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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Sunday, 26 October 2008

Tottenham 2-0 Bolton

By Russell Barder

Roman Pavlyuchenko
Pavlyuchenko's goal was his first in the Premier League for Spurs

New Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had an immediate galvanising effect on Spurs as they beat Bolton to secure their first league win of the season.

David Bentley's pin-point cross was met by Roman Pavlyuchenko to give Spurs the lead midway through the first half.

After the break, Bolton midfielder Gavin McCann was sent off for two bookable offences.

Darren Bent wrapped up the victory from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

The victory was Tottenham's first at home since they beat Redknapp's former employers Portsmouth in March and helped lift the gloom that has engulfed White Hart Lane prior to the 61-year-old's arrival, despite the club remaining bottom of the table.

Redknapp was installed as the club's manager late on Saturday after Ramos was sacked a couple of days shy of his first anniversary at White Hart Lane and he had an immediate impact as he took his place in the home dugout.

Redknapp excited by Spurs challenge

With just two points from their previous eight games, Tottenham fans have had little to cheer about of late but Redknapp was given a rapturous reception as he was introduced to the supporters prior to kick-off.

The home supporters had further reason to cheer with the inclusion of Ledley King for the second game running and the Spurs captain finally appears to have put his injury troubles behind him.

The fans' new-found optimism seemed to transmit to the players on the pitch as they produced a consummate performance, but it was not all plain sailing for Spurs.

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, whose performances have been called into question since his summer move from PSV Eindhoven, again looked shaky as Bolton put plenty of crosses into the box to test the Brazilian.

606: DEBATE
Spur-adic
The visitors took a while to get a foothold in the game and a couple of speculative efforts from Jamie O'Hara and Jermaine Jenas flew wide, but Spurs soon went in front thanks to Pavlyuchenko's first Premier League goal.

Bentley, who had been very outspoken about his side's poor start to the season, provided a perfect cross from the right that the Russian headed low into corner to send the Spurs fans into a frenzy.

However, if Redknapp was wondering how big a task he was faced with then he was given a gentle reminder as Bolton nearly snatched an equaliser after half an hour.

Some shambolic Spurs defending resulted in Gomes and King colliding before the ball fell to Kevin Davies whose hooked effort back across goal drifted just wide.

Gomes was again at fault as he came to collect a Bolton cross and fumbled with the ball falling to Johan Elmander whose shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by King.

We made it easy for Spurs - Megson

Not to be outdone, Jaaskelainen fumbled a seemingly innocuous cross at the other end into the path of Tom Huddlestone who fired over from six yards.

Gomes continued to give Spurs cause for concern as the Brazilian looked less than assured every time Bolton hoisted a ball into the box and this appeared to be the visitors' most likely avenue for an equaliser.

But their task was made all the more difficult 10 minutes after the break as McCann was given his marching orders after picking up his second booking for a late tackle on Huddlestone.

Tottenham looked to make their man advantage count and almost immediately went further ahead, but Luka Modric shot straight at Jaaskelainen.

Another hapless punch clear from Gomes fell to Fabrice Muamba whose attempted lob drifted over but it was Spurs who looked the more likely to grab their second.

Substitute Bent, on for Pavlyuchenko, raced onto Modric's through ball but saw his shot saved by Jusskelainan.

However, after Modric saw his shot brilliantly saved by Jaaskelainen, Bent was adjudged to have been hauled down by the Finnish keeper and he coolly slotted home the penalty.

Tottenham continued to threaten, but could not find a third and after J'Lloyd Samuel drilled a late effort wide for Bolton, Modric was again denied by Jaaskelainen.


Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"There is real quality in this group of players here. You look through and there are international players.

"You look at the quality and they shouldn't be where they are, but two points in eight games is an amazingly bad start.

"We have to start working as hard as we did today for each other, picking up points, playing as we did - they passed the ball with real quality which I was really impressed with."

Bolton manager Gary Megson:
"I think we gifted the game to Tottenham. In the first 15 minutes we looked solid and they didn't create anything, but the goal altered the way the game was going.

"It was a remarkably poor goal from our point of view, we didn't put any pressure on the ball and we're neither defending or playing offside.

"We set off the second half a lot better and once the sending off happened then makes a difficult job even more of a task."


Tottenham: Gomes, Hutton, Corluka, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Jenas, Huddlestone, Modric, O'Hara (Lennon 70), Pavlyuchenko (Bent 67).
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Zokora, Gunter, Giovani, Campbell.

Goals: Pavlyuchenko 17, Bent 76 pen.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Davies, Nolan, Muamba (Gardner 85), McCann, Taylor, Elmander (Riga 85).
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Hunt, Smolarek, Helguson, Shittu.

Sent Off: McCann (56).

Booked: Nolan, McCann, Jaaskelainen.

Att: 35,507

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Luka Modric on 7.90 (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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see also
Spurs quality impresses Redknapp
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Sunday's football photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
26 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Tottenham sack Ramos for Redknapp
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Levy explains decisions to fans
26 Oct 08 |  Tottenham
Redknapp and Ramos in photos
26 Oct 08 |  Football


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