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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Sunday, 23 November 2008

Tottenham 1-0 Blackburn

By Ian Hughes

Roman Pavlyuchenko
Striker Pavlyuchenko scored his third Premier League goal

Tottenham moved out of the Premier League's bottom three with a victory over Blackburn, who had defender Martin Olsson sent off on 39 minutes.

Aaron Lennon was Spurs' inspiration and he set up the winner when he robbed Olsson, went on a run and cut the ball back for Roman Pavlyuchenko to slot in.

Pavlyuchenko almost grabbed a second when his glancing header hit a post.

Olsson was dismissed when he brought down his tormentor Lennon and received his second yellow card of the match.

Redknapp delighted to be off bottom of table

The 20-year-old Swede had no answer to Lennon's direct running and suffered a horribly embarrassing afternoon.

In contrast, Lennon produced a performance full of pace, confidence and incisiveness.

With Blackburn one place and one point above Spurs in the table before the match, there was a lot at stake for both teams.

The signs were initially encouraging for Blackburn as Tottenham's recent Achilles heel, goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, again looked vulnerable.

Gomes dropped Rovers' first corner and was never convincing throughout - and even the home fans cheered ironically when he did make a clean catch.

Mouth of the South

It was clear that Spurs' best form of defence would be to attack, and in Lennon they had a potent weapon.

And when the winger nicked the ball off Olsson and cut the ball back after sprinting to the byeline, Pavlyuchenko cracked in a shot to justify his return to the starting line-up.

The Russian was only denied a second by the foot of the post after he met David Bentley's free-kick with a glancing header.

Yet there was the feeling that Rovers were not completely out of it, and Benni McCarthy might have done better than to volley over the bar from 12 yards.

Back came Spurs, again in the shape of Lennon, who shot wide after another strong run.

The next time Lennon ventured forward, he jinked past Olsson, who brought him down and promptly saw red.

Sending-off affected game - Ince

Tottenham's one-man show continued when Lennon smashed a fierce drive that former Spurs keeper Paul Robinson did well to save with his body despite the ball taking a deflection.

Straight after the break, Rovers created a half-chance when Roque Santa Cruz did well to crouch down and direct a header on target but Gomes was equal to it.

And despite their numerical advantage and greater share of possession, Tottenham were struggling to kill the game off.

Tom Huddlestone tried his luck with two long-range shots that blazed over as Tottenham's nerves began to show.

Substitute Fraizer Campbell should have eased their anxiety but he nodded a good chance wide when unmarked.

In the end one goal proved enough for Tottenham to move out of the relegation zone, while Blackburn have now failed to win in eight league games.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"Every time Aaron get on the ball he was a threat to them.

"He is in great form and he has such pace, when he runs at defenders he gives them problems.

"I'm delighted with the win. When it is 1-0 and you are missing chances, it only takes one break and it can all turn and they are back in the game."

Blackburn manager Paul Ince:
"We played some good stuff against a very good Tottenham side at their ground and we silenced their crowd for most of the game.

"The effort put in was unbelievable - the performance was outstanding.

"I thought we were going to salvage something. Had the ball been in the right place we would have got a point."

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, King, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley (O'Hara 86), Jenas, Huddlestone, Lennon, Pavlyuchenko (Campbell 74), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Bale, Zokora, Gunter, Dawson.

Booked: Bentley, Jenas.

Goals: Pavlyuchenko 9.

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Olsson, Emerton (Derbyshire 71), Andrews, Mokoena, Pedersen (Treacy 81), McCarthy (Simpson 46), Roque Santa Cruz.
Subs Not Used: Brown, Kerimoglu, Fowler, Roberts.

Sent Off: Olsson (39).

Booked: Olsson, Ooijer, Andrews.

Att: 35,903

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match on 90 minutes: Tottenham's Aaron Lennon 8.54 (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
Lennon tipped for England recall
24 Nov 08 |  Tottenham
Lee Dixon's tactical view
24 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
23 Nov 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
23 Nov 08 |  Premier League

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