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Tottenham   2 - 0   Portsmouth

Peter Crouch
Crouch headed the opener with his first goal in 10 games, dating back to January

By Sam Lyon

Tottenham cruised to victory in their FA Cup semi-final dress rehearsal with Portsmouth to extend their points advantage in the race for fourth spot.

Peter Crouch nodded Spurs ahead from Gareth Bale's cross and the striker and Tom Huddlestone then hit the woodwork.

Niko Kranjcar clipped in a second but the hosts barely got out of first gear.

The visitors, who can now be relegated next week if results go against them, went close through Anthony Vanden Borre and Michael Brown but were never in it.

It leaves Portsmouth 14 points adrift of safety with a possible 18 left to play for - and their season really is all about that Cup date at Wembley on 11 April.

Redknapp confident Pompey can bounce back

Spurs, on the other hand, are still very much fighting for honours on two fronts, though this tie looked less a battle and more a training-ground exercise against a Pompey side lacking in belief and energy.

The Londoners moved five points clear of Manchester City in fifth, though Roberto Mancini's side have a game in hand.

This was a match that always looked a home banker, even if Spurs have been guilty of the occasional lapse at White Hart Lane this campaign with defeats by Wolves and Stoke.

It might have been different for Portsmouth, though, had Vanden Borre made the most of the first real chance of the game when he found himself clear in the box only for keeper Heurelho Gomes to save his tame effort.

Grant 'proud' of Portsmouth effort

Instead it was something of a procession for Tottenham - even if it took them until the 27th minute to break the deadlock.

Bale, who tormented Pompey throughout, ended one of his many marauding runs from left back with a delightful cross that Crouch nodded in from six yards.

Michael Dawson headed a David Bentley cross wide soon after, while Spurs hit the woodwork twice in a minute through Huddlestone's crunching long-range effort and Crouch's clever swiped volley.

So it was no surprise when the hosts doubled their lead, debutant Kyle Walker laying the ball back to Luka Modric, the Croatian's shot blocked, and Kranjcar - like Crouch, a former Portsmouth star himself - impudently flicking in the rebound.

606: DEBATE
topperspur

For Spurs it was almost too easy, although a lapse in concentration at the back afforded Michael Brown a golden chance to reduce arrears, only for the unmarked midfielder to scuff his shot from six yards.

It was a rare moment of levity for the travelling fans, though, with their team - undoubtedly missing the ineligible Jamie O'Hara - all too often going through the motions without the necessary application.

The visitors' cause was not helped by what looked like a serious ankle injury to Hermann Hreidarsson, though Tottenham's occasional over-elaborate approach ensured the score remained respectable.

Bentley did at least sting James's palms with a long-ranger, while Sebastien Bassong should have done better with an unmarked header from a corner that he directed straight at keeper James and Crouch slid a golden chance wide in stoppage time.

Crouch sympathises with Portsmouth

Portsmouth, to their credit, created the odd half chance in reply, a Younes Kaboul tackle denying Brown inside the box and Kanu scuffing wide when well placed.

But their day - and arguably season - was summed up by the sight of Danny Webber and David James having to go off injured in the closing minutes, leaving Portsmouth to finish the match with 10 men.

And so Spurs manager Harry Redknapp's only gripe could be that his side did not go on to win more convincingly.

However, with matches against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City to come, they have far tougher tasks ahead of them as the season hits the business end.


Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"It was a difficult game. Coming into the game I had a funny feeling it was going to be a tough one but, once we were 2-0 up, the game fizzled out.

"It's a vital three points for us - we've got to keep picking up points. We've got a tough run-in against the top three but we can give anyone a game.

"Gareth Bale is unbelievable. He can run and run and never even looks like getting tired. With his stamina, pace, ability, and that left foot, he's got everything to go on to become one of the best players."

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant:
"At the moment, it looks like we have a problem for the semi-final, because at the moment we only have 10 fit players, but we need to wait and see.

"We are not going to give up and will continue to keep fighting despite everything. We are trying to be professional and keep the spirit of the game, to play with pride for the supporters.

"We came here short of players, with guys out of position, and played well. I am very, very proud of the boys."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham 2-0 Portsmouth FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Crouch 27
  • Kranjcar 41

    Tottenham

    Substitutes

    Portsmouth

    Substitutes

    Ref: FriendAtt: 35,870
    TOTTENHAM
    PORTSMOUTH

    Possession

    • Tottenham 56%
    • Portsmouth 44%

    Attempts on target

    • Tottenham 8
    • Portsmouth 3

    Attempts off target

    • Tottenham 8
    • Portsmouth 5

    Corners

    • Tottenham 11
    • Portsmouth 2

    Fouls

    • Tottenham 5
    • Portsmouth 9
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+8:08 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 90:00+7:04 Effort on goal by Peter Crouch from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
    • 90:00+5:24 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save made by Jamie Ashdown. Peter Crouch is caught offside. Jamie Ashdown restarts play with the free kick.
    • Correction - 90:00+3:52 The referee blows for offside. Jamie Ashdown takes the indirect free kick.
    • 90:00+3:52 Gareth Bale is caught offside. Jamie Ashdown takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+2:47 Centre by Gareth Bale, clearance by Richard Hughes.
    • 90:00+2:05 The offside flag is raised against Anthony Vanden Borre. Indirect free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 90:00+0:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steve Finnan by Roman Pavlyuchenko. Jamie Ashdown takes the free kick.
    • 88:33 Substitution (Portsmouth) makes a substitution, with Jamie Ashdown coming on for David James.
    • 83:05 Substitution Quincy Owusu-Abeyie replaces Angelos Basinas.
    • 82:16 Corner taken by David Bentley.
    • 81:56 The ball is sent over by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, blocked by Hayden Mullins.
    • 79:25 Corner taken by David Bentley, Sebastien Bassong takes a shot. David James makes a brilliant save.
    • 78:11 Substitution Roman Pavlyuchenko on for Eidur Gudjohnsen.
    • 77:51 Effort from the edge of the area by Nwankwo Kanu goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 75:58 The assistant referee signals for offside against Kyle Walker. David James restarts play with the free kick.
    • 73:59 Free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
    • 73:59 Booking Booking for Richard Hughes for unsporting behaviour.
    • 73:52 Richard Hughes challenges Luka Modric unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 73:16 Centre by Younes Kaboul, David James makes a comfortable save.
    • 71:25 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Angelos Basinas from the left by-line, clearance by Eidur Gudjohnsen.
    • 69:11 The ball is crossed by Kyle Walker.
    • 65:51 Substitution Niko Kranjcar leaves the field to be replaced by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
    • 65:01 Corner taken short by David Bentley.
    • 64:56 The ball is crossed by Luka Modric.
    • Correction - 63:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Michael Brown. Angelos Basinas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 63:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Michael Brown. Free kick taken by Hayden Mullins.
    • 62:58 Shot from deep inside the area by Peter Crouch clears the bar.
    • 61:40 David Bentley takes a shot. Comfortable save by David James.
    • 61:03 Substitution Younes Kaboul comes on in place of Michael Dawson.
    • 60:11 Shot from outside the box by Michael Brown goes wide right of the target.
    • 58:24 Nwankwo Kanu takes a shot. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 56:11 The ball is crossed by Danny Webber, save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 54:44 The ball is crossed by David Bentley.
    • 53:21 Centre by Danny Webber.
    • 50:54 Substitution Danny Webber comes on in place of Hermann Hreidarsson.
    • 47:37 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the left by-line, clearance made by Richard Hughes.
    • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+3:58 The half-time whistle blows.
    • Correction - 45:00+1:52 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sebastien Bassong by Nwankwo Kanu. Direct free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
    • 45:00+1:52 Foul by Nwankwo Kanu on Sebastien Bassong, free kick awarded. Heurelho Gomes takes the free kick.
    • 43:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Eidur Gudjohnsen by Richard Hughes. David Bentley fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 42:58 Gareth Bale sends in a cross, comfortable save by David James.
    • 42:07 Centre by Hayden Mullins, save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 41:47 Michael Brown takes a shot. Blocked by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 40:21 The ball is sent over by Kyle Walker, Luka Modric takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Mokoena.
    • 40:14 GOAL - Niko KranjcarTottenham 2 - 0 Portsmouth Niko Kranjcar finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Tottenham 2-0 Portsmouth.
    • 37:34 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Bentley. David James takes the indirect free kick.
    • 37:21 Centre by Niko Kranjcar.
    • 35:42 The ball is delivered by Luka Modric, Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save made by David James.
    • 35:31 Short corner taken by David Bentley from the left by-line.
    • 35:20 Effort from inside the penalty area by Peter Crouch bounces off the post.
    • 35:04 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot.
    • 34:31 David Bentley takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Frederic Piquionne makes a clearance.
    • 34:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Bentley by Richard Hughes. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.
    • 33:32 Niko Kranjcar handles the ball and concedes a free kick. David James restarts play with the free kick.
    • 33:03 Richard Hughes concedes a free kick for a foul on Luka Modric. David Bentley takes the direct free kick.
    • 32:26 Corner taken by David Bentley from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Hayden Mullins.
    • 31:54 Michael Brown challenges Luka Modric unfairly and gives away a free kick. Luka Modric restarts play with the free kick.
    • 29:07 The ball is sent over by David Bentley, Headed effort on goal by Michael Dawson from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
    • 28:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Angelos Basinas on Eidur Gudjohnsen. The free kick is swung in right-footed by David Bentley, clearance made by Aaron Mokoena.
    • 26:30 Assist by Gareth Bale.
    • 26:30 GOAL - Peter CrouchTottenham 1 - 0 Portsmouth Peter Crouch scores a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Tottenham 1-0 Portsmouth.
    • 26:29 A cross is delivered by Gareth Bale,
    • 24:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Luka Modric on Michael Brown. Angelos Basinas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 23:29 Centre by Kyle Walker, Hermann Hreidarsson gets a block in.
    • 21:53 Corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the right by-line, save by David James.
    • Correction - 19:25 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the right by-line, Gareth Bale takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Mokoena. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley, clearance made by Hermann Hreidarsson.
    • 19:25 Outswinging corner taken by David Bentley, Gareth Bale takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Mokoena. Corner taken right-footed by David Bentley.
    • 18:38 Frederic Piquionne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kyle Walker. Gareth Bale delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Steve Finnan.
    • 17:41 Anthony Vanden Borre takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 16:30 The ball is swung over by David Bentley, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Peter Crouch misses to the right of the target.
    • 15:13 Corner taken right-footed by Angelos Basinas from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Gareth Bale.
    • 15:04 Nwankwo Kanu delivers the ball, Michael Dawson manages to make a clearance.
    • 14:51 A cross is delivered by Niko Kranjcar, clearance by Hermann Hreidarsson.
    • 14:11 Kyle Walker fouled by Frederic Piquionne, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 12:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Huddlestone on Angelos Basinas. Anthony Vanden Borre restarts play with the free kick.
    • 11:50 Aaron Mokoena fouled by Niko Kranjcar, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Angelos Basinas, comfortable save by Heurelho Gomes.
    • 11:09 Corner taken right-footed by David Bentley, clearance by Richard Hughes.
    • 9:45 Anthony Vanden Borre has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 7:35 Niko Kranjcar crosses the ball, Eidur Gudjohnsen produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
    • 4:52 Shot from just outside the box by Anthony Vanden Borre goes over the target.
    • 1:46 Long distance shot from Nwankwo Kanu misses to the left of the target.
    • 1:06 Gareth Bale sends in a cross, save by David James.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 27 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 32 51 72
    2 Chelsea 32 53 71
    3 Arsenal 32 40 68
    4 Tottenham 31 28 58
    5 Man City 30 16 53
    6 Liverpool 31 18 51
    7 Aston Villa 31 11 51
    8 Everton 32 8 49
    9 Birmingham 32 -4 45
    10 Stoke 31 -5 39
    11 Fulham 31 -3 38
    12 Blackburn 31 -16 38
    13 Sunderland 31 -6 35
    14 Wolves 32 -22 32
    15 Bolton 32 -24 32
    16 Wigan 31 -30 31
    17 West Ham 32 -17 27
    18 Hull 31 -33 27
    19 Burnley 31 -33 24
    20 Portsmouth 32 -32 13

    see also
    Fresh injuries add to Pompey woes
    28 Mar 10 |  Portsmouth
    Saturday football as it happened
    27 Mar 10 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    27 Mar 10 |  Football



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