Jermain Defoe made the right kind of impression last night, not with his teeth but with two goals that helped his side reach the Carling Cup fourth round at the expense of League Two opposition who were facing Premiership opposition for the first time in their admittedly brief history.
Defoe had created the weekend headlines with his shoulder-nibbling activities on West Ham's Javier Mascherano, but last night it was the MK Dons manager, Martin "Mad Dog" Allen, who was eager to sink his fangs into the visitors.
Allen had already savaged eight of his own in the wake of Saturday's home defeat by Hereford, putting them on the transfer list. But the way his side went about its early work indicated that the drastic action had had the required effect as the midfielder Lloyd Dyer and full-back Dean Lewington created a succession of scares on the left flank for visitors who looked as drab as their unfamiliar all-brown strip.
However, it was Spurs - captained by their own "Pit Bull" in Edgar Davids - who drew first blood after 35 minutes as Reto Ziegler's cross from the left was swept home by Mido.
Within eight minutes the lead was doubled as Mido slid a ball through the centre of a suddenly hesitant home defence and Defoe strolled forward to fire in a shot over the goalkeeper Adolfo Baines.
Any hope the hosts had of getting back into the match was effectively ended five minutes into the second half when Tom Huddlestone sent Defoe in to make it 3-0, and eight minutes later Spurs had struck again as Mido fired home a rebound after Baines had blocked Defoe's effort. Suddenly, MK Dons were struggling to avoid humiliation.
They might have narrowed the margin in the 77th minute when Izale McLeod sent a shot against the post and then spooned the rebound over the bar, or when the outstanding Lewington sent a free-kick dipping narrowly over six minutes later.
But there was to be no late consolation on the Dons' big night and an 88th-minute goal by substitute Robbie Keane completed their frustrating evening in front of their highest gate of the season - 8,306.
"Strange, wasn't it?" reflected Allen. "We had a few good chances in the first half, and we didn't seem to be in danger. We don't think the scoreline reflected the overall match. But their finishing was frightening. Defoe certainly got his teeth into us tonight."
Milton Keynes Dons (4-4-2): Baines; Jamie Smith, Diallo, O'Hanlon, Lewington; McGovern, Andrews (Edds, 62), Wilbraham, Dyer (Crooks, 70); Platt (Taylor, 70), McLeod. Substitutes not used: Bankole (gk), Hastings.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Cerny; Staltieri, Davenport (Dawson, h-t), Gardner, Ziegler; Ghaly, Huddlestone (Lennon, 70), Davids, Murphy; Mido, Defoe (Keane, 80). Substitutes not used: Fulop (gk), Berbatov.
Referee: K Stroud (Dorset).Reuse content