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Charlton v Spurs, 08.12.01

FA BARCLAYCARD PREMIERSHIP
SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER, 2001
CHARLTON ATHLETIC 3 (2) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)

Charlton scorers:-
Stuart, 4
Lisbie, 19, 78

Spurs scorer:-
Poyet, 84

Attendance:- 25,125

Referee:- Steve Dunn

Teams:-
Charlton (3-5-2):- Kiely; Fish, Costa, Fortune; Young, Stuart (Capt) (sub Bart-Williams, 81), Jensen (sub Konchesky, 88), Parker, Powell; Euell (sub Johansson, 81), Lisbie

Subs not used:- Roberts (GK); Brown

Booked:- Young (foul on Taricco), Kiely (Ungentlemanly conduct), Lisbie (foul)

Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; Perry, Richards, King; Davies (sub Sherwood, 66), Anderton, Bunjevcevic (sub Iversen, 46), Poyet, Taricco; Sheringham (Capt), Rebrov

Subs not used:- Keller; Gardner; Leonhardsen

Booked:- Taricco (foul)

Spurs approached this game in a state of high confidence, with hopes of going second in the league table, if they managed their fourth away league win of the season. They were brought down to earth with a bump though, as Charlton's injury-stricken side out-played and out-fought so-called superior opponents for the second time in four days to secure a well deserved win.

Spurs were missing Freund, Ferdinand, and Ziege, and Glenn Hoddle chose to shake up the formation by putting Taricco back on the left, and Bunjevcevic in front of the back three. Davies struggled again at right wing-back, and none of the Spurs side can be said to have played well, although Anderton, Poyet and Sheringham were in the forefront in the creativity stakes. Charlton themselves were missing several regulars, but still ran the show, as Claus Jensen bossed the midfield, and Euell and Lisbie out-thought and out-paced the back three.

Indeed it is true to say that Spurs gifted all three goals to the hosts, and this was the worse performance since Hoddle took over the reins in the Spring. (See the Spursometer ). This was Charlton's biggest crowd since 1977, boosted by a strong Spurs support who occupied the whole of the South Stand. There was an early appeal for a penalty turned down, when Sheringham appeared to have been pushed to the ground in front of his fans, but the action soon switched to the other end as Jensen brought a good save from Sullivan.

Schoolboy defending from Richards led to a fourth minute lead for Charlton. He appeared to be shepherding the ball out of play safely, and the rest of the defence had switched off. Jason Euell (who recently tragically lost his baby daughter) did not give up though poked a foot out and got the ball across the area, where Captain Stuart had an easy finish in front of an open goal. Richards begins to concern me. I never noticed such errors by him when playing for Southampton, and yet we have seen several now since his 8 million signing. He often struggled against the strikers too, but that can be said about each of his colleagues. Richards tried to redeem himself when heading an Anderton cross, but the ball went over the mark.

Charlton went two up when Taricco seemed to let a ball run under his feet, probably thinking that it was going to run harmlessly to Neil Sullivan. Kevin Lisbie had other thoughts though as he gratefully accepted the chance to slot home from the right side of the box. All Spurs could manage was a little pretty approach play, that often fell apart when the last ball went astray. There are times when you want them to do the simple thing! Poyet and Sheringham interchanged and Gus fed the ball to Anderton, whose shot was blocked for a corner. Luke Young got booked for a late challenge upon his ex-colleague Taricco flying down the left, and Teddy's header from the Anderton free kick went wide.

Another attack from the left should have given Spurs some encouragement, as Taricco and Rebrov put the ball back teasingly for the advancing Anderton, whose shot might have been going high into the net, but was again blocked in front of goal. Just before the break, Teddy had a shot turned round by Kiely for a corner, after Gus set him up.

Bunjevcevic had an ineffective game, and it has to be said we missed the suspended Freund badly. Bunjee was replaced by Iversen at the interval, and no doubt Glenn was hoping for a revival in the same vein as that against Bolton on Monday night. Taricco was switched to the right, and the defence switched to a four, with Ledley on the left. Charlton looked the more likely to increase their lead though. Firstly it looked as though Richards had done well to push Lisbie out of harm's way to the right touchline, but then the youngster turned and left Richards behind, only to see his shot across goal pass in front of the keeper, and out of danger. Then Euell left Perry behind, but could only hit a weak shot at Sullivan.

The Spurs support tried valiantly to lift their team, and Kiely got booked when he tried to prevent the quick taking of a free kick inside the area, after he had picked up a Stuart back pass. Anderton hit a powerful kick too high and missed his team-mates completely. After 62 minutes Poyet sent Iversen away down the right. It looked as though Iversen was in a good shooting position, but he chose to put the ball back to no-one in particular. After a scramble, the ball came to Poyet again. His shot was deflected into the goal by Sheringham, but the offside flag went up straight away.

Sherwood was introduced for Davies to make a rare appearance this season, but I can't remember a significant contribution from him. With 15 minutes left, Kiely made a stunning save from Teddy Sheringham as he volleyed an Anderton corner in one of their classic near post corner moves. Kiely had to fly to his left, and the save should be worth seeing on TV later. Glenn Hoddle later described this as a turning point, as maybe Spurs would have got back, had they scored. However, within three minutes Taricco gifted the ball to Scott Parker in the Charlton half, and with the Spurs team committed to attack, Parker ran the length of the field unchallenged, and was able to set up Lisbie in front of goal for another easy finish.

Spurs did have several chances in the last ten minutes. First, both Taricco and Teddy were in the box, and Teddy accepted the pass, only to have his shot blocked. Then Taricco lobbed the defence, but Kiely again saved from Sheringham. The deficit was reduced with 6 minutes to go, when Poyet collected another Taricco pass, and hit a super 25 yard shot to the top right corner. The only other effort of note came when Iversen hooked back a cross for Teddy to head over.

You will notice that Sergei Rebrov's name is hardly mentioned in the above report. I cannot remember him having an influence on the game, and Hoddle must be hoping for all three of his absentees to be fit for Tuesday's fifth round Worthington Cup match. On the plus side, surely a performance like this is going to lead to a shake-up before the busy period to come?

Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
Declan Mulcahy's Last Five Stats for this game can still be read here
Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions

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