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Match Report


Posted Sun 29 Apr 12 at 18:00 PM

Report: Spurs 2 Rovers 0

Rovers still have plenty of work to do if they are to retain their top-flight status after a disappointing 2-0 loss at Tottenham.

Goals in each half from Rafael van der Vaart and Kyle Walker means Rovers need to win their two remaining matches and then hope results go their way after a comfortable win for the home side.

Spurs were quickly out of the blocks and should have taken the lead before their 22nd minute opener as Lennon found the side-netting and Sandro smashed an effort against the crossbar.

But as Scott Dann cleared a Gareth Bale header against the woodwork once more van der Vaart was there to poke the ball home despite the defender's best efforts.

It was all Tottenham and they were unlucky not to double their lead before the break as William Gallas again found the woodwork.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Tottenham controlling the game but they only had Kyle Walker's stunning 25 yard free-kick to show for their dominance.

Brad Friedel won't have had as quiet a game all season as Steve Kean's side failed to test once leaving Rovers plenty to do in the final two games of the season.


Whilst Rovers named an unchanged side following last week's win over Norwich City, their opponents shuffled their pack with four changes.

After tasting defeat at Queens Park Rangers last time out, Harry Redknapp made four changes with Younes Kaboul, Danny Rose, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor all returning to the starting eleven. Assou Ekotto, Defoe, Parker and King making way.

Steve Kean may have named the same eleven but the formation played did differ, operating with Marcus Olsson and Jason Lowe as wing backs to assist the defensive trio of Bradley Orr, Scott Dann and Gael Givet.

But immediately they were put to the test as Gareth Bale fed Luka Modric, the Croatian charging into the area before crossing for Aaron Lennon but the winger could only find the side-netting, a deflection on the cross off Scott Dann just distracting the Spurs man.

The home side continued to pressure, on 9 minutes Brazilian midfielder Sandro launched a thunderbolt of a shot from distance, it flashed past Paul Robinson but thumped the crossbar and bounced away to safety.

Rovers resolve eventually succumbed at the midway point of the half. As Sandro cleverly switched play wide to Aaron Lennon his cross was met by Gareth Bale with a goalbound header which Scott Dann cleared away off the underside of his own bar but as the ball fell down into the six yard box Rafael van der Vaart was there to force it over the line before Dann cleared. The linesman correctly judging that the ball had crossed the line before it was hacked away and the goal was given.

Tottenham continued to force the pace, Paul Robinson had to be out sharply to clear ahead of the advancing Danny Rose, whilst Spurs rattled the woodwork for a third time when William Gallas glanced on at the near post from a corner.

For Rovers, aside from a couple of Marcus Olsson crosses from the left, they rarely threatened in a first half display that they spent the majority of defending. If they were to get anything from the game they would have to show more as an attacking force in the second.

The game was slower to get going in the second half but it was still the home side forcing the pace.

Fine approach play involving Modric and Adebayor saw Aaron Lennon fire into the side-netting before Modric and Bale were both off target with speculative efforts.

Rovers were seeing more of the ball but they still lacked that attacking threat, more often than not it was the likes of Dann, Orr and Givet making important blocks and tackles rather than Brad Friedel's goal being threatened.

Needing something different attacking-wide, Yakubu was sacrificed with Anthony Modeste replacing, but it was the home side who scored the vital second goal with 15 minutes to go.

After David Dunn had fouled Aaron Lennon some 25 yards out the free-kick was tapped to Kyle Walker and the full back responded by hitting a thunderous free-kick that bent round the wall and into the top corner, Robinson had no chance.

Before Walker's strike the home side had played the ball around with consumate ease such was their control and following the defender's superb strike there was to be no let up as they played out the remaining minutes in comfort.

Defeat means that Rovers have to win their remaining games against Wigan Athletic and Chelsea if they are to have any chance of remaining in the Barclays Premier League.

TOTTENHAM: Friedel, Bale, Kaboul, Lennon (sub Dos Santos 84 mins), Adebayor, van der Vaart (sub Defoe 88 mins), Gallas (c), Modric, Rose, Walker, Sandro (sub Livermore 86 mins).

Subs not used: Cudicini (GK), Saha, King, Nelsen.

ROVERS: Robinson, Lowe, Orr, Dann, Givet, Marcus Olsson, Formica, Dunn (sub Goodwillie 84 mins), Pedersen, Hoilett, Yakubu (sub Modeste 72 mins).

Subs not used: Kean (GK), Martin Olsson, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Rochina.

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