbatov. He let the ball hit
his thigh and as it dropped was on it like a flash to extend his leg to
divert the ball past the static Scott Carson in the Charlton goal.
Once more he has shown a fine piece off finishing and that explains why
we paid £10.9 million for him.
Before we knew it, the score was 2-0 and
Lennon was involved again. His cross was knocked out by El
Karkouri, but only to Tainio, who struck a low shot into a crowded
penalty area and it took a slight deflection off the heel of a defender
to leave Carson stranded and leave Spurs in the driving seat.
Unfortunately, the Tottenham hit the
skids a couple of minutes before the break when Andy Reid, playing in a
withdrawn central midfield role, found himself out on the left wing and
hit a low ball in to the near post. Michael Dawson went in for the
ball with a Charlton forward and sliced it upwards and towards his own
goal, where Paul Robinson could only parry the ball up and then just
failed to keep it out as it dropped with Luke Young following in.
At 2-1 it was not as comfortable as it
was a few minutes previously and Spurs almost restored their two goal
advantage when Aaron Lennon took the ball off the Charlton defence to
run at goal and was felled on the edge of the area ... just outside
according to the referee. So a free-kick rather than a penalty
resulted and Jermain Defoe's shot was deflected behind off a defender's
The half-time whistle came and we all
expected the visitors to come out after the restart to try and get
something from the match. But that didn't happen and Spurs had it
easier than they might have imagined against a side who had won for the
first time in a while on Tuesday and were fighting for points.
Defoe tried a couple of 25-yarders but one was weak and straight at
Carson and the other dipped, but too late to trouble the keeper.
Ten minutes into the half, it was 3-1, as Tainio lifted a cross from the
left to Berbatov at the far post. He rose and headed down for
Steed Malbranque to take a touch and then hit a left foot volley past
Carson and into the left corner of the net. He was so overjoyed
that he rant o the crowd, for which he got booked.
Huddlestone was immense in midfield and
despite sitting deep, he is becoming a greater influence on the attack,
as he uses intelligent passes to prompt his team-mates and spread the
play to the flanks. He kept bringing Lennon into the game and the
twinkle-toed winger made a timely challenge on the halfway line, which
took the ball back towards the Athletic goal. Onto it was Defoe,
who took a couple of steps forward with the ball before blasting it with
little back-lift, so powerfully that Carson had little opportunity to do
anything than wave a hand at it and say bye-bye as it ripped into the
net past him from 30 yards out. It is good to see Jermain scoring
again, as he cast a sad shadow of his former self when he was out of
sorts. He was born to score goals and he does it very well.
When a Charlton attack broke down with
King blocking a ball into the area and it falling for Robbo, the
keeper's throw out found Berbatov on halfway. The Bulgarian let
the ball run and then made his way down the left wing and into the box,
where he took on two defenders, got the luck of the bounce and as the
ball fell, he shot low through Carson's legs at the near post to record
his second of the match. It rounded off a poor game for the
Charlton keeper, who will be questioned over four of the five goals and
his only redeeming memory will be one late save from a Huddlestone
Andy Reid departed a forlorn figure as
Hasselbaink was thrown on to try and add something to the Addicks
attack, but little changes until Tottenham made some substitutions to
give some other players some time in play. As the game drew to a
close Huddlestone made space for himself on the edge of the Charlton box
and curled an effort just over, before Faye played a straight bal
through the centre of the Tottenham defence, requiring Robinson to rush
from his goal to tackle Bent on the edge of the box and then quickly get
up to clear the ball.
Rommedahl's introduction did not have the
impact Les Reed would have hoped and his late shot from a narrow angle
was pushed out for a corner by Robinson, although the ball looked as
though it was going outside of the post and a minute before the end of
the 90, Darren Bent raced left with King in pursuit and shot, but pulled
it a little too far and it went across the face of the goal and wide.
This performance by Spurs was helped by
being against a team who didn't have the wherewithal to hit back, but
they finished well and have not looked like handing out a drubbing like
this to anyone this season so far. The goals were well created and
well taken, the team moved well for each other and worked hard to get
behind the ball when it went to the other side. The home form
continues to yield a good haul of points. All we need now is some
form the away games.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : -