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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008, 17:32 GMT
Tottenham 2-2 Reading
By Chris Whyatt


Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov has scored six goals against Reading in seven days
Stephen Hunt's late equaliser for Reading set up a replay at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday week for a place in the FA Cup fourth round.

A bizarre Paul Robinson error from Hunt's free-kick gave Reading the lead, but Dimitar Berbatov's lashed finish and penalty put Spurs ahead.

But a weakened Reading team hit back when Robinson spilled Leroy Lita's shot and Hunt netted the rebound.

Spurs substitute Tom Huddlestone was sent off late on for a head-butt.

Reading boss Steve Coppell, who prioritises league survival over the world's oldest cup competition, sprang no surprises by essentially fielding a reserve side.

He made eight changes from the team which lost 6-4 to Spurs at White Hart Lane in the Premier League seven days ago.

Spurs manager Juande Ramos fielded his strongest line-up, with skipper Ledley King back in the heart of defence.

606: DEBATE

The game soon burst into action when in the fifth minute Berbatov's square pass found Robbie Keane but, completely unchallenged, the Republic of Ireland international managed to steer the ball wide of the open goal from seven yards out.

That howler was nothing compared to what happened on 25 minutes.

From 45 yards out and near the touchline, Reading midfielder Hunt drifted a free-kick towards Robinson's goal and with no Reading players able to make contact, the Spurs keeper claimed a simple catch.

His momentum, however, carried him backwards into his goal and though Robinson eventually pushed the ball away, the linesman judged that he had carried it behind the line in his outstretched arms and a goal was awarded.

Spurs hit back immediately when Aaron Lennon's clever dinked pass found Berbatov in space in the penalty area.

With Reading's static back-line wrongly claiming for offside, the Bulgarian striker simply controlled the ball and lashed it past Adam Federici into the top corner.

Spurs took the game to Reading after the break and took the lead on 55 minutes.

Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov has scored six goals against Reading in seven days

Michael Dawson floated a long ball over the top for the energetic Keane to run on to and, as he steadied himself to shoot, Reading full-back Liam Rosenior hacked at his legs.

Referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot without hesitation and in typical fashion, Berbatov coolly guided the ball past Federici's dive to the right for his sixth goal against Reading in the space of seven days.

Keane then had a goal disallowed for Pascal Chimbonda's push in the build-up and Berbatov could have claimed a hat-trick, and effectively sealed the game, when Lennon delivered a wicked cross but he trod on the ball just 10 yards out.

Yet with the clock ticking towards full-time, Reading made a rare foray into Spurs half of the pitch and grabbed an unlikely equaliser.

Peeling in from the left, Lita jinked in between Spurs defenders to hit a shot which Robinson could only parry.

As he lay prone and the ball squirmed from his grasp, Hunt followed up and tucked the ball into the net from a tight angle.

With both teams pressing for a late victory, the action became heated and second-half substitute Huddlestone was sent-off for butting his head towards Bobby Convey in an off-the-ball incident.


Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda, King, Dawson, Lee, Lennon, Zokora, Jenas, Malbranque (Huddlestone 79), Keane (Taarabt 63), Berbatov.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Defoe, Gunter.

Sent Off: Huddlestone (83).

Booked: Zokora, Jenas.

Goals: Berbatov 28, 50 pen.

Reading: Federici, Rosenior, Bikey, De la Cruz, Duberry (Pearce 90), Hunt, Cisse, Fae, Convey, Long, Lita.
Subs Not Used: Hahnemann, Harper, Cox, Robson-Kanu.

Booked: Duberry, Convey.

Goals: Hunt 25, 78.

Att: 35,243

Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov 9.09 (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.



  • SEE ALSO
    FA Cup photos
    05 Jan 08 |  Football
    Live online FA Cup commentaries
    30 Nov 07 |  FA Cup


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