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Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

Tottenham   2 - 0   West Ham

Tottenham celebrate Luka Modric's goal
Modric's goal was the least Tottenham deserved for their superiority

By David Ornstein

Luka Modric marked his first start in four months with a telling contribution as Tottenham beat West Ham to move up to fourth in the Premier League.

Modric, who broke his shin on 29 August, swept home Aaron Lennon's deflected cross to cap a bright start.

With West Ham toiling, Jermain Defoe put a curling free-kick just wide and Tom Huddlestone drove against the post.

Injury-hit West Ham lacked a cutting edge and former Hammer Defoe confirmed their defeat with a fierce finish.

It was fitting end to a commanding all-round performance by Spurs and they will remain in fourth unless Aston Villa beat Liverpool at Villa Park on Tuesday.

Redknapp delighted with Spurs progress

Harry Redknapp's men are now unbeaten in four matches, keeping four clean sheets in the process, and they lie just one point behind north-London rivals Arsenal.

But for all the stats, Redknapp will be especially pleased with the return of Modric, the Croat managing 83 minutes during which he scored his first goal of the season and orchestrated almost every other attack.

England winger Lennon also continued to press his case for a starting place at the World Cup with yet another scintillating display, Huddlestone was a rock in the hosts' midfield and Vedran Corluka again impressed at right-back.

In stark contrast, West Ham remain a point above the relegation zone and have played three games more than Bolton in 18th and one more than both Hull in 19th and Portsmouth in 20th.

606: DEBATE

They are now without a win in their last nine away league games and have still not triumphed in the league at White Hart Lane since April 1999, when Redknapp was their manager.

Arriving on a high following wins against Manchester City and Blackburn and a hard-earned draw at Fulham, Spurs dominated possession in the opening exchanges.

Redknapp utilised his large squad to make four changes to his starting line-up but Spurs quickly settled into a tidy rhythm and set about unpicking their opponents.

An ever-growing injury list meant West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola was only able to make one alteration to his side and they looked fatigued and laboured from the outset.

Zola attempted to contain the likes of Modric and Lennon by deploying a 4-5-1 formation, but Tottenham were able to saunter forward almost at will and their lead, when it arrived, was richly deserved.

Gianfranco Zola proud of injury-hit West Ham

Defoe released Lennon on the right and his low cross deflected off James Tomkins to an unmarked Modric. The Croatian hit a first-time shot into the ground but saw it bounce into the net over a diving Rob Green.

West Ham's midfield was nowhere to be seen as Lennon burst into the box and that was in part down to a limping Scott Parker, who came through a late fitness test on a hamstring strain to start but aggravated the complaint when he dragged a shot wide early on.

Parker was replaced by Luis Jimenez but, seven minutes later, there was more misery for West Ham as right-back Herita Ilunga succumbed to a similar injury.

Tottenham were in cruise control and started passing and moving with the swagger of a side who appear capable of finishing among the Champions League places this season.

Huddlestone dragged wide, a Crouch shot was deflected wide by Tomkins and Defoe curled a sumptuous free-kick inches wide of Green's right-hand post.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe
Defoe has now scored 14 league goals this season

Spurs must have wondered how they failed to extend their advantage before half-time and the chances kept coming after the break, with a goal-bound Wilson Palacios strike diverted to safety by Matthew Upson and Huddlestone exposing some woeful West Ham marking to drill against a post.

The Hammers eventually began to threaten and Guillermo Franco mis-controlled in a promising position before the 79th-minute introduction of pacy 20-year-old Junior Stanislas finally gave them a source of penetration.

But clear-cut chances were few and far between and, with Tottenham always looking the likelier scorers, it came as no surprise when Defoe wrapped up the points.

The England striker collected possession on the counter attack, drifted inside the West Ham defence and, after having a powerful drive parried by Green, lashed in from the edge of the box.


Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"It was a game we dominated but when you're only 1-0 up you fear that sooner or later they will make a chance.

"We needed a second goal and eventually it came but overall we were stronger than them today, there's no doubt about that. We played well and were always in control.

"I've got a luxury that Gianfranco hasn't - strong players to bring in who don't weaken your team in any way, shape or form. Whoever comes in at the moment is doing well and a fourth clean sheet in a row shows we're a force. We can beat anyone on our day.

"We're not looking at anybody (in the January transfer window), I cant stand here and say we've made contact with any clubs over any players. If players leave we'll see if we need to replace them and strengthen in areas, but there are no plans to at the moment."

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola:
"I'm delighted with how the players reacted and how the team played.

"In the second half we played really well against a very strong team. We were pushing them and they were struggling but when you have a team with the quality they have they can score at any moment. If we keep this spirit we can do important things.

"I've got to work with what I've got but if the players who are fit give me performances like today we'll be all right.

"The club wants to keep their best players and we're going to try very hard to do that. We did very well against Chelsea and Portsmouth and today, with all circumstances considered, we've done well."

Live text and stats

 

Monday, 28 December 2009

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham 2-0 West Ham FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Modric 11
  • Defoe 81

    Tottenham

    Substitutes

    West Ham

    Substitutes

    Ref: FoyAtt: 35,994
    TOTTENHAM
    WEST HAM

    Possession

    • Tottenham 60%
    • West Ham 40%

    Attempts on target

    • Tottenham 9
    • West Ham 2

    Attempts off target

    • Tottenham 12
    • West Ham 1

    Corners

    • Tottenham 9
    • West Ham 3

    Fouls

    • Tottenham 9
    • West Ham 14
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:07 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
    • 90:00+1:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Niko Kranjcar by Alessandro Diamanti. Heurelho Gomes takes the free kick.
    • 89:42 The referee blows for offside against Luis Jimenez. Free kick taken by Ledley King.
    • 88:48 Substitution Jermaine Jenas replaces Aaron Lennon.
    • 86:52 Substitution Benoit Assou-Ekotto goes off and Gareth Bale comes on.
    • 85:25 Corner taken left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti, Guillermo Franco has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 85:14 Effort from 30 yards by Alessandro Diamanti. Brilliant save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 83:19 Shot by Niko Kranjcar. Matthew Upson gets a block in.
    • 82:31 Booking The referee cautions Jermain Defoe for unsporting behaviour.
    • 82:31 Substitution Niko Kranjcar joins the action as a substitute, replacing Luka Modric.
    • Correction - 81:00 Shot by Jermain Defoe. Save made by Robert Green.
    • 81:00 Effort on goal by Jermain Defoe from 20 yards. Save made by Robert Green.
    • 80:56 GOAL - Jermain DefoeTottenham 2 - 0 West Ham A goal is scored by Jermain Defoe from the edge of the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-0 West Ham.
    • 79:36 Corner taken right-footed by Junior Stanislas from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Peter Crouch.
    • 78:19 Substitution Junior Stanislas is brought on as a substitute for Jack Collison.
    • 76:52 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone from the right by-line, clearance by Matthew Upson.
    • 75:38 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jermain Defoe. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 74:17 Effort on goal by Luka Modric from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 71:30 Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes the free kick.
    • 71:30 Booking Radoslav Kovac is shown a yellow card.
    • 71:18 Radoslav Kovac challenges Tom Huddlestone unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 70:25 The referee gives a free kick against Radoslav Kovac for handball. Direct free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 69:37 Alessandro Diamanti takes a outswinging corner.
    • 66:56 Matthew Upson takes the direct free kick.
    • 66:56 Booking The referee shows Vedran Corluka a yellow card.
    • 66:36 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alessandro Diamanti by Vedran Corluka.
    • 66:12 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins.
    • 65:20 Booking Alessandro Diamanti receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 64:39 Header on goal by Vedran Corluka from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 63:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Alessandro Diamanti on Aaron Lennon. Free kick taken by Vedran Corluka.
    • 62:13 Heurelho Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 62:13 Booking Guillermo Franco goes into the referee's book.
    • 62:06 Foul by Guillermo Franco on Wilson Palacios, free kick awarded.
    • 58:36 Radoslav Kovac concedes a free kick for a foul on Luka Modric. Tom Huddlestone takes the direct free kick.
    • 56:51 Tom Huddlestone concedes a free kick for a foul on Radoslav Kovac. Direct free kick taken by James Tomkins.
    • 56:01 Luis Jimenez challenges Michael Dawson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ledley King takes the direct free kick.
    • 55:25 Tom Huddlestone produces a drilled right-footed shot from inside the box and hits the post. Effort on goal by Luka Modric from just inside the area clears the bar.
    • 53:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Benoit Assou-Ekotto by Luis Jimenez. Heurelho Gomes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 52:38 Aaron Lennon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
    • 52:09 Short corner taken by Tom Huddlestone.
    • 51:59 Wilson Palacios takes a shot from 20 yards. Matthew Upson gets a block in.
    • 48:53 Aaron Lennon takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
    • 47:33 Tom Huddlestone has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 45:56 Shot from outside the box by Jermain Defoe misses to the left of the goal.
    • 45:43 Unfair challenge on Wilson Palacios by Alessandro Diamanti results in a free kick. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 45:13 Unfair challenge on Michael Dawson by Luis Jimenez results in a free kick. Michael Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 45:01 The second half has started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:21 The players leave the pitch at half time.
    • 45:00+0:15 Corner from the left by-line taken by Tom Huddlestone, Ledley King has a headed effort from close range and clears the bar.
    • 45:00+0:03 Jermain Defoe takes a shot. James Tomkins gets a block in.
    • 44:27 Tom Huddlestone fouled by Luis Jimenez, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ledley King.
    • 42:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by James Tomkins on Jermain Defoe. Jermain Defoe has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
    • 42:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Valon Behrami. Free kick taken by Valon Behrami.
    • 40:35 The ball is delivered by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, save by Robert Green.
    • 39:40 The assistant referee flags for offside against Jermain Defoe. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
    • 37:24 Effort on goal by Jermain Defoe from 12 yards. Robert Green makes a comfortable save.
    • 36:09 Corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone from the left by-line, clearance made by Matthew Upson.
    • 32:44 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Blocked by James Tomkins.
    • 32:15 Jack Collison concedes a free kick for a foul on Luka Modric. Free kick taken by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
    • 28:55 Tom Huddlestone produces a mishit left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 25:36 Jack Collison has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Comfortable save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 24:46 Benoit Assou-Ekotto concedes a free kick for a foul on Julien Faubert. Robert Green takes the direct free kick.
    • 22:19 Effort from outside the penalty box by Tom Huddlestone goes wide left of the target.
    • 21:24 Guillermo Franco challenges Wilson Palacios unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wilson Palacios takes the free kick.
    • 20:38 Foul by Luka Modric on Guillermo Franco, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 19:51 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Luka Modric from the right by-line.
    • 18:47 Substitution Jonathan Spector comes on in place of Herita Ilunga.
    • 17:05 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone from the right by-line.
    • 15:57 Unfair challenge on Valon Behrami by Wilson Palacios results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 11:51 Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Luis Jimenez coming on for Scott Parker.
    • Correction - 10:33 Aaron Lennon crosses the ball, blocked by James Tomkins.
    • 10:33 The ball is sent over by Aaron Lennon, James Tomkins gets a block in.
    • Correction - 10:24 GOAL - Luka ModricTottenham 1 - 0 West Ham Luka Modric finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-0 West Ham.
    • 10:24 Assist by Aaron Lennon.
    • 10:24 GOAL - Luka ModricTottenham 1 - 0 West Ham Luka Modric finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Tottenham 1-0 West Ham.
    • 8:58 Corner taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone, James Tomkins manages to make a clearance.
    • 6:18 Outswinging corner taken by Tom Huddlestone, Vedran Corluka gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Robert Green. Robert Green takes the free kick.
    • 5:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon by Alessandro Diamanti. Tom Huddlestone crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Guillermo Franco.
    • 4:47 Tom Huddlestone gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Valon Behrami. Alessandro Diamanti takes the direct free kick.
    • 4:21 Tom Huddlestone has a drilled shot. Matthew Upson gets a block in.
    • 3:54 Short corner worked by Tom Huddlestone.
    • 0:32 Foul by Peter Crouch on Julien Faubert, free kick awarded. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
    • 0:00 The game begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table

    Monday, 28 December 2009 21:45 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    Full Premier League table
    1 Chelsea 20 29 45
    2 Man Utd 19 22 40
    3 Arsenal 18 27 38
    4 Tottenham 20 20 37
    5 Aston Villa 19 12 35
    6 Man City 19 11 35
    7 Birmingham 20 2 32
    8 Liverpool 19 11 30
    9 Fulham 19 5 27
    10 Sunderland 20 -3 23
    11 Everton 19 -6 22
    12 Stoke 19 -8 21
    13 Blackburn 20 -15 21
    14 Burnley 20 -18 20
    15 Wigan 18 -18 19
    16 Wolves 20 -19 19
    17 West Ham 20 -9 18
    18 Bolton 17 -10 17
    19 Hull 19 -22 17
    20 Portsmouth 19 -11 14

    see also
    Monday football as it happened
    28 Dec 09 |  Football
    Monday's Premier League photos
    28 Dec 09 |  Football
    Modric set for Tottenham return
    11 Dec 09 |  Tottenham



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