Man Utd 2 Spurs 0 (Carling Cup Qtr final)
A busy December opened with an uncharacteristic and dispiriting performance at Old Trafford. We put out an under strength team with Hutton, Bale, Bentley and Keane (who was continuing to frustrate more than impress) all playing but Man U’s team was far weaker, on paper anyway. In a repeat of last year’s final we let Scholes’ run the game from midfield. Gibson was given too much room to score from two long range shots This was a real chance to make progress towards Wembley once again (though not as good as the one we were to blow in April) and we were limp, half-hearted, intimidated and embarrassing. Really poor. Playing weakened teams is a gamble and this was one that failed miserably.
Everton 2 Spurs 2
After the disappointment of midweek there was much to be pleased with in this display but heads were either in hands or shaking at the end. We took a good point, it should though have been more. Two goals in the second half (including another from skipper Dawson) meant we were strolling it but inspired Toffee kid Seamus Coleman led the fightback down the right against a startled looking Bale and we conceded two late goals. We still might’ve won it but after Palacios had been flattened to earn a penalty and a spell of concussion (for which crime he was bizarrely booed by the home fans) Defoe contributed his first (and our second) spot-kick miss of the season and we had to settle for the point. Later in the season we learned how to close out narrow victories. At this time though (and see Birmingham away in January for more proof) we had as much idea about shutting up shop as the owner of the 24 hour convenience store just down the road from where I live.
Spurs 0 Wolves 1
If the Man Utd win in September was the best attacking performance by an away team at WHL this season then this was probably the best defensive one. Our first home game since the 9-1 drubbing of Wigan ended in our third (and as it turned out final) home defeat of season. Kevin Doyle flicked in a header early on and then the Wolves played like tigers and frustratingly held out to take all the points. As well as the kitchen sink we also threw Giovani at the Wolves back four. Harry obviously saw all he needed to see as he never played again. Grudging respect for the away team’s efforts later turned into shrugs of the “what can you do?” variety when they beat us again at Molineux in February. Two points from nine in our last three league games at this point. Not the form of a team liable to upset the top four.
Spurs 3 Man City 0
Ah Man City. If only we could play them every week. We were under pressure due to the late collapse at Goodison and the result against Wolves but in the end a side that had only lost once up to that point in the season was swept away by a fine performance that renewed the faith in those who’d started to doubt. Kranjcar’s cheeky third goal through the legs of Given rounded off a superb individual display from him and kick-started the downward movement of Sheikh Mansour’s scimitar. Gary Cook was on the phone to Bobby Mancini and Mark Hughes would only be in charge, sort of, for one more game.
Blackburn 0 Spurs 2
A scrappy win, but when you’re playing a Sam Allardyce team away from home that’s probably the best you can hope for. The stat of two goals from a total of two attempts on target tells the tale. Despite Crouch’s brace it was once more Gomes who was the matchwinner when he somehow diverted a point blankÂ effort from Benni McCarthy onto a post just after half-time. Robbie Keane came on for a physically overwhelmed Defoe with just over twenty minutes to go and did much towards easing the pressure on the back four by linking the play intelligently and providing an outlet. Possibly his last noteworthy performance in a Spurs shirt?
Fulham 0 Spurs 0
Boxing Day & another outstanding performance from Gomes was the basis of a valuable and tough point earned at Craven Cottage. Saves from Murphy, Dempsey, Duff and a couple of blinding ones from Zamora were what got us the draw as we managed to manufacture little that was effective up front. Keane’s cameo at Ewood earned him a start here, he struggled throughout though.
Spurs 2 West Ham 0
Wigan’s second half performance excepted, West Ham gave in this game the worst display of any Premier League team at White Hart Lane this season. The Hammers had to sub two players through injury before we were twenty minutes in and never showed signs of recovery. We didn’t need to move out of second gear to record our fourth clean sheet in a row and notch another win on the bedpost and so we didn’t. Luka Modric marked his first start since Birmingham in August with his a goal after a typical Lennon breakaway. The away fans baited Redknapp and Defoe, the latter responded by crashing home a volley with nine minutes left to make the game safe. In the 89th minute Lennon wandered off with an injury that at the time looked irritating rather than serious but would keep him out until the end of April and make him miss 22 games in all.
The top sixÂ at 31st December 2009Â –
PÂ Â WÂ Â Â Â DÂ Â LÂ Pts
1.Â ChelseaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 20Â 14Â Â Â 3Â Â Â 3Â Â 45
2.Â Man UtdÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 20Â 14Â Â Â 1Â Â Â 5Â Â 43
3.Â ArsenalÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 19Â 13Â Â Â 2Â Â Â 4Â Â 41
4.Â TottenhamÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 20Â 11Â Â Â 4Â Â Â 5Â Â 37
5.Â Man CityÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 19Â 9Â Â Â Â Â 8Â Â Â 2Â Â 35
6.Â Aston VillaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 20Â 10Â Â Â 5Â Â Â 5Â Â 35
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