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Premier League

  • 11 December 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 27529

Stoke City 2-1 Tottenham: Redknapp’s men see unbeaten run crash to a halt after Etherington brace sinks former club

Stoke City 2-1 Tottenham: Redknapp’s men see unbeaten run crash to a halt after Etherington brace sinks former club

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Tony Pulis' side move up to eighth in the Premier League after two first-half goals prove enough to bring Spurs' impressive run to an end as Younes Kaboul sees red

Tottenham's 11-match unbeaten run came to an end following a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City after a stubborn defensive display from Tony Pulis' side at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.

The home side went into half-time 2-0 up thanks to a brace from former Spurs man Matthew Etherington, both coming from Ryan Shotton throw-ins.

However, Harry Redknapp’s side replied after the break, capitalising on their dominance as Emmanuel Adebayor scored a Luka Modric-won penalty, but things were made even harder for them 10 minutes from time as Younes Kaboul saw red.

Tottenham made just the one change from the 3-0 win over Bolton as Jermain Defoe dropped to the bench in favour of Rafael Van der Vaart, however, Redknapp was still unable to call upon the services of Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone or Niko Kranjcar.

Stoke remained unchanged from their 1-0 win at Everton as Rory Delap remained on the bench with 23 year-old Shotton continuing in his place on the right of midfield, while Mamady Sidibe was the only player ruled out for the hosts.

Less than 40 seconds into the match, Brad Friedel was called into action to deny Etherington’s volley from Shotton’s throw-in, getting down well to his left to palm away the effort.

Shotton’s throw-ins were causing problems for Spurs throughout the first-half as Ryan Shawcross soon went close, then Peter Crouch almost connected with another, but the England international miscued.

After threatening for much of the opening stages, the hosts took the lead in the 13th minute. Shotton’s deflected cross was flicked on by Jonathan Walters before Crouch held off William Gallas and played the ball back across the goal for Etherington to tap in.

A goal for the home side was hardly a surprise after they created several opportunities during the early exchanges, and it always looked likely it would come through Crouch whose physical presence was being exploited by Stoke.

Although Pulis’ team controlled the first 20 minutes or so, Spurs finally began to exert some pressure on their hosts, getting a significant amount of possession in the Stoke half, but they were still struggling to create chances, although Modric forced Sorensen into a good stop from range.

Spurs continued to dominate for the rest of the half, but it was Stoke who got the next goal, as Etherington scored his second of the season and second of the evening.

Shotton’s throw-in on the right-wing was flicked on by Walters at the near post and Etherington crept in behind everyone, hitting a volley into the ground and past Friedel.

As the first-half ended, Spurs will have been extremely disappointed, however they wouldn’t have been able to argue about their half of the scoreline as they struggled to create chances, with Sorensen having little to do.

Tall order | Crouch holds off Gallas before setting up the opener

Spurs still managed to have more of the possession after the break, but clear-cut chances were few and far between with Sebastien Bassong going closest with a header only to put it comfortably over following Modric’s corner.

After dominating the first 15 minutes of the second half, Redknapp’s team were given the perfect opportunity to get back into the match as Modric’s trickery in the area drew a foul from Glenn Whelan, and referee Chris Foy immediately pointed to the spot.

Adebayor stepped up to take the penalty and calmly side-footed his shot to Sorensen’s left as the Dane dived to the right.

Inside the next five minutes the visitors had another two good chances, as Scott Parker’s long-range effort was tipped over by Sorensen, then Adebayor’s curling strike went just wide.

With quarter of an hour to go, Spurs should have been awarded a second penalty of the evening as Kaboul’s shot was cleared off the line by the elbow of Shawcross, but Foy and his assistants failed to spot it.

As the match went on it became very open as Stoke managed a few attacks, but Spurs maintained their dominance, particularly through Bale and Walker on the wings before things soon went pear-shaped for the visitors.

Kaboul, already on a yellow card, was caught out by a ball behind the Spurs defence down the left and the France international carelessly brought down Walters just left of the area to see his second yellow of the night.

Moments later, Shawcross could have scored twice from consecutive corners, flicking on at the front-post, but his first effort was well saved by Friedel, the second crashing off the cross-bar.

Stoke did well to stifle the Spurs attacks in the closing stages and the introduction of Wilson Palacios helped them regain a foothold in the midfield as the Potters held on for the three points.

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