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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 August 2005, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Tottenham 2-0 Middlesbrough
Jermain Defoe (left) celebrates scoring with Edgar Davids
Tottenham scored two second-half goals to see off Middlesbrough and move to the top of the Premiership.

Jermain Defoe scored with a long-range strike after picking the ball up in the centre circle and marauding forward as Boro's defence backed off.

Mark Schwarzer then allowed a tame shot from Mido to squirm under his body.

Boro had plenty of chances themselves - Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, George Boateng and Stewart Downing all missing while Paul Robinson made two good saves.

Mark Viduka played a series of delightful through balls after his introduction at half-time.

But his team-mates failed to capitalise on his creativity and only have themselves to blame for leaving White Hart Lane empty handed.

It was a satisfying afternoon for Spurs, though, as Martin Jol's team have yet to concede a goal in the Premiership and have a 100% record after two games.

There was further good news for Tottenham in that Edgar Davids took to the field for his first Premiership start.

Davids required less than 60 seconds to make his mark, tangling with Ray Parlour and depositing the midfielder on the turf.

The incident set the tone for a physical but uninspired opening half in which power and brawn prevailed over skill and finesse.

A rampaging run from Yakubu almost opened up a sight of goal but his shot was blocked.

Davids attempted to score with an audacious overhead volley but his effort lacked power and was easily saved.

Anthony Gardner went close from a free-kick, his seemingly telescopic leg just unable to make a telling contact, while Michael Carrick narrowly missed with a well-struck effort from long range.

But there were no clear-cut chances and Martin Atkinson's whistle eventually ended an underwhelming 45 minutes of football.

Viduka replaced Yakubu after the break and his flick played Hasselbaink through, but the Dutch striker could not keep his left-foot shot on target.

Hasselbaink's profligacy was punished minutes later when Defoe ran from the centre circle before lashing the ball past Schwarzer.

Stung by the goal, Boro went in search of an equaliser and would have quickly levelled matters had Robinson not athletically tipped Downing's free-kick around the post.

A wonderfully-weighted Viduka through ball opened up Spurs once again but Boateng lifted his shot onto the roof of the net.

Andy Reid delivered some probing crosses as Spurs countered but he failed to find a team-mate after one particular run down the right left him with plenty of time to pick his pass.

An engrossing second-half then saw Downing blaze over after another delightful touch from Viduka had opened up Spurs.

Scwharzer failed to hold a low drive from Mido, allowing Spurs breathing space, but Boro continued to press forward and Robinson excellently saved a free-kick from Hasselbaink.

  • Tottenham head coach Martin Jol:
    "I'm pleased with the result.

    "Middlesbrough are a tough team to beat and one that does not have that many goals against.

    "Mark Viduka was a real problem for us. Middlesbrough played terrific football at 1-0 and we needed the second goal that Mido gave to us.

    "Edgar Davids did better than expected as he had not played for months."

  • Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren:
    "Sometimes we do not get what we deserve.

    "We made mistakes at both ends which cost us.

    "It is hard to take a defeat like that. We missed some glorious chances and on another day we would have come away with a victory.

    "Paul Robinson made two or three magnificent saves and we missed three or four glorious chances."

    Tottenham: Robinson, Stalteri, Dawson, Gardner, Edman, Tainio, Davids, Carrick, Reid, Mido, Defoe (Keane 76).
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Naybet, Pedro Mendes, Lennon.

    Booked: Defoe, Tainio, Davids.

    Goals: Defoe 49, Mido 75.

    Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Reiziger, Southgate, Bates (Doriva 73), Queudrue, Mendieta (Morrison 45), Parlour, Boateng, Downing, Yakubu (Viduka 45), Hasselbaink.
    Subs Not Used: Jones, Wheater.

    Booked: Hasselbaink.

    Att: 35,844

    Ref: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

    Interview: Tottenham manager Martin Jol

    Interview: Tottenham's Edgar Davids

    Interview: Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson

    Interview: Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren


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