Tottenham continued their tradition of maintaining good pre-season form (and perhaps peaking two months too early), beating the newly promoted Peterborough United.
A strong Tottenham team started brightly, and under-fire strikers Roman Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent both spurned good chances; Pavlyuchenko wasted a free header by missing the target, and Bent had a good chance saved by the England U21 ‘keeper Joe Lewis. Nevertheless Spurs looked comfortable and a Peterborough goal looked as likely as a former England manager joining Notts County as a director of football. However a neat move involving several Posh players playing “keep the ball off the ground” resulted in Lee Frecklington half-volleying past Carlo Cudicini. The crowds cheers soon evaporated into the warm summer air as they spotted the linesmans flag being waved aloft and, from a neutral perspective, it really was a shame the goal was disallowed as it was a simply lovely move. The Peterborough attack was solitary though, and not long after Darren Bent cooley rolled the ball past Lewis, to put the visitors one-nil up.
- A rare sight- a Darren Bent goal
A couple more chances were wasted before the break and, with a bit of luck, Tottenham could have been out of sight by the time the players were sucking on oranges and drinking lucozade in the changing rooms.
With this game being a friendly, Harry Redknapp did what every respectable manager does at the break and made a multitude of changes. KP Boateng, Tom Huddlestone, Luka Modric and Jermain Defoe all joined the fray. Two of these substitutes made an instant impression when Modric played a delightful through ball, splitting the Posh defence. Defoe ran onto the pass and shot at Lewis and despite firing against the keeper, side-footed in the rebound.
- Defoe races towards the Peterborough goal to score Tottenham’s second
Peterborough managed to muster up a few tame shots after Defoe’s goal, but Luka Modric scored a third Spurs goal to ensure victory. The little Croatian met a low Pascal Chimbonda cross and duly converted the chance. Modric also wore the Tottenham captains armband for the second half last night, demonstrating the respect and acclaim he has earned for himself since Harry Redknapp joined the club.
- Modric turns to celebrate after scoring, but judging from his pained expression, it’s possible he wet himself in joy after netting.
A late Pavlyuchenko goal confirmed the fact that Tottenham were coasting in the late stages; the Russian looked as if he would never score, missing the target on numerous occasions. But “Super Pav” finally fired home in the 75thminute with the probable goal of the game. The forward curled a shot in from 25 yards, past the despairing dive of Lewis. It was well deserved for the unlucky striker, who had caused Posh problems all night but failed, so far, to score.
- Super Pav curls home
All in all a good night’s work from ‘Arry’smen, and the team will probably be contented with the scoreline, especially as Peterborough look to be a club on the up.
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