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Spurs v Derby, 21 Oct 2000

SATURDAY 21ST OCTOBER, 2000
FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (2) DERBY COUNTY 1 (1)

Spurs scorers:-
Leonhardsen, 4, 48
Carr, 45

Derby scorer:-
Riggott, 39

Referee:- M. Dean

Attendance:- 34,483

Teams:-
Spurs (4-4-2):- Sullivan; Carr, Perry, Vega, Thatcher; Anderton (sub Davies, 89), Clemence, Sherwood (Capt.), Leonhardsen (sub Dominguez, 70); Rebrov (sub Korsten, 89), Ferdinand

Subs not used:- Walker; Thelwell

Booked:- Thatcher, Anderton

Derby (4-3-3):- Poom; Delap, Riggott, Bragstad, Higginbottom (sub Schnoor, 61); Burley, Johnson (sub Bohinen, 83), Powell (capt); Sturridge, Christie (sub Morris, 61), Burton

Subs not used:- Grant (GK); Elliott

Booked:- Riggott, Johnson

Spurs did just enough on either side of half time to keep the boo boys at bay, and secure the points against this poor Derby side, who despite the machinations of Jim Smith, who made several changes today, already look like relegation fodder. Man of the Match Oyvind Leonhardsen scored the first and third for Tottenham, and then had to be stretchered off when collapsing unchallenged with what looks like a long term injury.

Spurs really should have had at least three more goals today, but their touch was too often not good enough, and when Derby deservedly equalised after a good period of play, it looked as if the anti-Graham brigade would have a hey day. Spurs had two good chances inside the penalty area, before Leo gave them the lead after just three minutes, when he fired home a 22 yard right foot shot from a short corner by Anderton and Clemence.

The early domination continued, with Leo at the beginning and end of a move which culminated in Poom parrying Leo's short cross, and Serge Rebrov's reaction shot curled agonisingly past the post. Spurs took the pressure off though, and Derby were allowed too much space particularly on their right side. Thatcher was not getting too much in the way of assistance, and Rory Delap was left in space at the back post to hit a Burley cross just wide. There was an offside decision against Derby, but Spurs fragile defence had been exposed.

Darren Anderton was on top in the first half, and hit a shot wide after a corner which itself came from an Anderton free kick being whisked off Vega's head. Leonhardsen again was on target after a lovely build up from Clemence, Ferdinand and Sherwood, but Poom tipped his shot over the bar. Thatcher was once again exposed as Sturridge left him behind to at least get a shot on target, but Sullivan was very comfortable. Sullivan had more of a test from a deflected Johnson free kick, which he had to stretch to reach to his right.

The signs had been there, and the equaliser came when Johnson floated in a free kick from the right, and Riggott rose unchallenged to head into the corner. Although it was UEFA Fair Play day, things got a bit niggly, as both Thatcher and Anderton (now with a head bandage after a wound) both got yellow cards for fouls. There was also a real shambles between Sullivan and Vega as they contrived to nearly give the ball away from a free kick in the area. Sullivan booted to Vega who already had three player s around him, and so nearly lost the ball.

On the stroke of half time, Thatcher sent an aimless long ball down the line that looked for all the world like coming to nought. Somehow Les Ferdinand and Leonhardsen between them won the ball, and led to the cross field passes that found Carr on his own 25 yards out. This inimitable piece of gold-dust that the club will not give a decent offer, swung the game with a typical long range shot along the ground, which fooled Poom, and went into the corner of goal.

Carr again led the attack after the interval, and between him and Anderton, they got the ball over. Riggott only half cleared and Stephen Clemence (replacing Freund, and in my view playing well to day) bravely headed the ball to Leo who hit across the goalie and into the goal! He almost got his hat-trick with a powerful shot at the back post, that had us cheering, but it had only hit the side netting.

Neil Sullivan was in business again as he had to dive at the feet of Burton and also had to stop a Sturridge effort. Dominguez, who replaced Leonhardsen had one of his worse displays as he wanted to beat not one but two too many defenders before releasing the ball. Sergei Rebrov had one of those games where he just seemed slightly off the pace, and when he was replaced he looked well and truly knackered. However he did nearly score when he picked up a rebound off an Anderton free kick, but he couldn't quite get the finishing touch.

Poom was almost beaten by a Vega header, but just got his arm behind his back to retrieve the ball, and then he was rescuing the visitors with a save from a powerful long range effort from Sherwood, who I thought worked ever so hard in the second half. In fact the difference between the Spurs performance after that spell in the first half and the second, was that extra piece of effort from all concerned. Hard work pays off. Who said that? Oh, wrong manager. Not Ron Manager, wrong....I'll get me coat.

Korsten and Davies didn't even get cameo appearances, and surely deserved to be introduced a lot earlier. Just for a change, I'll award marks for the players:-

Sullivan - 6 - apart from that suicide pass to Vega a good solid game.
Carr - 7 - the usual!
Perry - 5 - his distribution was appalling today.
Vega - 6 - no glaring errors, but then not much of a test was it?
Thatcher - 5 - sorry, I can't be objective about him. I do not think he is a 5 mill player
Anderton - 6 - understandably less involved in the second half, with his head injury, but he makes all the difference in the middle with his passing ability.
Sherwood - 6 - see report
Clemence - 7 - some good brave tackles and better passing than usual from this lad.
Leo - 8 MOTM
Rebrov - 6 - not as impactive as we need him to be
Ferdinand - 5 - not the best choice striker, had one decent header just over, but another woefully wide of the mark.

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