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Spurs v Peterborough, 02.01.10


Kranjcar, 35,57
Defoe, 70
Keane (pen), 90

Attendance:- 35,862

Referee:- Mr. Lee Mason
Assistants:- Mr. P. Keane & Mr. A. Davies
Fourth Official:- Mr. K. Hill

Spurs (4-4-2):- Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Bale (sub Naughton, 79); Modric, Huddlestone, Palacios, Kranjcar (sub Rose, 73); Defoe (sub Pavlyuchenko, 75), Keane (Capt.)

Subs not used:- Alnwick; Corluka; Giovani; Crouch

Booked:- Rose

Peterborough (4-5-1):- Lewis; Whelpdale, Morgan, Bennett, Griffiths; Boyd (Capt.), Frecklington (sub Batt, 69), Lee (sub Green, 87), Coutts, Williams; Mackail-Smith

Subs not used:- McKeown; Rowe, Diagouraga, Romone McCrae, Wright

Booked:- Boyd, Lee

Mystic Cliff gets it right!

At half-time at White Hart Lane, Spurs wheeled on three FA Cup heroes from the sixties, eighties and nineties, in the shape of Cliff Jones, Paul Miller, and Paul Allen. The score was 1-0, and the veteran but dapper Cliff Jones drew hearty boos from the Peterborough crowd, when he predicted that Spurs would coast to a 4-0 win. Good old Cliff got the score-line spot on, as Spurs won comfortably, and made it four in added time with a Robbie Keane penalty.

Harry Redknapp fielded a strong side, with Alan Hutton and Gareth Bale taking over in the full back positions, and Sebastien Basson renewing his clean sheet acquaintance with Michael Dawson. (It’s now five in a row for Spurs). A strong midfield saw Luka Modric starting on the right and Kranjcar on the left. Keane partnered Defoe up front, with both Crouch and Pavlyuchenko on the bench.

Peterborough brought a full allocation of 4,500 supporters, and played in a 4-5-1 formation, with Mackail-Smith the out and out striker, supported of course by his skipper George Boyd. Former Spurs’ Reserve Charlie Lee played in the centre of the “Posh” midfield, and it was a shame that he was not announced in the traditional “Welcome back to The Lane” mode, which I suspect led to a lack of recognition by the majority of the Spurs fans present. Charlie is clearly a favourite with “Posh” fans though, as he was loudly cheered when he was substituted late in the game.

The most noteworthy Peterborough player though was England under-21 keeper Joe Lewis, who after a string of brilliant saves for his team in front of the Park Lane crowd was hailed as “Tottenham’s Number Two”, offering a memo to Harry Redknapp, as he searches for back-up to Heurelho Gomes.

Spurs were in control but seemed to be playing within themselves, before trying to turn the screw on their bottom of the Championship opponents. Bale put in a threatening low cross after 7 minutes that fell marginally in front of Defoe, who then missed a sitter in front of goal, after Bale again, and Modric had been involved in the build-up. Modric had a shot blocked before the ball rebounded kindly for Defoe who managed to hit the bar from only a yard or two out. Two minutes later Keane had a shot hit the post after the ball came in from the right, and wanted a handball for the blocking of his second effort, with no success in the appeal to the referee. Lewis tipped over a Huddlestone free kick after 11 minutes to keep Spurs at bay.

Keane was called offside a couple of times, and Peterborough were just not making any headway against the pressure. A Keane cross/shot from the right side of the box was cleared after 18 minutes. Spurs were camped in the Peterborough half, but space was becoming cramped due to the defensive midfield formation. Modric was a little quieter than usual, but was to become crucially influential at the right times! Kranjcar fed the ball in to Robbie Keane, as he cut in from the left, but Keane’s shot was blocked for another corner. Kranjcar was on the end of the next attack following a corner on the right, and receiving from Defoe, hit a rising shot that Lewis tipped over the bar.

“Posh” didn’t hold out for much longer though. Modric sent a great ball from the right side to Kranjcar, lurking outside the area. Niko hit a cracking right foot shot that even Lewis could not stop, as the ball passed his left hand into the net. Two minutes later, Spurs broke from their half through Keane and Defoe, before Palacios had a great shot saved by that man Lewis for a corner. Lewis saved again, this time from Bale after the corner taken by Kranjcar. Bale became provider for a touch by Defoe to Huddlestone, who tested the keeper with another good shot, bringing another save and another corner for Spurs.

The pressure upon Peterborough was reflected by bookings for Boyd and Lee, trying to stem the tide, but Gomes did have one save to make before the break from Frecklington. Mystic Cliff’s prediction took a while to come to fruition in the second half, but Keane tested Lewis with his shot from a long through ball. Modric was fouled outside the box, and after Kranjcar’s free kick, Keane hit a right foot shot wide across the goal. Modric fed Keane and Keane sent Bale to the bye-line. Bale’s cross was returned in by Hutton and Huddlestone hit a shot over the goal, before Spurs did double their lead. Keane was again involved from the middle and sent Bale down the line. Gareth cut inside before pulling a good ball back to Kranjcar who fired home for his second of the match, his second two goal haul in five matches and his sixth Spurs goal of the season.

Gomes had to make a great save diving to his left to punch away Mackail-Smith’s shot with his right hand. That was the end of Peterborough’s efforts though, and Spurs extended their lead din the 70th minute. Kranjcar led the attack with a ball to Keane, who again passed to the overlapping Bale. Bale took the ball deep before passing it across the area, where Defoe scored with a deft flick across the goal into the far corner.

Danny Rose replaced Kranjcar for a first home appearance, and impressed with his pace and ability to pass the right back. He got a yellow card for an over-enthusiastic tackle, but won plenty of cheers, as did Roman Pavlyuchenko when he came on in place of Defoe Peterborough were after a penalty in the closing stages, but whilst their appeal was denied, Spurs did win a penalty when Rose was clearly brought down. Up stepped Keane to do what he does efficiently, with a well-taken spot kick to fulfil Cliff Jones’ prediction, and to send Spurs comfortably through to the Fourth Round draw.

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