Ma

 

Hull City   0   Tottenham Hotspur    3      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League Asia Trophy Final
Venue : -  Worker's Stadium, Beijing.
Friday 31st July 2009
Kick Off :  1.30 p.m. (UK time) [7.30 p.m. (local time)]
Crowd :   ,
Referee :  Martin Atkinson (-)
Hull City kicked off in the first half.
Weather :  -  Warm, humid
Teams : - 
Hull City :

Warner

Doyle (Cooper 85)
Mouyokolo
Zayatte
A. Dawson

Featherstone (Kilbane 61)
Marney
Boateng (Halmosi 81)
Carney (Atkinson 74)

Barmby (Geovanni 46)
Cousin (Folan 59)

Unused subs: 
Duke
Gardner
Turner
Devitt
Hughes

 

Tottenham Hotspur :

Gomes

Chimbonda (Hutton 77)
Corluka
Huddlestone
Assou-Ekotto

Lennon 
Jenas (Naughton 62)
Palacios (Livermore 83)
Modric

Keane (c)    (p)
Defoe

Unused subs: 
Cudicini
Dervite
Rose
Obika
Pavlyuchenko
Bostock
O'Hara

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Hull City

 

 

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Hull City

None

Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 17
Keane (p) 68
Lennon 88

Cards : -  
Hull City

       

    

Tottenham Hotspur 

       

     

Match Report : -  
With an assured performance against a Hull City side lacking any persistent goal-scoring threat, Tottenham bagged the Premier League Asia Trophy in Beijing thanks to two goals from captain Robbie Keane and a late Aaron Lennon finish.

The sad news of the death of former England and Ipswich Town manager Bobby Robson cast a shadow over the proceedings and after a minute's silence, the two teams lined up to face off for the Asia Trophy.  Tottenham had been impressive in beating West Ham, so needed a fast start and good possession to let the humidity work against their opponents.  The opening exchanges were cagey, with both side lacking a cutting edge, although Defoe and Keane almost linked up to open up the Hull defence, but new signing Mouyokolo intervened to prevent any danger.

As on Wednesday, Aaron Lennon was finding it to his liking out on the right wing, as he regularly skipped over the challenge of Dawson, but his crosses, low into the six yard box, failed to find a white shirted player running onto them.  Keane and Modric both found openings to shoot on goal, but their efforts were blocked out and on the 15 minute mark, Lennon's drive was deflected, but popped up at a good height for Tony Warner to knock it wide.

It was two minutes later that Tottenham went ahead, with a well made goal.  Assou-Ekotto nicked the ball away from a Tigers forward and played it forward to Modric, who flighted an inch perfect pass to Keane that dropped over the defender's head and onto Keane's chest.  Knocking it into his own path, Robbie took one stride and hit a low dipping half volley that Warner failed to keep out in much the same manner as Rob Green two days earlier.  It was a good value lead in the 17th minute and the passing and movement was causing Hull to chase about in the heat.

Lennon and Defoe put a move together that almost doubled the lead and then Tom Huddlestone, playing in central defence, showed his naivety in playing there, with Daniel Cousin dropping off him to take a diagonal ball into the box and then hit s shot across Gomes.  Luckily, he took a bit of pitch with his shot and it went a good distance wide of the goal, but it should have served as a warning.  Defoe again was keeping the Hull defence occupied, as Jenas' pass put him in, but he was denied by Warner's right hand and then could only squeeze the ball past Warner and the keeper's post when put in by Hud nearer half-time.  In between, our goalie, Heurelho Gomes, had been a virtual spectator, but was sharp when called upon to stop Dean Marney cross-shot from 18 yards out and apart from one long cross he came for and had to make a punch at, he looked at ease.

Chimbonda had a couple of headers from corners, but never looked like threatening, while Defoe once more threatened with a late shot that Zayatte managed to get something on to take wide.

Into the second half, Hull brought on Geovanni to add to the fire-power up front and Spurs kept Chimbonda with Hud in the middle of defence.  Spurs worked the ball well through Modric, who looks more and more like Ossie Ardiles in his movement and passing these days.

While Spurs had ten minutes of dominance, Hull got back into the game, as Spurs were guilty of a little complacency and some passes started going awry.  Former Spurs midfielder Dean Marney found space on the right to hit shot from 5 yards outside of the box, but his drive flew just wide. It was from two corners that Gomes had to be sharp to keep Hull out.  The first was headed away to Geovanni, who slammed it back at goal and Zayatte, standing right in front of Gomes and with his back to goal, tried to head the ball on and forced the Brazilian to make a sharp save to conceded another corner.  From this, he made an even better stop, with substitute Kevin Kilbane rising highest at the far post and Gomes tipped his powerful header over the bar.

Gomes would have been helpless had Zayatte been a forward and struck his volley powerfully at goal rather than over the bar in the 65th minute.  With Hull getting a foot-hold in the game, it was ironic that Spurs got their second goal just at the right time.  Huddlestone had moved forward for a corner and when the ball was cleared out, he gained possession and produced a fine chip to put Jermain Defoe into the box and away from his marker.  Warner came out and as he dived at his feet, the little forward went over him and Atkinson pointed to the spot.

Robbie Keane grabbed the ball and stuttered in his run-up to send Warner diving and slotted the ball the other way for 2-0.  It was a goal that the first half performance had deserved, but the second period perhaps saw the Tottenham team struggle a little, with the bulk of the side having played the 90 minutes against West Ham.

Harry has started to ring the changes, with Naughton on for Jenas, Hutton for Chimbonda and Livermore for Wilson Palacios, who was spoken to by the ref for a number of fouls.  However, as it became more evident that Hull were not going to get anything from the match, their players started to put in heavy challenges on behind on Naughton, Keane, Lennon and Defoe - no doubt as a warning ahead of the trip to the KC Stadium in August.

But if they thought that the sort of strong-arm tactics Phil Brown employed at Bolton might scare Spurs into timidity, they were wrong.  Instead, it produced a passing movement that almost brought about a goal for Livermore, as Hutton slipped him into the area on the right side of the box, but the youngster tried to square the ball for Keane, but it was cut out.  Then an even better move set Naughton away on the right and he slid a low pass across the six yard box between keeper and defenders, who could not touch it for fear of knocking it into their own goal, only for Aaron Lennon to run in at the far post to knock the ball in left footed from his new position on the left wing.

It was a simple goal, but one that too often Spurs do not score, as they try to over-elaborate.  May this open the eyes of some of the players to the realisation that football is a simple game. 

I am sure Bobby Robson would have said so.

There was little to decry about the showing today.  Faced with a weak Hull City side, the Spurs players did what they had to do and while the lack of urgency sometime sled to the ball being turned over without any pressure, the side must realise that  when they return home, the two sides we played out here who face us in two of our first three games at home, will be a much different proposition then. 

Harry was canny enough to get the silverware in the bag to give the side some confidence, as he probably thought this was more winnable than the Wembley Cup.  And he said after the game that he will field a number of players how haven't played much in this tournament when Spurs move on to Hong Kong to face South China.

Again, not an indicator of what the season holds, but a good showing and a cup for the trophy cabinet.  That will be one medal that Twiterrer in chief Darren Bent will have to wait to add to his collection.

BARRY LEVINGTON

 

 

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