Sporting a big grin, swapping high fives with team mates and presumably feeling very chuffed with his nightâ€™s work, Jermain Defoe left the pitch at the KC Stadium with the match ball stuffed up his shirt.Â His hat-trick helped Spurs to a deserved 5-1 win against hosts Hull City.
There was only one change from Sunday, Hutton came in for King with Corluka moving across to the middle as widely predicted. We took control from the start giving Hull barely a hint of possession as Huddlestone, Keane, Lennon, Palacios, oh sod it, everyone passedÂ and moved with speed and accuracy. Defoe had already had a couple of efforts on goal before in the ninth minute Huddlestone picked him out on the edge of the box. Faced with the much touted Michael Turner he made space and smacked a shot low across Myhill. Four minutes later a textbook breakaway ended with Keane picking out Palacios in a similar position to that which Defoe had scored from. Wilson set himself and this time the keeper was beaten at his near post. Two up and absolutely totally and completely and utterly in control. Only a revival of last seasonâ€™sÂ latent suicidal tendencies could stop us now. Soâ€¦
Iâ€™m a Gomes fan,Â I like eccentric goalkeepers and heâ€™s a great shot stopper but he does make you despair sometimes. Just before the second goal he had dealt with a lofted cross into our box by offering a weak punch out. The ball was eminently catchable and not only did he put us under pressure instead of doing the simple thing, he managed to knack himself in the process. He was swapped with Cudicini straight after the goal. Things got sloppy now as the slick confident passing was replaced by slick confident sloppiness. Hull had been putting us under pressure when we gave away a soft goal, Steve Huntâ€™s cross from a free kick in the twenty fourth minute bouncing straight past Cudicini and into the top corner.
Hull now upped the tempo and pushed us back. Bassong struggled to cope with Folan and Corluka seemed unusually out of sorts. Hunt shouldâ€™ve equalised, Hutton did just enough to put him off. The fantastic start seemed a long time ago as we seemed to be paying a price for the essentially lightweight nature of the team. The home side were putting it about, Folan, Gardner, Turner and Hunt were crunching our boys repeatedly with Chris Foy deciding that the paperwork involved in carding someone would interfere with his half time cuppa. It wasnâ€™t as if we werenâ€™t creating the odd chance though and after forty four minutes Hunt piled into someone on the halfway line and Hutton took a quick free kick. Keaneâ€™s flick caught Turner off guard and Defoe was away, he again belted his shot past Myhillâ€™s left hand. Three-one.
The goal and half time took the wind out of Hullâ€™s sails and they were never really in the game again. Phil Brown tried to beef up his attack with a few substitutions and whilst Geovanni did force Cudicini into action a couple of times, it looked only a matter of time before we might score again as Lennon, Keane and Defoe continually terrified Gardner and Turner on the break. Opportunities came and went before after 78 minutes Keane put Lennon into space out on the right and kept going to meet his chipped cross with a beautiful glanced header across the face of the keeper. A lovely well taken goal capping an excellent performance from the skipper. Turner was the man beaten in the air at the near post thus completing his rough night.
Robbie went off a few minutes later for Crouch. Modric took the armband and then himself was taken off for David Bentley. Defoe became captain number three and celebrated with his third goal. With Hull now waiting for the clock to tick down he played a ball into Lennon on the eighteen yard line. Lennon waited and then touched it back to Defoe who absolutely twatted past a now rather startled looking keeper. Five-One and thanks very much for coming.
Another impressive, confident performance with tons of good passing. For the middle hour though, despite our dominance ( 62% possession on the night) we never looked completely secure. The centre pairing looked jittery and were definitely shaken up when the game got more physical. That shouldnâ€™t detract from the overall impression of the night which will be the pace, understanding, movement and technique of the midfield and forwards. Having said that the general work done in chasing and keeping shape shouldnâ€™t be forgotten. â€œYou have to earn the right to playâ€ etc etc. Jermain Defoe seems like a man obsessed with goals and goalscoring at the moment and if he carries on demonstrating finishing like this weâ€™re all in for a treat over the coming months.
What a difference a year makes. Wonder what Juande Ramos was doing tonight?
What are your thoughts on the game?
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