Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)                          Norwich City  1 (0)
Premier League
Saturday 1st September 2012                                              Kick off 15:00
White Hart Lane
Dembele 68 Snodgrass 85
Bale (foul) 87

Huddlestone (foul) 90



Crowd :   36,142 Weather :  Dry, cloudy
Referee :  Mark Halsey (Bolton) Assistant Referees :  - (-)
Fourth Official :  - -
- kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Norwich City : kit
24  Brad FRIEDEL

28  Kyle WALKER
13  William GALLAS (c)

30  SANDRO  (19  Mousa DEMBELE 46  )

  7  Aaron LENNON
22  Gylfi SIGURDSSON  (10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR 56)
11  Gareth BALE     

 18  Jermain DEFOE  (  6  Tom HUDDLESTONE 81     )

Unused subs: 
23  Carlo CUDICINI

33  Steven CAULKER

    1  John RUDDY

  2  Russell MARTIN
  5  Sebastien BASSONG
20  Leon BARNETT
18  Javier GARRIDO

  7  Robert SNODGRASS 
  4  Bradley JOHNSON
  8  Johnnie HOWSON
12  Anthony PILKINGTON

  9  Grant HOLT

10  Simeon JACKSON  (16  Steve MORISON 73)

Unused subs: 
Declan RUDD
  6  Michael TURNER
27  Alexander TETTEY
11  Andrew SURMAN

Manager :  Andre Villas-Boas Manager :  Chris Hughton
Sponsor :   Aurasma Shirt sponsor :  Aviva
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   errea
Match report

0-0 at half time; after bring on Adebayor we take the lead; then Defoe is taken off for a midfielder and we concede a sloppy equaliser.  Sound familiar?

Aiming to bounce back from last week's disappointing result against West Brom, there was hope that a first win of the season could be picked up against a Norwich side also with only one point from two games. Unfortunately this was not to be the case.

The game still had an air of transition about it, with a team still learning a new formation and philosophy, but the dominance shown in controlling the first half of the two previous games was not exhibited with sloppy passing leading to the breakdown of play on many occasions.  The first chance of note went to Norwich when Russell Martin got onto the end of a Snodgrass free kick, but Friedel did well to push it onto the bar. Spurs' chances were less forthcoming as whenever the ball found itself worked wide crosses were unsuccessful, with only Defoe to aim for. It took a burst through the middle from Sandro to bring about a Spurs opportunity, but again the cross from Bale sailed out harmlessly, although later on he managed to get a good shot on target that Ruddy did well to turn wide.

As the half wore on and it became evident that Spurs wouldn't get through the two banks of four that Norwich put behind the ball they resorted to multiple long balls, but with no target man to aim for this was just wasted possession. There was frustration growing as half time approached and another good header, from Snodgrass this time, was saved very well from Friedel, but this did not appease the crowd, as the players were booed off the pitch once again.

The game was crying out for creativity in the middle of the park and to address this Mousa Dembele was brought on to make his Spurs debut, replacing Sandro who had a good half. The chance seemed to have an immediate impact as he linked up well with Bale and Sigurdsson passing well around the box and making himself available in midfield although he faded in and out for the rest of the game as Norwich took control, offering more in attack.

There were a couple of free-kicks given on the edge of the box which looked like they could have been penalties but both of them came to nothing and chances were still at a premium even though Adebayor had joined the fray in place of Sigurdsson, who had looked lost at times. Nonetheless we managed to break the deadlock when Dembele rifled the ball into the net from the edge of the box after stealing the ball, playing a one-two with Defoe and making space for the shot.

Norwich reacted by bringing on Morison for Jackson and chances followed with him and Holt being threats from crosses. Defoe was replaced with Huddlestone to try and shore up the lead. Things didn't go to plan though as Livermore gave away a needless free kick on the right with a foul off the ball, the ball was cleared but with no-one to pick it up outside the box it came back in, Martin heading it back across for Holt, he moved it on to Snograss, who scored from a similar position to Morrison last week.

Trying to get back into it the ball was moved forward with more pace, Huddlestone wound up for a trademark shot, but it was wide of the goal. That was all Tom had to offer, as he was then sent off for going into a 50-50 with Howson with two feet. After this it seemed like Norwich may have been heading for the win with the added impetus of an extra man, with only Friedel standing in their way, producing another great save from 20 yards from Johnson. This proved to be the last real action of the game.

Overall the first half was worrying as possession wasn't retained as it had been in the previous encounters and the team still missing a creative spark, although Dembele could fill this role, but time will be needed to bed him in along with the new signing of the experienced Dempsey and French captain Hugo Lloris. Hopefully with two weeks until the Reading game, the team will have time to work on their problems and we will see an improved XI come the 15th.



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What you thought
Barry Levington I am willing to give AVB more time to get his ideas across and for the new players to settle in and it annoys me a bit when people boo.  Last season, under Harry Redknapp, we lost to Norwich City, this time we got a draw.  Last season under Harry Redknapp we beat WBA and this season we drew.  Results are up and down at the moment and don't forget, other teams have strengthened too, so there is time to get things right.

I agree that we don't want to drop too far behind the teams who are already gathering points, but even though they are two draws, we are two games unbeaten and this could be the start of a long unbeaten run.

Having said that, some things have to change.  Benoit needs to defend better and stop crosses coming in form his flank, as some teams seem to have pin-pointed him as the weak link.  If they do come in, we need to defend them better and that includes whoever is in goal coming for crosses.

Taking our chances still needs improving and with Dembele and Dempsey, this may happen, while the midfield have to work harder to counter any tactics to shut them down.

Hard work and application or pass and move ... call it what you will, but it worked in the past and can work again.  Don't get complacent and don't hark back to last season.  This is a new campaign and a new set of players and coaches.

And the most important thing is how can Levy not back him with the money he has invested in the players and back-room staff.  We're not Chelsea and hopefully that will see us through.




Other scores during this week :
Manchester City 3 Queens Park Rangers 1 Saturday
Swansea City 2 Sunderland 2 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 2 Everton 0 Saturday
West Ham United 3 Fulham 0 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 2 Stoke City 2 Saturday
Liverpool 0 Arsenal - Sunday
Southampton 2 Manchester United 3 Sunday
Newcastle United 1 Aston Villa 1 Sunday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 3 3 0 0 8 2 9 +6
2 Swansea City 3 2 1 0 10 1 7 +8
3 West Bromwich Albion 3 2 1 0 6 1 7 +5
4 Manchester City 3 2 1 0 8 5 7 +3
5 Manchester United 3 2 0 1 6 5 6 +1
6 Everton 3 2 0 1 4 3 6 +1
7 West Ham United 3 2 0 1 4 3 6 +1
8 Arsenal 3 1 2 0 3 1 5 +2
9 Wigan Athletic 3 1 1 1 4 4 4 0
10 Newcastle United 3 1 1 1 3 4 4 -1
11 Fulham 3 1 0 2 7 6 3 +1
12 Stoke City 3 0 3 0 4 4 3 0
13 Sunderland 2 0 2 0 2 2 2 0
14 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 0 2 1 3 4 2 -1
15 Norwich City 3 1 2 0 2 7 2 -5
16 Reading 2 0 1 1 3 5 1 -2
17 Aston Villa 3 0 1 2 2 5 1 -3
18 Liverpool 3 0 1 2 2 7 1 -5
19 Queens Park Rangers 3 0 1 2 2 9 1 -7
20 Southampton 3 0 0 3 4 8 0 -5


Position before match :  14th
Position after match :  14th
Position after the weekend :  14th


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