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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Tottenham 2-0 Sheff Utd
By Phil McNulty

Dimtar Berbatov
Berbatov celebrates his first Premiership goal
Dimitar Berbatov opened his Premiership goal account as Spurs cruised past top-flight newcomers Sheffield United.

Spurs' 10m summer capture from Bayer Leverkusen turned home from close range after seven minutes following good work by the outstanding Aaron Lennon.

And he was the provider nine minutes later, heading into the path of Jermaine Jenas to add a second.

Neil Warnock's side put up spirited resistance to Spurs after the break, but barely created a serious chance.

It was a comfortable night's work for Tottenham as they recorded their first win of the season, while it was a harsh lesson in Premiership life for Neil Warnock's side.

Berbatov had already signalled his threat by narrowly failing to reach Keane's deep cross after five minutes - but the Bulgarian was on target two minutes later to put Spurs in front.

Lennon gave Berbatov the simplest of tasks inside the six-yard box after turning Chris Armstrong inside out on the right flank.

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The Blades, who were such a tough proposition in getting a point against Liverpool on the opening day of the season, were finding Spurs a sterner test.

And it was no surprise when they extended their lead after 16 minutes, with Berbatov involved again as creator.

He headed Robbie Keane's long ball into the path of Jenas, who cleverly rounded Paddy Kenny before steering into an empty net.

Spurs, and Berbatov in particular, were being allowed far too much freedom, and Kenny was forced to make a fine diving save low to his right as he threatened to add a third.

The visitors were barely seen as an attacking force as Spurs looked well on their way to making amends for the defeat at Bolton in the opening game of their campaign.

Warnock's side had not heeded the lesson of the first half, and once again Berbatov was left in acres of space to set up Lee Young-Pyo after 55 minutes, but the defender fired wastefully over the top.

Spurs were looking dangerous every time they attacked, and Keane was guilty of another miss when he dragged Lennon's cross wide.

Sheffield United had enjoyed occasional periods of possession after the break, but were unable to carve out any meaningful opportunities.

But they almost grabbed a lifeline with 16 minutes left when Adi Akinbiyi was only just unable to apply a crucial touch six yards out.

Lennon was in rampant mood and another dangerous cross, this time from the left, was turned only inches wide of his own goal by Phil Jagielka.

Spurs boss Martin Jol made a change with nine minutes left, sending on Jermain Defoe for Keane.

And the England striker swiftly determined to get in on the act with two powerful drives that tested the busy Kenny.

As the seconds ran out, Edgar Davids almost rounded the evening off in style with a rising drive that was turned over by Kenny.


  • Spurs coach Martin Jol:
    "It was a very pleasing performance. Robbie Keane is such a clever player and Dimitar Berbaov played very well, so we caused them a lot of problems.

    "Defensively we were very sound, so it was a good night for us. We wanted to do well, especially after losing our first game at Bolton.

    "Jermain Defoe also did well when he came on. It is not a problem having so many strikers, it is a luxury and they all did well and showed how much the want to play for Spurs."

  • Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock:
    "For the first 25 minutes we couldn't get near them. We lost three players today and we were a bit sluggish.

    "But we battled really well and I'm very proud of them. We were beaten by a very good side and I thought Robbie Keane was absolutely fantastic - what can you say about players of that quality?"


    Tottenham: Robinson, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Davenport, Lee, Lennon, Jenas, Tainio (Zokora 69), Davids, Berbatov, Keane (Defoe 82).
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Stalteri, Gardner.

    Goals: Berbatov 7, Jenas 17.

    Sheff Utd: Kenny, Sommeil (Montgomery 60), Bromby, Morgan, Unsworth (Nade 61), Gillespie (Alan Quinn 80), Jagielka, Tonge, Armstrong, Akinbiyi, Webber.
    Subs Not Used: Kozluk, Leigertwood.

    Booked: Bromby.

    Att: 35,287

    Ref: P Walton (Northamptonshire).

    SEE ALSO
    Tuesday's football photos
    22 Aug 06 |  Football


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