Tottenham took the win and the three points they needed against Stoke City Tottenham took the win and the three points they needed against Stoke City Tottenham took the win and the three points they needed against Stoke City

Clint Dempsey and Adebayor Goals Secure Tottenham Win At Stoke City


Tottenham took the win and the three points they needed against Stoke City with goals from Clint Dempsey in the first half, equalising Stoke’s early strike and a goal from Emmanuel Adebayor, eight minutes from time.

Stoke City 1  Tottenham Hotspur 2

Scorers: Nzonzi               Dempsey, Adebayor

Team: Lloris; Walker, Caulker , Dawson, Vertonghen; Parker (Dembele), Huddlestone; Lennon (Defoe), Bale, Dempsey (Sigurdsson); Adebayor  Subs: (unused) Friedel, Naughton, Carroll, Holtby

Clint Dempsey – a goal and an assist as Spurs win at Stoke [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Charlie Adam’s dismissal early in the second half changed the nature of the game with Stoke trying to deny Spurs who totally dominated possession and territory in the second half. The first half had seen an open, end to end game played at a high tempo but once Stoke were reduced to ten men they retreated to defend their point and prevent Spurs getting a second goal.

Andre Villas-Boas decided on three changes to the team which started against Chelsea. Steven Caulker came into central defence with Jan Vertonghen moving to left back giving the team greater height to deal with Stoke’s usual aerial bombardment. Clint Dempsey also started in place of Lewis Holtby. Mousa Dembele was included among the substitutes, Villas-Boas not certain on his fitness.

The Stoke team contained two former Tottenham players – Matthew Etherington and Peter Crouch with Michael Kightly on the subs bench.

Tottenham had the worst possible start as Stoke got their 150th anniversary celebrations off in style with a goal after 2 minutes. From a free-kick on the right Adam floated the ball to the near post and Nzonzi left his marker, Adebayor, to head in unchallenged. Rattled, Spurs came back quickly and Gareth Bale’s shot was tipped over by the goalkeeper. In a match of high tempo Stoke’s threat was coming from set-pieces and with high balls forward.

After 15 minutes, Clint Dempsey had the ball in the net but was off-side when getting the final touch to a shot from Bale who had been set up by Aaron Lennon. Four minutes later, Dempsey’s effort counted as a forward ball from Scott Parker towards Lennon was cleared but fell to Dempsey, 35 yards from goal. He got his foot to the ball which looped into the goal with the goalkeeper stranded at the edge of his area.

Spurs had the greater possession but were denied by Begovic as he saved low from Bale and Adebayor’s shot was deflected for a corner. Spurs had six first half corners corners but wasted them while Stoke threatened from every free-kick, corner and throw in near the Spurs goal. Hugo Lloris showed bravery coming for crosses and corners.

Within ninety seconds of the start of the second half, Adam was dismissed for a second yellow card, bringing down Vertonghen. The game altered completely with Tottenham being gifted possession as they tried to unlock the organised home defence. Spurs were patient but had little joy with only occasional glimpses of goal. The closest was after 48 minutes when a Huddlestone shot was deflected for a corner. Bale played in a low cross from the corner and Dempsey reached the ball but it bounced over the bar with the goalkeeper beaten.

Emmanuel Adebayor [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]After an hour, so dominant were Spurs that they had recorded 15 shots to Stoke’s three but few in the second half had troubled the goalkeeper. After 68 minutes, a Huddlestone free-kick was headed over by Vertonghen at the back post and two minutes later Dembele who had replaced Parker, created space for Dempsey with a back-heel but Begovic tipped the shot over.

On 74 minutes, Dembele played the ball to Bale in the area, he turned and shot just past the post. With ten minutes to play a rare Stoke attack caused alarm in Spurs defence and loose passing led to them conceding a free-kick which was headed past at the back post.

With Gylfi Sigrdsson waiting to replace Dempsey, Bale played the ball through to the American who played it square across the area where Adebayor scored his second goal in two games. Dempsey’s final contribution had been vital.

For the last eight minutes, Tottenham weren’t quite sure how to play it. Attack or defend? They stopped playing and as the minutes ticked away slowly it became rather nervy as Stoke with nothing to lose came forward but Spurs held out for their tenth away win of the season.

Spurs move into fourth with a two point advantage over Arsenal who play Wigan on Tuesday evening at the Emirates. Tottenham did all that they could and took the three points. As Andre Villas-Boas predicted a number of weeks ago, the Champions League place would be decided on the final day of the season.

After the win over Arsenal at White Hart Lane at the beginning of March, Villas-Boas said,

"“……everyone knows it’s not over until the last day of the season.”"