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Tottenham ease past poor Potters

Tottenham Hotspur
3 - 0
Stoke City

White Hart Lane

29th December 2013 4pm

Attendance: 36, 072


Stoke slipped to a second successive Premier League defeat as they went down 3-0 at White Hart Lane in a disappointing display.

The team showed 3 changes from the one which started so positively at Newcastle on Boxing Day, as Andy Wilkinson and Wilson Palacios came in for the suspended duo of Marc Wilson and Glenn Whelan and Stephen Ireland came in for Charile Adam in the free role behind Peter Crouch.

When looking at the fixtures it was quite clear the Gods hadn't been too kind when handing Stoke back-to-back away fixtures at opposite ends of the country and so it proved the case with the Potters depleted backline shipping 8 goals over the two games.

Stoke didn't fashion a shot on target until the last 10 minutes through Peter Crouch's tame header and in truth gave Hugo Lloris no reason to need his kit cleaning for New Years Day.

The only other real grievance Stoke could feel came as the lively Oussama Assaidi went down under a challenge in the box from Michael Dawson whilst the scores were level at 0-0, but it is symptomatic of the Potters luck at the minute that their appeals for a penalty were waved away by referee Kevin Friend.

Tottenham started brightly and were finding space on the wings especially their right as Aaron Lennon was giving Eric Pieters a real testing afternoon. It was from that side that they got their first real opportunity when Lennon's pullback found its way to Adebayor who scuffed his shot before Sorensen got down well to tip away Christian Eriksen's shot. It was a warning for Stoke, but one that they did not heed.

As the pressure built Soldado put a header inches wide of the Stoke goal with Sorensen again helpless. But just minutes later he would get on the scoresheet. A deep cross was beautifully controlled by Adebayor whose strike at goal was blocked by the arms of Shawcross who in truth can have no complaints about the decision. Soldado stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to give Spurs a deserved 1-0 lead at the break.

Charlie Adam came on to replace the ineffective Ireland who was struggling with illness, and Adam's long range free-kick was one of few opportunities for Stoke, but he curled it harmlessly wide.

Lennon was again causing Stoke all kinds of problems down the right and his pull back to Soldado should have seen Spurs out of sight at 2-0 but he hit a tame strike straight at Sorensen.

But it wouldn't matter as they would get the second in the 65th minute as Moussa Dembele eased away from Steven N'zonzi before unleashing a powerful drive into the corner of the net from 25 yards.

Mark Hughes then decided to withdraw the tiring Palacios with Jermaine Pennant, but it seemed the game was already up and that proved to be the case when Aaron Lennon grabbed the goal his performance deserved. Spurs stole the ball in the centre circle before Adebayor played in Lennon who controlled and volleyed beautifully into the corner of the net to put them 3-0 up.

The game was up and both Stoke and Spurs knew it, there was another late chance for sub Eric Lamela, but Shawcross showed great strength to block his shot as the Potters sought to avoid the same embarrassing scoreline as at St James Park.

In truth Stoke were never really in the game, and it seems the busy Christmas schedule caught up with them, as a series of injuries and suspensions resulted in a lacklustre display. We can only hope that a return to HQ on New Year's Day against an Everton team who seem to be flying at the minute results in an improved performance and atmosphere...because they certainly need it after a the past two away games that were lacking any festive cheer!

Writer:Lloyd Reddin
Date:Monday December 30 2013
Time: 5:10PM

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