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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 August 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Tottenham 4-0 Derby
By Sam Lyon

Tottenham players headed straight for boss Martin Jol after the opener
Tottenham players headed straight for boss Martin Jol after the opener
Darren Bent got his first league goal for Spurs as they strolled to victory over Derby to ease the pressure on manager Martin Jol at White Hart Lane.

The Dutchman's position has come under intense scrutiny of late following two defeats, but Steed Malbranque eased any nerves with the opener from 20 yards.

He then curled home the second before Jermaine Jenas slipped in the third.

Gary Teale's 70th-minute shot was the visitors' only effort on goal and Bent wrapped up an easy win from a yard.

It was a just reward for the hard-working striker, but it was Jenas that was the manufacturer of a consummate Spurs victory that proved a harsh lesson for a desperate Derby side.

Unbelievably, one bookie had stopped taking bets on Jol to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked before the game as the Londoners started the day at the bottom of the table.

606: DEBATE
funnyoldgame

But there was little doubting where the majority of Tottenham supporters' loyalties lay, with the Dutchman's name sung in chorus throughout the match.

And with Young-Pyo Lee and Wayne Routledge giving the home line-up a far more balanced look than of late, that positivity was rewarded with an utterly one-sided first half.

Jenas got things rolling by setting up the first goal, clipping a short free-kick to Malbranque with the Derby defence asleep and the Frenchman firing low into the corner from 20 yards.

It was 2-0 just minutes later as Jenas found Bent free in the box, the 16.5m signing squaring to Malbranque who neatly curled into the corner.

Derby were shell-shocked and when Jenas strode through the Rams defence on 14 minutes to clip under Stephen Bywater for a third, it was no more than the hosts deserved.

With the visitors affording Spurs the freedom of White Hart Lane, Jenas, fresh from his England snub, and former Ram Tom Huddlestone were in total control in the middle of the park.

Jermaine Jenas
Jenas, dropped from the England squad on Friday, was outstanding

It should have been four when Routledge poked in Robbie Keane's miscue, only for him to be incorrectly called offside, and Malbranque came close to his third when he broke into the box but lost his footing with just Bywater to beat.

Tottenham were launching attack after attack, with Keane and Bent causing the home defence all sorts of problems, and the latter was denied what looked a great shout for a spot-kick when he was hauled back by James McEveley in the box.

Minutes later it was Bywater's turn to come to Derby's rescue when Keane broke into the box but was denied by the keeper's feet.

When the half-time whistle came, greeted by huge cheers from Spurs fans that had booed the team off in midweek against Everton, the Derby players' relief was palpable.

But if the first half was a procession, the second, predictably, was more becalmed.

Derby boss Billy Davies threw on Gary Teale to replace Andy Todd in a bid to put more pressure on the home defence, and the Rams did at least make the home defence work on occasion as Spurs looked for the perfect goal at the other end.

It almost came when good work from Huddlestone, Routledge and Bent led to Bywater saving well from Keane's curler but it was Teale that forced a better save from Paul Robinson at the other end, the winger's drilled effort palmed away by England's number one on the stretch.

As if to underline Tottenham's dominance, it was Derby's first effort on goal in the match and it had taken 70 minutes to come.

However, it was Spurs that deservedly racked up the game's fourth goal when Bywater could only push Pascal Chimbonda's cross-header onto the bar and Bent was on hand to head home from a matter of inches.

An impressive cameo from Adel Taarabt added to the hosts' delight, while Davies looks to have his hands full if he is to improve Derby's fortunes on their return to the Premier League.


  • Tottenham boss Martin Jol:
    "This was a must-win game because we need points on the board and it was a terrific performance, just what we wanted.

    "The players wanted to fight back and to play well for the club, for themselves and for me - and they did just that.

    "For example, Jermaine Jenas has taken some stick lately but we know his quality. He's good on the ball, strong and great going forward and he was the best man on the pitch today.

    "We still have eight or nine of the first-team squad out injured so we have our problems, but we want to push on now."

  • Derby manager Billy Davies:
    "We shot ourselves in the foot today. We talked before the game of competing well and starting well and we did neither.

    "We showed them too much respect, didn't tackle, fight or compete enough and we got what we deserved.

    "We've got to add firepower, we've got to add to the squad and we know that. We'll do all we can to bring in fresh faces and you'll see the best from this team from September onwards, when we have our squad assembled."


    Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda (Zokora 81), Rocha, Gardner, Lee, Routledge (Taarabt 71), Jenas, Huddlestone, Malbranque, Bent, Keane (Defoe 76).
    Subs Not Used: Cerny, Stalteri.

    Goals: Malbranque 2, 6, Jenas 14, Bent 80.

    Derby: Bywater, Mears (Griffin 33), Moore, Leacock, McEveley, Fagan, Oakley, Todd (Teale 46), Pearson, Howard, Earnshaw.
    Subs Not Used: Price, Jones, Feilhaber.

    Booked: Griffin, Howard, Moore, Fagan.

    Att: 35,600

    Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

  • SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    18 Aug 07 |  Football


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