Defoe scores 2 as Spurs beat Reading 3-1
Jermain Defoe capped a superb individual display with two
well-taken goals in Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Reading on Sunday,
earning manager Andre Villas-Boas a relieving first Premier League
victory at the club.
The England striker was again preferred up front to Emmanuel
Adebayor and justified the faith shown in him by Villas-Boas by
opening the scoring in 18th minute and completing a convincing win
with a fine solo effort in the 74th.
Left winger Gareth Bale scored Spurs’ other goal, a scuffed
finish in the 71st following good work by Kyle Walker down the
right, but it was Defoe who will take all the plaudits after
destroying Reading’s defense.
”Jermain is showing his abilities, the amount of shots he has
on target is amazing,” Villas-Boas said. ”As the lone striker up
front, he is linking well with the colleagues.”
A first win of the season at the fourth time of asking lifts
Spurs into mid-table and eases the pressure on Villas-Boas as the
young Portuguese bids to restore his reputation at the London club
following his disastrous eight-month spell at Chelsea.
The only negative at the Madejski Stadium for Spurs was the
injury-time goal conceded to Hal Robson-Kanu, ruining the clean
sheet of veteran Brad Friedel after the American goalkeeper again
started ahead of new signing Hugo Lloris.
But Villas-Boas would otherwise have been delighted with
Tottenham’s fluidity in midfield which had Reading chasing shadows
for much of the game. There was time, too, to give Clint Dempsey a
late run-out as substitute for the United States forward’s first
appearance since signing from Fulham on deadline day.
”It was a well-deserved win,” Villas-Boas said. ”Everyone
performed to their top level and it is a win that will lift us up
for the season.
”The most important thing today was the motivation of the
players to change the negative results at home.”
Reading was also looking to claim a first win of the season
after opening with a draw and a loss in its first campaign back in
the top flight. But the hosts were up against it from the moment
Defoe connected with a cutback from Aaron Lennon to sweep a
well-placed finish into the bottom corner.
Defoe, who now has three league goals this season as well as two
in internationals with England, missed other good chances either
side of the break and also set up Gylfi Sigurdsson for a gilt-edged
opportunity that the Iceland midfielder saw cleared off the line in
Bale made the game safe when he met a cross from walker with a
right-footed shot that bounced into the ground and looped over
Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
Three minutes later, Defoe dispossessed Kaspars Gorkss on the
halfway line, charged past two other defenders on a 40-yard run
before slipping a shot past McCarthy.
The goal was welcomed with a fist pump on the sidelines by
Villas-Boas, who could finally celebrate three points after
throwing away winning positions late on against West Bromwich
Albion and Norwich.
”Today was a learning curve for all of us,” Reading manager
Brian McDermott said. ”Spurs is a team full of world-class
performers, but we didn’t cause enough problems for them.
”I thought we were too submissive and didn’t get on the ball
enough or in their faces.”