Football: Klinsmann double-take lifts Spurs

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The Independent Online
Tottenham Hotspur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Everton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

JUST five days into the season and Tottenham Hotspur, or rather Jurgen Klinsmann and 10 grateful accomplices, have made up the six-point handicap imposed on them by the Football Association. An eye-catching double, a dazzling volley and another measured header inside 14 first- half minutes, made it about as impressive a home debut as the German World Cup star could have asked for.

It was Everton's turn to suffer a fat lip and from Klinsmann's perspective it could have been even better. At the end of a productive first 45 minutes he passed up a hat-trick opportunity from the penalty spot. In this all- conquering mood he would surely not have failed as did Teddy Sheringham when he planted the ball high and wide.

The Spurs manager, Ossie Ardiles, said it was crucial psychologically to have started with successive victories. Klinsmann put it more succinctly saying: 'We are equal now and can start aiming for the championship. This team is a lot of fun to play in and I am enjoying it a lot.'

Not since 1980 had Spurs won their opening two games and never can it have been so important to them after their punishment for irregular payments. Nevertheless only the most devout anorak among the crowd filling the High Road outside before the start were discussing that possibility. All the excitement and anticipation fell on one man: the proliferation of the No 18 shirt bearing the name of the pounds 2m signing showing that Ardiles was not alone in his spending this summer.

Klinsmann's first meaningful contribution almost saw Spurs take a ninth-minute lead. A chested pass and a clever feint paved the way for both Sheringham and Ilie Dumitrescu to lunge in, only for a combination of the crossbar and Neville Southall's fingers to deny them.

As Everton began to enjoy their possession it crossed home minds as to what was in store for them after the euphoria of Hillsborough. They did not have long to wait, the 22nd minute delivering the archetypal Klinsmann goal, struck sweetly in a mid-air flash with his right foot after Darren Anderton's corner took two headed assists on its way to him.

It was a dramatic moment and what followed was equally so for those supporters now on their feet in exuberant rapture as Klinsmann, and seven of his team, dived headlong on the sodden turf in exaggerated celebration. Even Ian Walker raced 75 yards out of his goal to join in; definitely a case of one over par, with his father, Mike, forced to sit and suffer in the opposing dug-out.

Fourteen minutes later David Kerslake sent in a cross, Nick Barmby nodded on and there was Klinsmann to time perfectly his header wide of Southall. David Unsworth's handball produced a penalty and Sheringham's inaccuracy could have proved costly as 32 seconds into the second half Paul Rideout stretched to turn in Graham Stuart's pass.

Vinny Samways, returning to his former club after his pounds 2.2m close-season transfer, worked hard for the equaliser, which almost came in the dying minutes when Matthew Jackson's goal-bound attempt struck the prostrate Justin Edinburgh and looped over the bar.

That would have been harsh on Spurs. Two wins for no points is harsh as well, but as the capacity crowd made their way home no one was complaining unduly.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-1-3-2): Walker; Kerslake, Nethercott (Mabbutt, 82), Campbell, Edinburgh; Calderwood; Anderton, Barmby, Dumitrescu (Hazard, 62); Sheringham, Klinsmann. Substitute not used: Day (gk).

Everton (4-4-2): Southall; Jackson, Watson, Unsworth, Ablett; Stuart, Ebbrell, Samways, Parkinson (Hinchcliffe, 82); Cottee, Rideout (Angell, 77). Substitute not used: Kearton (gk).

Referee: G Willard (West Sussex).

----------------------------------------------------------------- PREMIERSHIP TOP SIX ----------------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Pts Newcastle 2 2 0 0 7 1 6 Tottenham 2 2 0 0 6 4 6 Blackburn 2 1 1 0 4 1 4 Man Utd 2 1 1 0 3 1 4 Nottm Forest 2 1 1 0 2 1 4 Leeds 2 1 1 0 1 0 4 - Tottenham lose six points at end of season. -----------------------------------------------------------------

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