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21 March 2012
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 35172
R. van der Vaart 90'+
C. Jerome 75'
90' + 6'
And that's it! Spurs steal a point at the death. How important will that be in their race for Champions League qualification?
90' + 5'
Big, BIG sighs of relief from the Spurs fans as Pennant goes down inside the area. Everyone looks at the referee but he just shakes his head.
90' + 2'
Assist Gareth Bale
90' + 2'
Goal Rafael van der Vaart
GOAL!! VAN DER VAART EQUALISES FOR TOTTENHAM!! A move from the back as Friedel throws the ball out to Bale on the left, he trots forward a few yards and whips in a fantastic cross for the Dutchman to head past Begovic.
90' + 2'
Corner for Spurs. Can they at least beat the first man this time...? YES! But Stoke immediately clear.
90' + 1'
Spurs continue to huff and puff more yet again slack passing is their downfall as Modric hits a ball out to the left too long for Assou-Ekotto.
We are just about to enter stoppage time. There is a massive FIVE minutes added on.
A late chance for Spurs as Modric finds Van der Vaart with a glorious through ball into the area, but the Dutchman is immediately swarmed by Stoke defenders to stop him getting a decent shot away.
Boos surround the ground as Wilson pole-axes Walker. Studs up. Nothing doing from the referee.
Spurs fans are starting to leave White Hart Lane, and you can't blame them. Whereas their team have played well and lost in recent weeks, they can only blame themselves tonight. Sloppy passing all over.
Yellow Card Rafael van der Vaart
Things just arn't going Tottenham's way. Pennant goes to ground very easily under pressure from Van der Vaart, causing the Dutchman to kick the ball away in anger. He duly gets shown a yellow card.
Assist Robert Huth
Goal Cameron Jerome
GOAL!! Stoke have taken the lead! This certainly wasn't in the script! Pennant whips in the freekick, Huth flicks it on and Jerome is there a mere yard out to prod the ball past Friedel.
Giovani dos Santos
More weak play from Saha as he gives the ball away on the edge of the Stoke area. He has about five Spurs players around him and managed to find the only player in the red and white shirt.
The ball comes out to Walker near the halfway line, and the right-back sends the ball immediately back into the box but the wind carries it into the hands of the grateful Begovic.
Two corners in quick succession for Spurs, their ninth and tenth of the game, but neither are any good. Cleared by the first man.
Crouch is down, and he is hurt after he clashes heads with Kaboul. The medical staff are on quick as a flash but both players will be OK.
Another chance wasted from Spurs as they win a freekick on the right-hand side after Walker is fouled by Whitehead. Van der Vaart goes for the near top corner but it sails about five yards over the bar.
Van der Vaart send the ball into the edge of the area and Bale gets his head on it. It's heading in but Begovic scrambles it clear. The Stoke goalkeeper has not looked too convincing tonight, it must be said.
It's all getting very scrappy as Modric loses the ball on the edge of the Stoke area, only to win it back seconds later and drive the ball towards goal but Huth gets a block in and it's a corner...
Another chance for Stoke as Walters jumps highest and beats off Kaboul and King to head the ball at goal, but it's weak and he's been injured in the process. He'll be alright though.
Danger for Spurs as Jerome tries to get on the end of a Walter's cross into the area. He's six yards out by King beats him to the ball.
After nearly 15 minutes of unrelenting attack from Spurs, the away side are starting to find their feet again. With Arsenal currently beating Everton 1-0 (spoilers!) they need a win to keep hold of their third place in the Premier League.
And yes, Palacios is being removed to allow Whitehead to come on.
It looks like Pulis is going to change things. Whitehead is getting ready on the sidelines.
Case in point as Pennant sees a glimmer of the ball and starts to charge up field, only to be immmediately dispossed by Kaboul. Back with Spurs.
Stoke are struggling with the pace of his Spurs side at the moment. Whereas in the first half they could contain the waves of attack and look for the counter, the home side are all over them.
Van der Vaart is the next Spurs player to have a go as he tries to bend the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out. It's a good 5 yards wide and the Dutchman turns around before it even reaches the goal. He knew, he knew.
Defoe has had an impact immediately, purely with his movement. Spurs are looking far more lively.
Spurs have come roaring out of the traps here. Bale (who else?) tries a snap-shot from the edge of the area but it skims inches past Begovic's post.
Right then we are back underway! Now, I promise I am no mind reader but Defoe has in fact come on for Kranjcar. Maybe Redknapp is reading this minute-by-minute?
Well Kris, Saha is most definitely isolated but perhaps the best medicine is to replace one of those midfielders with Defoe? Kranjcar off, Defoe on perhaps? Only Harry Redknapp knows.
Kris Burgos (@KrisBurgos1) has got in touch via Twitter (@alexwsyoung for those not in the know), saying: "An Ecuadorian Spurs fan who lives in Toronto Canada says we must put in the on-fire Jermain Defoe for Louis Saha!"
So that's it for the first 45 minutes. I was, unsurprisingly, wrong with my prediction of goals in the first half. But, hold tight, we still have another half to correct that... if you see what I mean...
45' + 3'
Pennant floats the ball in, Huth is on the end of it but it flies over for a goal kick. The referee has seen enough and calls for half-time.
45' + 2'
Just as the half draws to a close, Stoke win a freekick when Bale barges Pennant over near the halfway line...
45' + 1'
We will have two minutes of added time as Parker slips while trotting into the Stoke area. Very untimely, was that.
Another slack pass from Stoke inside the Spurs area, and the home side counter immediately. Modric finds Bale immediately and the winger bursts up the flank. With Assou-Ekotto to his left, and Saha to his right, he finds neither and the ball runs out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Wilson Palacios
Palacios is shown the game's first yellow card after tripping Kranjcar inside the centre circle.
As the game enters the 41st minute, the minute Fabrice Muamba collasped during Saturday's FA Cup tie, the Spurs fans start cheering the Bolton midfielder's name. A great gesture.
Saha, who has been quiet for most half, jinks into the area before before rifling a shot towards goal. Begovic is equal to it, however.
Stoke are struggling to get out of their half at the moment as Spurs patrol with ease around them. Assou-Ekotto is the next man to try and penetrate the defence with a low ball into the box, but Pulis' men punt it clear.
Spurs are starting to get on top but, in typical Stoke fashion, they are defending in packs. Like wolves. It ain't pretty, but (so far) it's effective.
Great work from Tottenham around the box as Parker, Assou-Ekotto and Bale all combine before it bounces up onto Van der Vaart's arm and the referee calls an end to the attack.
He is seeing plenty of the ball tonight, is Bale, but most of his crosses are far too close to Begovic.
Bale wins a corner after Whelan gets a touch to divert a cross behind. The Welshman sends it in and Kaboul rises highest AND HIT'S THE BAR! Oh, but the referee has called for a foul by the defender. Never mind.
A bit more sloppy from Spurs in the last few minutes. The fans are starting to get frustrated.
Hold on, a quick pause in play as Diao is forced to come off after damaging his hamstring. Whelan will be his replacement.
So the freekick is eventually taken and it is neither Kranjcar or Bale with the duties, it is Assou-Ekotto... and it's over.
Great skills by Saha sees him dazzle Palacios and win a freekick right on the edge of the Stoke penalty area. Kranjcar and Bale are fighting over who is going to take it...
A bad few minutes for Walters sees him floored after getting in the way of a ferocious Kaboul effort on goal. That definitely took the wind out of the forward.
Ah, perhaps not. Walter's delivery in is directly at Friedel.
This could be interesting. Stoke have won a freekick around 35 yards out. You may think that is too far out to cause any danger, but the away side love a set-piece...
As Spurs try to build another attack, they are really getting into their stride now, Modric in penalised for a foul on Pennant. There was no intention but he did lead with his arm.
The first time Bale finds his target, and it nearly results in a goal. Stoke win a throw-in but the winger wins the ball back almost immediately, swivels and finds Modric in acres of space on the edge of the area. A simple through ball sends the Croatian into the area before shooting low towards the far post. It missed by inches.
Spurs' presence in the game is growing after a very patchy start. Van der Vaart is seeing more time on the ball, and the home side need his work rate around the area at the moment.
Stoke build another attack but a pointless flick by Crouch is pounched upon by Modric. The Croatian storms through the center of the park on the counter-attack and finds Bale. The winger twists and turns before sending a cross towards the penalty spot but, once again, Begovic is there is collect before Saha.
No surprise as it is aimed towards Crouch, but the striker fails to make any proper contact and it bounces out for a goal kick.
Stoke have won a corner, the first of the game. Pennant to take...
Finally a chance for Spurs as Assou-Ekotto swings in a deep, hanging cross from the left but Begovic plucks it out of the air with Saha lurking.
The away side have definitely started the bright here, with Jerome the latest Stoke player to have a dig after pouncing on a poor clearance by Ledley King.
First chance for Tottenham has Bale gets his first opportunity to burst down the left. The winger plays an early ball towards Van der Vaart on the edge of the area, the Dutchman swivels but cannot keep control of the ball and Kranjcar hits the loose ball first time only to see the shot blocked.
A little very here from Spurs as now Walters gets the better of Walker down the Stoke left. He tries to find Crouch inside the area but Parker cleans up with ease.
Within the first minute, Palacios finds himself in acres of space running through the centre of the pitch. With no sign of a challenge from Spurs, his keeps on running before attempting to find the offside Walters.
Stoke get us underway!
And now King is suffering. He seems to have recieved a blow in the nose from someone. Blood trickling down his face.
Yet ANOTHER corner for Spurs and AGAIN Modric fails to beat the first man.
Dear me, is this going to be a fourth successive loss on the bounce for Tottenham?
Here is a quick word from our man at White Hart Lane, Andrew Kennedy: "A minutes applause roars out across White Hart Lane as the stadium announcer thanks the medical teams of both Bolton and Tottenham for their work during last Saturday's distressing scenes."
All of the players from each side, on the pitch and on the bench, are wearing white t-shirts with 'Get well soon Fabrice' written across the front. Very touching.
The players are in the tunnel. We are just a couple of minutes away...
Based on those, we can expect goals (definitely in the first half) and most probably one for Stoke from a header.
The Potters have conceded a league-high 54% of their goals in the first half of games this season.
Stoke have scored a league high 37% of their goals from headers.
White Hart Lane has seen 99 draws in the Premier League era.
Tottenham have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their seven Premier League meetings with Stoke City.
With kick-off a little over 10 minutes away, here are some facts to whet your appetite...
You may remember that Stoke won the reverse fixture 2-1, ending a run of 10 wins and one draw for Tottenham. The game was not without controversy as Adebayor had a goal wrongfully disallowed and Defoe had a shot blocked on the line by a Stoke hand, before Kaboul was harshly sent off for a second bookable offence.
For Stoke, Wilson Palacios is handed a start in central midfield against his former club, while Cameron Jerome comes into the side in place of the injured Matthew Etherington, although expect the ex-Birmingham City striker to partner Peter Crouch up front, with Jonathan Walters filling in on the flank.
So, Emmanuel Adebayor misses out for Tottenham through injury, with Jermain Defoe also dropping to the bench and Louis Saha leading the line. Ledley King and Younes Kaboul are restored to the centre of defence as Harry Redknapp picks the same backline that fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Everton 11 days ago.
Begovic; Diao, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson; Pennant, Wilson, Palacios, Walters; Crouch, Jerome. Subs: Sorenson, Whelan, Jones, Whitehead, Upson, Delap, Shotton
...and now the away side:
Friedel; Assou-Ekotto, King, Kaboul, Walker; Bale, Modric, Parker, Krancjar; Van der Vaart; Saha Subs: Dos Santos, Defoe, Cudicini, Rose, Livermore, Sandro, Nelsen
First of all, the line-ups. The home side is up first:
My name is Alex Young and you can get in touch with your thoughts on the game via @GoalUK or @alexwsyoung on Twitter.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Tottenham and Stoke City from White Hart Lane.
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