The ‘new Zidane’ left the pitch at half time possibly clutching his Oyster card, the new hero of White Hart Lane left in the 86th minute to a standing ovation. The superb Scott Parker was the catalyst to a dominant Spurs display that should’ve ended with a far more emphatic boost to the goal difference than was actually achieved. If Adebayor had taken his chances and if Bale and VdV had found Kenny in slightly less spectacular form then we could’ve been well on the way to half a dozen by half time and wouldn’t have had to suffer a nervous period in the second period when QPR decided to give it a go. Warnock swapped things around (see ya Adel) and the away team were a much improved outfit.
The plan of throwing caution to the wind depended on us not taking any of the opportunities we were bound to create on the break, a plan ultimately doomed to failure.
In the first half copious clear chances were missed before Bale emphatically thumped home a Lennon lay off after 20 minutes. More profligate finishing followed before Van der Vaart took advantage of some comical defending to make it two after half an hour or so. Premature showboating took precedence for us then and we paid the price when Bothroyd nutted in what may have been the away team’s first accurate effort of the game after 62 minutes.
Friedel saved from a Faurlin shot soon after but that was the last of the scares as we took control of the rest of the game, re-establishing the two goal cushion after 72 mins when Lennon and Bale tiki taka’ed their way into the box and the Welshman curled one over the chubster in goal. The QPR fans were quiet now. They filled their allocation and overall made more noise than Man City but less than Shamrock Rovers or Hearts so well done to them.
A good result that puts us level third on points with a game in hand, a very tidy position. Despite the long injury list, this was arguably our strongest team and for spells, especially in the first half, it played like it. Parker’s determination and tackling, Bale’s speed, the skill of Modric and Van der Vaart allied to the strength and confidence at the back is a potent mixture. There’s still a sense of more to come however. Lennon still appears to be playing himself in, Adebayor looks isolated often (and too casual) and Walker has got lots to learn about defending. His determination, strength and speed mostly get him by at the moment, it was noticeable how QPR targeted him in this game though, and obviously they know him well after his loan period at Loftus Rd.
A tough game next weekend. We love Martin Jol and he loves us, probably not enough to roll over quietly on Sunday though unfortunately.
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