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10-12-2006, 11:49 AM #1Tottenham produced a superb exhibition of finishing to crush Charlton 5-1.
After a quiet start Spurs ran into form after 31 minutes, and they scored all five of their goals in a thrilling 25-minute period either side of half-time.
Dimitar Berbatov was the star with two goals, but there were some excellent performances around him as Spurs claimed their sixth successive home win in the Premiership.
Charlton recorded only their third Premiership victory of the season against Blackburn on Tuesday and they began the game confidently.
Spurs were not allowed to settle on the ball and Charlton dominated possession, but Darren Bent was isolated up front and the home side's defence were not overly troubled.
On the one occasion that Bent was released Michael Dawson was quickly over to deal with the danger, and although he was booked for a reckless challenge on the England international, Tottenham comfortably cleared the free-kick.
Dawson was also forced to block a shot from Lloyd Sam, while Amdy Faye dragged an ambitious volley wide from 25 yards.
Tottenham offered little from open play in the first half hour, although they did come close to breaking the deadlock when Dimitar Berbatov rose unchallenged to head Tom Huddlestone's left-wing free-kick over the crossbar.
Aaron Lennon had been unusually subdued on the right wing, but when he decided to venture more infield after 31 minutes the game suddenly exploded into life.
Lennon received a pass from Huddlestone with his back to goal and then cleverly turned the ball between two Charlton defenders to play in Berbatov. The Bulgarian's first touch was perfect and gave him options as Scott Carson rushed off his line, and he chose to flick his shot into the bottom right corner with the outside of his foot.
Just two minutes later Tottenham had doubled their advantage. Lennon was again involved as his cross from the left was headed clear to Teemu Tainio, who blasted past Carson from 25 yards with the aid of a deflection from Hermann Hreidarsson.
The Addicks looked rattled and Tottenham may have sensed that they could score again before half-time, but it was Charlton's turn to score against the run of play as they reduced their arrears after 43 minutes.
Andy Reid delivered a superb low cross into the area after some good work down the left and, with Sam lurking, Dawson was forced to try and intercept. However, he could not control his attempted clearance and the ball looped over Paul Robinson to give Charlton renewed hope.
Tottenham had other ideas as the second half got underway though, and Steed Malbranque grabbed his first goal of the season after 55 minutes to restore the two-goal cushion.
The Frenchman took one touch to set himself after Berbatov had headed the ball back to him at the edge of the area, and expertly volleyed into the bottom corner with his left foot.
As Charlton's spirit deserted them Tottenham ruthlessly rammed home their authority, with Jermain Defoe finding himself in oceans of space down the right in the 63rd minute after Lennon had won the ball in midfield.
He finished in style though, pulling the trigger more than 20 yards out and leaving Carson with no chance as the ball swerved into the top right corner.
Three minutes later Berbatov made it 5-1. He had some fortune as his poor cross from the left was cannoned straight back to him by Talal El Karkouri, but he showed his class second time around as he lashed a fierce strike low into the far corner.
Tottenham's pace slowed understandably in the last 20 minutes, but the White Hart Lane crowd were baying for more and Berbatov almost grabbed his hat-trick when he headed Pascal Chimbobda's cross just wide.
Huddlestone also came agonisingly close as he curled a delightful effort inches over from distance.
Robinson also compounded Charlton's misery by twice denying them a late consolation. First he sprinted forward to tackle Bent just outside the area after a Faye through-ball had bypassed the entire defence, and he then parried a ferocious shot from substitute Dennis Rommedahl.
Charlton's late pressure could not take the gloss off a special day for Spurs, while Les Reed must now look to rally his troops after such a heavy defeat.
10-12-2006, 10:04 PM #2
fantastic game, we never looked like losing. lets hope we can replicate this performance for the remainder of the season