Crouch doubles up to keep Spurs in party mood

Blackburn Rovers 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2
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The Independent Football

Two goals from Peter Crouch completed a good week's work in the North-west for Tottenham and condemned Blackburn Rovers to their third home defeat in a year under Sam Allardyce. Spurs ruined the Blackburn manager's anniversary without playing as well as they had to beat Manchester City on Wednesday but were still full of enterprise.

Crouch could have had a hat-trick and even if his first goal benefited from a freakish build-up and his second had a hint of offside about it, they were still a fair measure of Tottenham's superiority. Facing a defence that was lacking in height in the absence of Christopher Samba, Crouch was always likely to make his natural advantage pay. Mind you, he can hardly have visualised the way his first goal came about. Few players have Tom Huddlestone's range and ambition of passing but he has never produced a killer ball quite like the mis-hit shot at the end of the first half. As the ball skewed towards the corner flag and Blackburn mentally headed for the dressing rooms, Niko Kranjcar refused to give up the chase and scooped it back into the middle where Crouch headed home off both bar and post.

Allardyce had at least two objections to that opening goal – that it had come 90 seconds after the declaration that there was just one extra minute to play, "and there was a foul on Ryan Nelsen," added Rovers' manager. "You could see it quite clearly; the referee was in the right position but he didn't give it and we got a wrong decision against us yet again."

Blackburn's best chance came eight minutes into the second half when Vince Grella's superb pass released Benni McCarthy to chest the ball down and shoot past Huerelho Gomes only for the ball to strike the inside of the post and spin clear. There was to be no other chance as clear-cut and, as Rovers went on a desperate search for an equaliser, Spurs took advantage.

Blackburn got away with it when the outstanding Aaron Lennon's run and cross saw Crouch head in from a marginally offside position, but there was no reprieve four minutes later when the two high-class substitutes, Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas, paved the way for Crouch's second.

Attendance: 22,495

Referee: Peter Walton

Man of the match: Crouch

Match rating: 6/10

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