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Match Reports
Burnley v Spurs, 09.11.04


Keane, 31, 52
Defoe, 58

Attendance:- 10,639

Referee:- Graham Poll

Burnley (4-4-1-1):- Jensen; Roche, Cahill, Duff, Camara; Duffy, Grant, Hyde, Branch (sub Valois, 40); Sanokho (sub Pilkington, 82); Blake (Capt.)

Subs not used:- O'Neill, Scott, Yates

No bookings

Spurs (4-4-2):- Robinson; Pamarot (sub Ifil, 77), Naybet, King (Capt.), Kelly; Brown, Mendes (sub Davies, 59), Carrick, Ziegler; Keane (sub Kanoute, 64), Defoe

Subs not used:- Keller; Redknapp

No bookings

In April, 1961, a week after Spurs had clinched the Championship leg of their Double with a win over Sheffield Wednesday, some 28,000 souls packed into Turf Moor to see their deposed Champions beat Spurs 4-2. Whilst the ground capacity only just exceeds 22,000 these days, there were only around 10,000 in the ground last night to see Spurs gain revenge for their 2-1 defeat of two years ago, and to give Martin Jol the best of starts to his Official career as Spurs' Head Coach.

The Spurs contingent must have made up some 25 - 30% of the crowd, almost filling the Fishwick Stand, which I suspect was standing 43 years ago. Quite rightly, Jol today paid tribute to those fans, who he described as amongst the best in the Premiership. Our new man certainly is striking a chord with the fans, having spoken passionately at the AGM, and in his post-match interview last night.

Spurs had fielded a pretty strong side to say the least, with arguably only the left back slot given over to a rookie, in the shape of Stephen Kelly - not a natural left back - who did a sterling job. Another youngster, Reto Ziegler did nothing but impress, and the travelling fans were very happy to see Michael Carrick start, with Jamie Redknapp the only unused out-field substitute. The Spurs fans were in goods voice all night, paying tribute to the late Bill Nicholson, but also giving Jol "chant recognition". There were also plenty of anti-Arsenal ditties aired for the benefit of the TV mikes and in preparation for Saturday's game.

Spurs bossed the second half, but despite going in at half-time a goal to the good, they had been quite lucky to be on terms with the hosts, for whom skipper Robbie Blake had dazzled, with a few chances of his own, and a couple of passes providing good chances for the likes of Duffy. Burnley are short of staff per se, and have an injury problem too, which meant that young Cahill got a debut in the back four, and had an arduous christening against a rampant Keane and Defoe. Graham Branch, one of only three Clarets' players to have faced Spurs in that last game, was replaced before the break, and in the second half, you got the feeling that Steve Cotterill was reserving his forces for their vital league campaign.

Burnley put Spurs under pressure from the kick-off, and Kelly had to make a good early headed clearance. After 5 minutes, the Spurs defence might have expected a flag against Blake, who raced down the left, crossing for Duffy, whose half-hit shot was held by Paul Robinson, playing his first Carling Cup game of the season. Then Sanakho (playing behind Blake "in the hole") tricked Naybet amongst others inside the box,before the ball ran safely to Robinson again. At last Spurs did have a chance but Pamarot headed Ziegler's free kick wide.

Blake threatened again after 10 minutes, leaving the defence in his wake, before shooting across the keeper but just wide of the far post. Michael Brown started on the right, but soon moved inside Mendes, who played well down the right wing. Brown was behind a few of Spurs moves, one of which led to Keane's first on-target effort. Ziegler himself followed a useful run with a good low shot that was held by Burnley's reserve keeper, Brian Jensen. Brown sent a sharp ball inside for Defoe, who swiftly controlled the ball, before hitting a shot that dipped just over the woodwork. The danger was not over from the home side, as Blake yet again passed defenders, and set up Duffy for what should have been an easy headed goal. Duffy managed to head wide.

Then Spurs took a 31st minute lead, after Carrick dashed down the right, sending a perfect low cross that was easily converted by Robbie Keane as a prelude to a cartwheel or two! Paul Robinson was called into superb action just before the break, making a great dive to his left to save from Grant, then saving Duff's header at close range. Robbie Blake had a chance in injury time, but pushed it wide of Robbo's right post.

After the break, it was almost non-stop Spurs pressure, and Brown seemed to be impeded inside the box as he prepared to shoot, but "no pen" Poll waved the appeals away! In the 52nd minute, Robbie Keane scored a second at close quarters. This time Ziegler had sent Defoe away down the left, and Jermain sent a cross to the back post, which Robbie fired home in front of his adoring fans. Spurs' third goal arose from some good pressure on the Burnley defence by Pedro Mendes. A clearance was quickly pushed by Kelly to Keane, who flicked cleverly to Defoe, who tricked his defender then beat Jensen with a superb 25-yard dipping shot.

Now the tie was sealed, Jol gave some of his stars a rest. To their credit, the players being replaced took the quickest route off the pitch, and it seemed that Spurs were keen to try and score more. Robbie Keane must have been disappointed not to have a chance at a hat-trick, but after a shower, he re-joined his team-mates on the bench. Stephen Kelly had to defend well against Micah Hyde who had been fed by Duffy, but the rest of the game was very much about Kanoute being offered several scoring chances, and either messing them up, or bottling out and making the wrong choice of a pass to a colleague.

Kanoute had a good 25 yard effort saved after Ziegler had seen him clear at the back of the defence. Kelly suffered a knock in his successful brave clearance of a Blake free kick, and Burnley's only other notable chance came when Duffy scuffed his shot to Robinson, having got through the defence. Apart from Kanoute's exploits the most noteworthy effort for Spurs came when Defoe tried a cheeky chip over the keeper, when he might have fired home. Jensen held this shot gladly.

Spurs then wait for the quarter-final draw later tonight, and personally I really hope it does not mean another long midweek trip up 't North. We must be due a home draw, surely!

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