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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2008, 16:56 GMT
Tottenham 4-0 West Ham
By Saj Chowdhury

Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov's double effectively put the game beyond West Ham
Two first-half goals from Dimitar Berbatov helped ease Spurs to victory over 10-man West Ham.

Both of Berbatov's goals came in the first 10 minutes and both were headers from Tom Huddlestone free-kicks.

Things took a turn for the worse for the visitors when Luis Boa Morte was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Aaron Lennon.

Substitute Gilberto drilled in the third before Darren Bent made it 4-0 with a header from Alan Hutton's cross.

The result could have been very different had West Ham taken advantage of another piece of ungainly goalkeeping from Paul Robinson in the fifth minute.

The England shot-stopper could only parry Freddie Ljungberg's 25-yard effort, although he was alert enough to prevent Dean Ashton from pouncing on the loose ball.

Robinson also dived at the feet of Boa Morte before Bobby Zamora's shot was deflected over towards the end of a mad scramble.


Just three minutes later, Spurs opened the scoring when Huddlestone, in the team for the injured Jermaine Jenas, delivered a cracking ball from the right for Berbatov to score past Robert Green.

And shortly after the restart, talisman Berbatov grabbed his and his side's second when he bulleted in another Huddlestone free-kick, this time from the left.

Huddlestone came close to scoring himself but headed over Lennon's dinked cross from the right while the marauding Steed Malbranque drilled a shot four yards wide after a typical surge to the edge of the area.

As Tottenham pressed forward, Alan Curbishley's side became increasingly frustrated.

Luis Boa Morte
Boa Morte makes his way off the pitch after seeing red

That frustration led to niggly fouls, one of them resulting in a red card for Boa Morte.

The Portuguese player was shown a second yellow after a late tackle on Lennon after already being booked for a foul on Huddlestone.

That was essentially game over for the Hammers.

Spurs became more lax after the break but could afford to given their opponents' lack of fight.

Ashton had a half-chance deflected over from six yards midway through the second half before he was replaced by Carlton Cole.

But the home side landed a knockout combination in the final few minutes thanks to substitutes Gilberto and Bent.

First, Gilberto made amends for his mistake against PSV in midweek by finding Green's left-hand corner after Lennon dummied Pascal Chimbonda's pass.

Then Bent headed in Hutton's cross from the right to make the scoreline emphatic.

Reports in Sunday's papers suggested that Curbishley could find himself out of a job in the summer. This result will not have helped to quell the rumours.

  • Spurs first-team coach Gus Poyet:
    "We were looking for reaction from the players and we got that reaction.

    "The early goals from Dimitar Berbatov helped our team as did the sending off of Luis Boa Morte.

    "Boa Morte was making too many fouls and that's why he was sent off. But with 10 men they did make it hard."

  • West Ham boss Alan Curbishley:
    "It was Chelsea, Liverpool and now Spurs - we went into the week hoping that anything from those games would help keep the pressure up.

    "But we've had a disastrous week. We now have to try to finish the season as strongly as possible.

    "We've given stupid goals away in the three games."

    Tottenham: Robinson, Hutton, Dawson, Woodgate (Tainio 77), Chimbonda, Lennon, Zokora, Huddlestone, Malbranque (Gilberto 58), Berbatov, Keane (Bent 69).
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Boateng.

    Goals: Berbatov 8, 11, Gilberto 85, Bent 90.

    West Ham: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Spector, McCartney, Ljungberg (Pantsil 71), Parker (Noble 76), Mullins, Boa Morte, Ashton (Cole 77), Zamora.
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Solano.

    Sent Off: Boa Morte (44).

    Booked: Boa Morte, Ljungberg.

    Att: 36,062

    Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov 7.88 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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