Tottenham return to top four with comfortable win over Blackburn
Tottenham 2 Blackburn 0
Sunday 29 April 2012
Tottenham returned to the top four in the Barclays Premier League after a comfortable win over relegation-threatened Blackburn at White Hart Lane.
Despite winning only one of their previous nine league games before today, Harry Redknapp's side were on top for almost the entire 90 minutes with their opponents not managing a single effort on goal - the first time that has happened in a top-flight match since 2004.
Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring in the first half but it took the hosts until the 74th minute to secure the points as Kyle Walker hit an unstoppable 30-yard free-kick past Paul Robinson.
Spurs should have taken the lead in the opening minute as Luka Modric skipped into the box and squared for Aaron Lennon, who could only fire into the side netting from five yards out.
The home side had a stranglehold on proceedings from the off and Sandro almost put them in front in the ninth minute, but his long-range effort came back off the crossbar with former Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson well beaten.
Redknapp's side continued to dominate possession and worked the ball well down both flanks but the final ball into the box was lacking on almost every occasion.
They finally got it right in the 22nd minute as Lennon's cross was met by the head of Gareth Bale with his effort bouncing off the crossbar and to the feet of Van der Vaart, who tapped home from close range.
Blackburn had no answer to the constant attacking threat being posed by their Champions League-chasing opponents as the play continued to be almost constantly in the Rovers' half.
Robinson showed quick reactions to close down Danny Rose as the young full-back burst through from the left side of the area after a neat interchange with Modric.
Gael Givet then cleared a Van der Vaart free-kick with Spurs again building up a head of steam in search for their second goal.
It almost came from the resulting corner as captain William Gallas glanced a header on to the crossbar, which came to Blackburn's rescue once again.
The second half started in the same one-sided manner as the first and it was Lennon who again came close to scoring for Spurs.
Following a neat back-heel from Van der Vaart, Modric drove forward and his pass eventually found Lennon whose shot hit the side-netting.
Despite their clear superiority, the hosts were not creating chances on a regular basis and Blackburn's defence did not appear to be overstretched.
Modric dragged a shot wide on the hour and Bale followed suit moments later after a quick counter-attack caught Rovers short at the back.
Yakubu was becoming a very isolated figure as the rest of Kean's side worked to close Spurs down all over the pitch and he was getting little joy from his lone tussle with both Gallas and Kaboul.
As the game wore on the Blackburn players looked to tire and more fouls were conceded as a result, Kean then introduced striker Anthony Modeste as a direct replacement for Yakubu to jeers from the travelling Rovers fans.
Another foul was conceded by the visitors in the 74th minute when David Dunn brought down Lennon with full-back Kyle Walker looking to take aim.
The recently-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year did not disappoint as he hit an unstoppable 30-yard free-kick past Robinson as Spurs finally managed to double their lead.
That really killed the game as a contest as Blackburn never looked like scoring and did not give their former goalkeeper Brad Friedel anything to do in his 301st successive league start.
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