Premier League - Spurs down insipid Blackburn to go fourth

Sun, 29 Apr 17:48:00 2012

Tottenham Hotspur beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at White Hart Lane, putting Harry Redknapp's side back to fourth in the Premier League and sending Steve Kean’s team closer to the drop.

Tottenham 2 Blackburn 0

Rafael van der Vaart fired home from close range midway through the first half of a match the hosts utterly dominated without truly killing off until Kyle Walker’s spectacular free-kick with 15 minutes remaining.

They could and should have scored a hatful, overplaying it at times in the style of North London neighbours Arsenal, also hitting the woodwork twice and spurning a couple of good opportunities.

The victory - ending a run of three defeats - means Spurs move back to fourth, ahead of Newcastle on goal difference and one point clear of Chelsea as the race for the final Champions League place goes to the wire.

The visitors, meanwhile, failed to muster a single shot on goal - the first time that has happened since West Brom drew with Manchester City in 2004 - a terrible performance that puts them three points short of safety with two matches remaining.

And the fixture list makes for worrying reading for Rovers fans - next up they have Wigan, with defeat to the in-form Latics possibly condemning them to relegation.

Like relegation rivals QPR earlier on Sunday, Blackburn were comprehensively outplayed: however they did not even turn up, barely encroaching into the Spurs half and failing to test Brad Friedel, at all, for the entire game.

Spurs, meanwhile, played the kind of confident passing football that has been missing in recent weeks, with Luka Modric and the excellent Sandro pulling the strings in a midfield that Rovers could not touch at times.

The finishing, however, was less impressive, highlighted as early as the first minute when Aaron Lennon put into the side netting when Modric’s cross was deflected to the unmarked England winger at the far post.

Sandro then hit the bar with a long-range thunderbolt, while Lennon crossed when he should have shot after being sent through.

Spurs finally took the lead midway through the first half, and they had the linesman to thank when he correctly saw Van der Vaart’s finish cross the line before Scott Dann hooked it clear: the Dutchman pounced when Emmanuel Adebayor laid it up for him after Gareth Bale’s header can come back off the crossbar.

Spurs continued to press, as Rovers sat deep, the visitors’ lack of ambition seeing Friedel barely touch the ball let alone make a save.

They could not add to their lead before the break, William Gallas hitting the bar with a header, and their failure to finish Rovers off made for a nervy opening to the second half.

Indeed, Spurs seemed as complacent as a team could be with just a one-goal lead, stroking it about cagily, although they could be forgiven as Blackburn showed no interest whatsoever in entering the hosts’ half.

The closest they came were efforts from Lennon, Modric and Bale – all of which went wide – until, with 16 minutes left, David Dunn fouled Lennon some way out.

Van der Vaart initially pulled rank but he surprisingly allowed Walker – who never takes direct free-kicks for Spurs – to blast a curling, dipping strike that may or may not have touched Dunn in the wall.

Deflection or otherwise it was a cracking effort, one that put the match to bed, although given Blackburn’s bizarre strategy of failed containment one has to wonder whether it would have made any difference.

The hosts easily closed out the game – the closest Blackburn came to threatening Friedel’s goal was a long throw from Morten Gamst Pedersen – to seal a satisfying result that puts them in pole position for fourth, with rivals Newcastle and Chelsea also having three games left.

Blackburn, meanwhile, just have the two games remaining, one of which is a six-pointer against Wigan – who, after a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle, are the form side in England at the moment. Their final match of the season is at Chelsea, and given their outright loathing of playing in London, the Lancashire side face a huge ask to stay in the top flight.

Reda Maher - on Twitter @Reda_Eurosport / Eurosport

Comment 50 - 70 of 70

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  1. Typical tottinghams (ossie ardiles) start well then­ fade k...rap

    From Peter C, on Mon 30 Apr 15:55
  2. Spurs seemed to lack puhch in the middle but it is hard­ to raise one's game when the other lot don't­ want to play.

    From Tom, on Mon 30 Apr 13:19
  3. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Spurs are in big big poo now, stuck with Harry.

    From brendan, on Mon 30 Apr 12:38
  4. Roy Hodgson getting the England job hooray, come on you­ spurs

    From STEPHEN, on Mon 30 Apr 11:34
  5. Spurs did not so much "win" as Blackburn­ didn't turn up. Disgraceful for the fans who spent­ hard earned money to watch this shower. no passion, no­ intent to win. Spurs should have upped there goal­ average but couldn't! cant hit a barn door, was as­ we all know a lazy bar steward, that is why Arsenal got­ rid, and Man C do not want him.

    From highbury girl, on Mon 30 Apr 9:30
  6. you want to try supporting BORO for 50 years like­ me.Then you will realise what enough is.UP THE BORO.

    From the patriot, on Mon 30 Apr 9:24
  7. iklllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll­ llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll///­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////­ /////////////////////////////..........................­ .......................................................­ ......

    From dean, on Mon 30 Apr 8:43
  8. I was at the game, Blackburn were worse than you can­ imagine. However, how Adeybayor can pick up his wedge­ after a stroll around the park like that is shameful,­ not sure why he was left on to be sure, Defoe would­ have had a hatful against this shower.

    From LoveAfrica, on Mon 30 Apr 8:42
  9. now the question is will 'arry stay or go,,,we all­ hope that he will stay....best manager spurs have had­ for a long time,,,levey keep it at any costs

    From , on Mon 30 Apr 8:11
  10. harry snubbed as england manager , phew thats a fate­ worse than death , cheers fa

    From james t, on Mon 30 Apr 5:30
  11. Big Sam`s the man!

    From The Sentinel, on Mon 30 Apr 5:29
  12. Hmm...still a lack of goalscorers in the Spurs team -­ shouldn't be relying on VDV. About time somebody­ else tried a free kick and scored directly too - that­ Walker certainly has an amzingly fierce shot on him-­ well done for giving him the chance. That Bentley used­ to be good at free kicks too, and Krancjar can hit the­ target. Where are they? And Where are Adebayor and Saha­ - gone back to their other clubs?

    From joeblogs, on Mon 30 Apr 5:26
  13. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    ha ha ha ...redknapp has been snubbed as england­ manager spurs is stuck with him now......muhahahaha

    From spursR-s h i te, on Mon 30 Apr 5:09
  14. This is great news hehehehe UTC !

    From jeffc, on Mon 30 Apr 3:08
  15. Platitudes to the Blackburn fans from Kean ain't­ going to wash. His team were a disgrace yesterday - and­ he is responsible for his team. Should have been sacked­ a long time ago. Blackburn fans were right, the media­ wrong. Heard lots of 'he is a nice guy'­ b......t from other managers and the BBC punters but,­ even if it is true, none of that matters. He is, and­ never has been, up to the job. Tactically naive, poor­ man-manager, too full of ready excuses. Even Blackburn­ had a decent owner, Kean would have gone a long time­ ago. Now, he is a convenient excuse and fall guy for­ Venkys. I feel sorry for all Blackburn fans: they­ deserve better from their manager and their players.­ Championship football and administration probably­ await.

    From Michael, on Mon 30 Apr 3:01
  16. me thinks blackburn will be will go into­ administration on the day relegation is confirmed,the­ venky s have been borrowing lots of money gambling on­ blackburn staying in the prem

    From nearly free, on Mon 30 Apr 1:08
  17. Kyle Walkers free kick unstoppable? If you watch the­ defender who jumps then manages to duck under the ball,­ he could have stopped it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From Chrimbo, on Sun 29 Apr 22:45
  18. It was a must win game us and well done Spurs but­ Blackburn were horrible. I feel sorry for their fans,­ not even a single shot on or off target for the whole­ of 90 minutes? They deserve to be relegated.

    From The Matrix Has You, on Sun 29 Apr 22:28
  19. Harry Redknapp isn't a bad coach nevertheless I­ have some doubts or more precisely questions that arise­ in my head. I don't think that he is THE coach who­ will permit us to keep up with the top 4 over the­ years.

    From antonello, on Sun 29 Apr 22:22
  20. something fishy going on harrys dog walked into­ ladbrooks with a brown envelope and asked for 2/1

    From Noel, on Sun 29 Apr 22:12
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