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December 29, 2013
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 36072
M. Dembélé 65'
A. Lennon 69'
FULL TIME: Tottenham 3-0 Stoke - a comprehensive victory for the Lilywhites, who dominated from start to finish and eventually ground out three goals to show for their efforts. I've been Livio Caferoglu and it's goodbye from me!
Four minutes of injury time are added on.
Yellow Card Erik Lamela
Pieters goes down in a heap after milking a trip from Lamela. The Dutchman requires treatment here, as the minutes wind down.
Lamela reminds me a lot of an early Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the skill and footwork to boot, but needs that extra yard of pace and dose of strength to hold off opposition players.
Chadi shows a burst of pace down the left-hand side, leaving Cameron in his wake, but again Soldado can't quite get a touch to finish off the winger's cross!
Lamela is growing in stature as he finds Dembele free near the edge of the Stoke box, and the Belgian sends Soldado through, yet the attacker still can't seem to buy a goal from open play as his finish hits the backside of a Potters defender, before rolling out of control for Lamela to latch onto!
Adebayor, who has been hugely instrumental this afternoon, is replaced by Chadli. It seems Sherwood is using this period to blood in some of Spurs' summer arrivals - a task that should have been undertaken earlier in the season!
Lamela plays a series of one-twos with team-mates in a bid to accustom himself with the tempo of the match, before being found in the box and playing through Naughton, but the full-back's cross hits a Stoke defender.
LAMELAAAA!!!! The Argentine charges onto a visionary Adebayor through ball, yet Begovic does just enough to force through a corner from the attacker's close-range effort.
Lennon goes off to a standing ovation, and in his place comes Lamela with the perfect opportunity to showcase his undoubted potential after a sluggish start to life in England.
Stoke are upping the ante as they search for a route back into matters. A long ball is pumped into the box from deep by Pieters, but Lloris is there to pick up the pieces despite Crouch's knock-down.
Assist Emmanuel Adebayor
Goal Aaron Lennon
Goal Aaron Lennon
THREE TO SPURS!!!!!!!!!! Yet another splendid attacking move sees Eriksen and Adebayor link up in the final third, before the striker plays the ball - albeit accidentally to Lennon - and the winger fires an awesome volleyed strike into the top-left corner!
Tottenham are surely home and dry now after finding the goal that should clinch the three points - in no part thanks to Dembele's moment of inspiration. Can they find the motivation to add to their lead?
Goal Mousa Dembele
Goal Mousa Dembélé
WHAT A GOAL!!!!!!! It's the least of what Tottenham deserve this afternoon. Dembele receives the ball from Adebayor and skips past N'Zonzi multiple times before smashing an effort low and hard past Begovic from 20 yards out! Game, set and match now.
Capoue concedes a free kick to mark his first taste of the action, and a free kick is launched into the Spurs area, which Naughton reads to perfection by putting out a leg to deny Assaidi.
Adam lives up to his billing as he treads on Paulinho's ankle and forces the midfielder off, to be replaced by Etienne Capoue.
Lloris, untested for 61 minutes of the match, shows great concentration levels to jump off his line and read an air-ball destined for Crouch.
AND AGAIN!!! How is he missing these chances... these were his bread and butter at Valencia! Lennon works superbly to bypass Cameron and tee up Soldado, who is free in the middle of the box, yet he can only scuff the ball straight at Begovic!
SOLDADOOO!!! The striker's decision-making is under the spotlight once more as he is played in magnificently well by Lennon from the right, but he runs with the ball for too long and ends up slicing his cross near the byline.
Dawson is turned inside-out by Walters in the final third - the first time Stoke have launched a discernible attack this half - and Dembele does his team-mate a favour by backing into the forward. Adam's free-kick goes over the wall but only wide of the target.
Eriksen tries his luck for a second time from a promising position, but it's far too high to test Begovic between the sticks.
Yellow Card Jonathan Walters
Yellow Card Ryan Shawcross
Yellow Card Mousa Dembele
Dembele drifts past Walters after peeling inside from the left, yet the Irishman refuses to give up and forces through a free kick to Tottenham after relentlessly pulling the Belgian's shirt.
Paulinho sells Adebayor a little short with a pass out on the wide right, and the striker does all he can to win a corner for his team.
Charlie Adam, the bane of many Tottenham supporters, comes on in place of the invisible Stephen Ireland.
Eriksen is found in space, as he approaches the Stoke area, but he drags his low shot and it ends up in Begovic's grasp.
Straight from kick-off, Tottenham infiltrate the Stoke box with Paulinho, but again his strike his wayward and it soars into the stand behind the goal.
We're back under way for the second half! Thanks for joining me again.
HALF TIME: Tottenham 1-0 Stoke
45' + 1'
Just the single minute of time to be added on. Moments earlier, Spurs put together another fine move, which Paulinho flicks on for Adebayor, who in turn finds Fryers down the left, and the full-back's cross asks questions of the Stoke defence as it is cleared at the back post for a corner.
Soldado sees the funny side of Lennon's cross, which he strikes AWAY from goal! He wouldn't be so amused if he didn't score his earlier penalty, I'm sure...
Pieters is having a torrid afternoon as Paulinho shifts past the full-back with ease, before firing a shot high and wide in full throttle.
THE HANDBAGS ARE IN FULL FORCE! Adebayor and N'Zonzi go for a 50-50 on the edge of the box, but the Frenchman decides to take matters into his own hands and swings an arm around the forward's head! A talking-to from the ref quickly stops the issue from escalating.
Paulinho exhibits some of his Samba culture on a cold winter afternoon in north London, as he lobs the ball three times over Pieters and wins his side a free kick - all to the warmth of the Spurs crowd!
Penalty Goal Roberto Soldado
SOLDADO ENDS HIS DROUGHT FROM THE SPOT!!! Chiriches launches a diagonal ball into the box, which Adebayor controls with his chest before acrobatically volleying, but it clearly rebounds off the flailing hands of Shawcross. Soldado steps up and, cool as you like, sweeps the penalty into the bottom-left corner.
PENALTY TO TOTTENHAM!!!!!!
Another cross is hauled into the box, and again no-one can make a connection with it. A bit strange that Lennon chose to use his left foot, rather than his right foot, to whip in the ball.
OH SOLDADO, NOT AGAIN!!! The Spanish forward must be cursing his luck. Fryers floats a deep cross into the box, yet the striker's glancing header is not too far away!
The hosts may have had more than 60 per cent of possession so far, but they're not looking dangerous enough on the attack. A lack of a true left-sided outlet is also beginning to cost them. A far cry from the days of Gareth Bale...
SUPERB tackle by Dawson who waits for the right moment to slide into Assaidi, after the Moroccan winger dashes into the box from a quick-fire break.
Stoke continue to do plenty of chasing. with Spurs spreading play around at will. This time, Eriksen, Adebayor and Paulinho all link up beautifully on the left, yet the on-rushing Dane is beaten to the ball at the last second and a corner is given.
Spurs are winning the ball back as soon as Stoke try to push forward. All the more impressive when you consider that there isn't a ball-winner present in their line-up this afternoon.
Just as I say that, Adebayor holds the ball up effectively by keeping the ball and waiting for Fryers to overlap him on the left, but the former Manchester United starlet's low cross is too near Begovic in the Potters goal.
Spurs need to crank up the penetration if they are to successfully open up the Stoke rearguard. Again, Adebayor is found holding onto the ball for far too long, and his fellow attackers are spotted playing head-tennis in and around the Stoke 'D'.
Adebayor looks for a one-two on the edge of the box, but Wilkinson denies him. Dawson is then there to blast the ball out of play after quelling the prospect of a Stoke counterattack.
SHOULD'VE DONE BETTER! Stoke get their first genuine sight of goal in the opening 18 minutes, as Crouch somehow gets a flicker of the ball following a mix-up in the Lilywhites' defence, but Lloris is quick to address the situation.
SOLDADOOOO!! The Spaniard's hard-work is surely close to paying off here, as his strike from a tight angle on the edge of the box whistles inches wide!
WHAT A MISS!!! You'd have put your house on Adebayor scoring, judging by his recent renaissance in front of goal. Dembele puts Lennon through with an inch-perfect ball which splits the Stoke defence in two, and the Leeds youth product's cut-back meets the Togo international, yet he cannot steer his attempt goalbound from a matter of yards out!
Cameron is working extremely hard down the left to keep Lennon at bay. On this occasion, he reads the winger's run to the byline, which is rather predictable.
Tottenham put together another sequence of passes deep in the Stoke half, and eventually Adebayor wins his side a corner, having seen his cross shut out in an instant.
Lennon wriggles his way into the box once more, but again his cross is too low to reach any of the Londoners' strikers waiting in the goalmouth.
Soldado is roaming all over the final third as he is unfortunate to concede a throw-in down the left-hand side. Seconds earlier, he was the unfortunate recipient of a strong Palacios challenge.
Not for the first time this campaign, a Spurs cross ricochets off an opposition shirt, with Eriksen this time the fall guy on the far right.
Paulinho, who appears to be starting in a wide-left position, peels in-field and attempts a one-two with Fryers, but Shawcross does well to break up the move.
Walters gets back up moments later and causes havoc in the Spurs backline! A long, diagonal pass is squared for the Irish forward, but Fryers does just enough to shepherd the ball for his goalkeeper to collect.
Nothing comes of the Dane's effort. Nevertheless, Mark Hughes looks despondent on the sidelines as he witnesses Jonathan Walters needing treatment after coming off badly from a 50-50 with Dembele.
Soldado is upended on the outskirts of the Stoke box by Cameron. Eriksen lines up the free kick in exactly the same spot as his wonder-strike against West Brom...
Spurs get the match under way in their all-white home strip, going from right to left.
Meanwhile for Stoke, Glenn Whelan and Mark Wilson's dismissals in the 5-1 hammering handed to them by Newcastle three days ago means ex-Tottenham man Wilson Palacios and Andy Wilkinson are afforded starts in their absences.
New Spurs boss Tim Sherwood has made five changes from the side that drew 1-1 with West Brom on Boxing Day, with Paulinho having served his three-match ban to take his place alongside fellow returnee Mousa Dembele in midfield.
The players steam out onto the pitch. Kick-off is now well and truly upon us!
And last but not least, the Potters: Sorensen; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Cameron, Pieters; Walters, Palacios, Nzonzi, Ireland, Assaidi; Crouch.
Right, let's crack on. Here's how the hosts will line up today: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Chiriches, Fryers; Lennon, Paulinho, Dembele, Eriksen; Adebayor, Soldado.
Hello and welcome to LIVE commentary of the Premier League clash between Tottenham and Stoke City! I'm Livio Caferoglu - the man entrusted with the responsibility of guiding you through all the action as it happens at White Hart Lane.
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