Maxim Match Report: Spurs 3-1 Blackburn

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This was just about satisfactory. Another three points won in the race for fourth, but to be honest we won this game without really getting out of 3rd gear. Big players had quiet games – Modric, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko, Kranjcar……but we had plenty enough to deal with Blackburn.

The visitors were quite bright in the first half, without ever really testing Gomes. We flickered from time to time, but there was little impetus in the game, despite Gareth Bale’s constant progress against Michel Salgado on our left wing. Bale was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch in that first half.

Our annual Paul Robinson love-in came to a premature end in that first half, when our old number one limped off after 25 minutes, receiving an ovation fit for home heroes. His replacement Jason Brown came in for some light-hearted stick at taking over from our beloved Robbo. But the new man wasn’t really tested as we failed to hit the target until Defoe tapped home Corluka’s flicked header on the stroke of half time. So late was the goal in fact, that I was already in the beer queue!

Brown was definitely at fault for the second goal, when a flowing move involving Luka Modric and Defoe found Pavlychenko in space. His powerful drive was close enough for Brown to save, but burst through and under the goalie’s sprawling attempt.

Blackburn were offering next to nothing and it was all very comfortable. Things never just fizzle out at the Lane though, and so it was that Rovers got a lifeline back into the game with ten minutes left, when Chris Samba rose high above Michael Dawson (clearly pushing down on our skipper – you forgot to mention that in your post-match whingeing, Big Sam), and nodded home a simple goal.

Last year, that would have been the cue for us to collapse, but it was Blackburn that crumbled again instead. It was laughable really. We had a free kick on the left, level with the Blackburn box, but only two Spurs men went up to contest it. The Spurs fans were disgusted at the lack of ambition, but the very lack of attackers seemed to confuse Blackburn’s gaggle of defenders. They had three men to mark each Spurs player, but somehow when Bale delivered the free kick, Roman Pavlyuchenko was standing completely unmarked at the far post. Even then he fluffed his volley in front of goal, but the ball went back out to the left, from where Bale hit a great first time low cross, and this time Pav made no mistake.

There was still time for Blackburn’s Kalinic to have a great strike disallowed for handball, which would have pleased Big Sam not. But then, when is he ever happy…………

Star Man: Gareth Bale – gave Salgado a proper roasting in the first half

Worst performance: Referee Howard Webb gained the singular distinction of being called a wanker by name, rather than the usual, impersonal “the referee’s a wanker”. Think that means you’ve made it to the Big Time Mr Webb……….

Best moment: Pav’s second, our third – comedy defending, but a vital goal

Best chant: To sub goalie Jason Brown – “You’re just a fat Tim Howard”

Opposition fans: Unheard until they scored, and unheard after that as well

By Andy Knaggs

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