Premier League - Soldado's penalty sees Tottenham beat resolute Hull

Premier League, White Hart Lane - Tottenham 1 (Soldado pen 80) Hull City 0

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Premier League - Soldado's penalty sees Tottenham beat resolute Hull
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Tottenham's Roberto Soldado scores against Hull City (Reuters)

A Roberto Soldado penalty was enough to secure Tottenham a 1-0 win against a resolute Hull City in the Premier League.

Such was the visitors rigid defensive discipline, clear-cut chances were at a premium for Tottenham with a Paulinho volley from a Lewis Holtby free-kick their best chance of the first half, while at the other end Hull create a couple of chances of their own on the break with Yannick Sagbo drawing a smart stop from Hugo Lloris from the edge before the French keeper had to be alert to foil George Boyd in the final minute of the half following a loose clearance from Sandro.

It was much of the same for the second half with Tottenham restricted largely to shots from distance – with Soldado passing up a very presentable opportunity in the 56th minute after been found by Townsend on the inside left. The Spaniard lacked the pace to get away from Paul McShane and looked to curl one bottom corner but Steve Harper was equal to it.

Just as it looked like Steve Bruce’s tactics were to bear fruit with a deserved point, Michael Oliver gave a highly contentious penalty for a handball by Ahmed Elmohamady that Soldado tucked away to leave Hull with only ten minutes to try to salvage a point.

Tottenham were briefly down to ten men as they attempted to close out the game after Townsend went over the advertising hoardings following another lung busting run. However, they managed to hold their visitors at arm’s length and were relatively untroubled bar a Tom Huddlestone free-kick that whistled past the post in the last minute of added time.

KEY MOMENTS

5’ CHANCE - Lennon comes off the wing and volleys from the edge a half-cleared ball straight at Davies who hacks clear – Harper would have probably had that, to be fair.

13’ CHANCE - McShane gives away a free-kick far right, Holtby whips the ball in and Paulinho gets a foot to it but he lifts it over the bar. That was one of those that looked like it could have snuck in far post if no one got anything on it.

19’ DOUBLE OPENING - Boyd tests Lloris from distance before Sagbo evades the attentions of Sandro to accelerate into the box and test the French keeper with a stinging drive from the angle of the box. Lloris parries and collects second time of asking.

45+2’ GREAT SAVE - Boyd latches on to a loose clearance from Sandro and Lloris has to come and save at his feet – that was a big chance. And that's it from the first-half.

56’ CHANCE! Davies loses the ball as he tries to carry it over the half-way line and Townsend streaks forward before feeding Soldado, who breaks into the box and looks to find the bottom corner. Harper pushes it out from goal.

79’ PENALTY - Vertonghen wins a penalty off Elmohamady for what looks like a harsh handball.

80’- GOOOAL!! Soldado shows great composure to whip the penalty into the bottom left. Harper sent the wrong way.

90+5’ – CHANCE! Huddlestone strikes a well-struck free-kick juts past the post.

KEY STATS:

4 - Tottenham have now won four Premier League games 1-0 this season, matching their total from last season. (Opta)

1 - Hull City have won just one point from their last seven Premier League games in London (L6 D1) (Opta)

Spurs keep their sixth PL clean sheet of the season, joint-most with Southampton. They only kept nine PL clean sheets in the whole of last season. (Infostrada)

Spurs equal their best start to a PL season after nine matches. Their total of 19 points equals seasons 2009/10 and 2011/2012. They have not had a better top flight start after nine matches since 1963/64 (W7-D2). (Infostrada)

Spurs – Hull: Six of Roberto Soldado's last 11 league goals (for Spurs and Valencia) have been from a penalty. He has scored 14 of his 16 league penalties (English and Spanish top flight). (Infostrada)

TALKING POINT: Can Tottenham break into the top four with a continued lack of goals. This is the third time this season that Tottenham have won one nil courtesy of a penalty. If they don’t start to score more from open play then they will struggle to keep pace with the leaders.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) – On his return, the former Tottenham man put in a great showing as he showcased his broad range of passing with some great work rate.

PLAYER RATINGS

Tottenham: Lloris 7, Walker 6, Chiriches 6, Dawson 6, Vertonghen 6, Paulinho 6, Sandro 6, Townsend 7, Holtby 6, Lennon 6, Soldado 6. Subs: Defoe 5, Dembele 7, Eriksen 6.

Hull City: Harper 6, Rosenior 6, Figueroa 6, Bruce 6, Davies 6, McShane 6, Elmohamady 6, Huddlestone 8, Meyler 6, Boyd 6, Sagbo 6. Subs: Brady 6, Proschwitz 6, Mclean 5.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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