Tottenham vs Portsmouth match review

An early kickoff on Easter weekend saw Portsmouth travel to White Hart Lane to play Spurs.  With Jermain Defoe forced to watch the match from the stands due to a ruling that prevents on loan players from appearing against their former club until the transfer is officially registered, Redknapp chose to start with Utaka and Kanu, with Milan Baros on the bench.

The match was expected to be a goal glut, but the first half saw both the teams draw a blank. Spurs had greater possession and created more chances, but were unable to finish them. Yet, it was Pompey who threatened to take the lead- Sean Davis’ attempt had to be tipped over the bar by Paul Robinson in the sixteenth minute. Twelve minutes later Dimitar Berbatov rounded David James and sent the ball in, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Barely two minutes later, Michael Dawson let loose a thunderous volley after chesting the ball down from a corner. David James had no chance, but the ball hit the woodwork and Pompey survived. Spurs had a couple of other chances, but Berbatov shot wide and Tom Huddlestone blazed it over the bar. Going into the lemon break, it was 0-0, but there was no doubt that Spurs were the team that was threatening to score.

Spurs were fairly predictable and the likes of Distin, hreidarsson and co. were able to keep them at bay. Ramos made a double switch after seventy minutes, bringing on Bent and O’Hara for Dawson and Lennon respectively.

On 76 minutes, Kanu headed the ball past an incoming Robinson, but unfortunately for the Nigerian and Pompey, the header did not have enough power, and Zokora was there to hack it away. Robinson’s indecisiveness could have cost Spurs dearly had Kanu been able to finish it off.

After surviving for 80 minutes, Spurs finally found a way past Portsmouth. Steed Malbranque’s shot rebounded off Distin into the path of Berbatov. The Bulgarian volleyed it onto the floor, and Bent headed the ball past James to give Tottenham a 1-0 lead. It was also the 100th goal to be scored at White Hart Lane this season. And No.23 had done it.

A minute later, and Bent was in action again. He took the ball into the box from the left flank, and slid it into the way of his team mates. Berbatov did not connect, but Jamie O’ Hara had no such issues, making it 2-0 and putting the game beyond Portsmouth’s reach.

Portsmouth could only curse the numbers 23 and 24, belonging to Bent and O’Hara, and their luck. After holding their own for most of the game, they suddenly found themselves 2-0 behind.

Spurs fans will be hoping that Bent puts in more performances like the one today afternoon. As for Jermain Defoe and Portsmouth, there is always a next time.

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