Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Blackburn Rovers

By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor from White Hart Lane

Struggling Blackburn's Premier League status hangs by a thread as they go into next week's D-day derby with Wigan needing realistically to win their remaining games after being beaten by a rejuvenated Tottenham side 2-0 at White Hart Lane. 

Spurs' top 4 challenge is back on track after goals from Rafael Van der Vaart and a screamer from Kyle Walker condemned poor Blackburn to a 5th consecutive away loss. 

Rovers were extremely poor throughout and only last-ditch defending, poor finishing, the woodwork and Paul Robinsin's saves kept the score to a respectable level. 


Blackburn became the first side not to have a single shot at goal since West Brom vs Manchester City in 2004. 

Spurs made 4 changes to the side beaten 1-0 at QPR: Ledley King was unfit so Younes Kaboul came in returning from injury; Danny Rose came in at left back replacing the injured Assou-Ekotto; Aaron Lennon came in for Scott Parker - who was also ruled out through injury, whilst Adebayor came in for Defoe who dropped to the bench. 

Blackburn were unchanged from the side that ended their horrific run of 5 straight defeats with a 2-0 over Norwich last time out.

The match started very slowly; Paul Robinson was untroubled in the Rovers goal. 

Sandro unleashed a dipping volley which crashed off the bar, showed Blackburn what they were up against. 

Nevertheless, Spurs had a few early sighters. They drew first blood on 21 minutes with Van Der Vaart scoring his 10th goal of the season. Bale ran into the box and his shot was blocked by Dann and Van Der Vaart's follow-up was blocked by Dann - although he was behind the line. The linesman saw and the goal was given. 

The returning Lennon was providing more threats down the right, and although he eventually shot wide, the run was a sign of Spurs' dominance. 

Paul Robinson made his first save on 37 minutes keeping out a shot by youngster Danny Rose, whose shot from the edge of the box nearly caught the former England keeper out. 

Tottenham hit the bar just beforw the break, William Gallas this time denied, rising highest to head towards goal from Van der Vaart's cross. 

Blackburn managed to get to half time just a goal down and if they didn't sort things out would suffer a thrashing: Yakubu and Hoilett had hardly had a kick in the 1st half. 

Spurs started the second half as they ended the first - on the front foot. Lennon, Modric and Kaboul all shot wide early in the second half as Blackburn just couldn't get hold of the ball. 

On the hour, Welsh Wizard Gareth Bale, who said this week that his future is uncertain if Spurs fail to get Champions League football, created some space for himself but couldn't direct his shot on target, and Rovers could breathe again. 

Though the home side were conforable in possession and with the visitors offering nothing going forward, Spurs just couldn't create a decent chance, and kill the game off. 


Sandro won 11 tackles, the most since Javier Mascherano for Liverpool vs Wigan in March 2010.

That changed on 74 minutes when Kyle Walker stepped up to take a free kick after Dunn had fouled Lennon - and was lucky to escape without a caution. 

Walker, the young player of the year, curled into the top corner an absolute stunner of a free kick which would even rival Cristiano Ronaldo's free kicks. It swerved from going wide into the top corner. Robinson who was on that side of the goal - was nowhere near it. 

With a late flurry of substitutions just killed the pace of the game, but the match was won, and with Newcastle losing, and Arsenal drawing, it was a good week for Tottenham with them moving back into 4th spot. 

Blackburn: lacked passion. Lacked fight. Lacked spirit. Laacked a cutting edge. Not good enough for a team struggling to stay in the league and are almost certainly facing the drop. Next week's derby with Wigan seems even more crucial. Anything less than a win and Rovers will be playing Championship football for the first time since 1999. 

Sunday 29th April 2012

Barclays Premier League

White Hart Lane


Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Blackburn Rovers                            KO 4pm               (HT 0-0)

Van der Vaart 22         
Walker 75


Tottenham:  24. Friedel- 6/10, 28. Walker- 8/10, 04. Kaboul- 6.5/10, 13. Gallas (C)- 6.5/10, 25. Rose- 7/10, 07. Lennon- 6/10 (Dos Santos 84- 1.5/10), 14. Modric- 7/10, 30. Sandro- 8.5/10 (Livermore 86- 2/10), 03. Bale- 7/10, 11. Van der Vaart- 8/10 (Defoe 88- 1/10), 10. Adebayor- 7.5/10.

Subs not used:  23. Cudicini, 15. Saha, 26. King, 33. Nelsen.

Booked:      None


Blackburn Rovers:  01. Robinson (C)- 7/10, 18. Orr- 6/10, 16. Dann- 6/10, 05. Givet- 6/10, 21. Marcus Olsson- 5/10, 10. Formica- 4/10, 08. Dunn- 5/10 (Goodwillie 84- 1/10), 35. Lowe- 5/10, 12. Pedersen- 4.5/10, 23. Hoilett- 5/10, 24. Yakubu- 4.5/10 (Modeste 72- 2.5/10).

Subs not used:  34. Kean, 03. Martin Olsson, 14. Petrovic, 15. N'Zonzi, 20. Rochina.  

Booked:      None


My Man of the Match:      Sandro (Tottenham)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:      Mauro Formica (Blackburn)- Rating 4/10 

Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)- 8.5/10
Attendance: 35,798

Match Facts

Possession: Tottenham- 64%              Blackburn 38%

Shots: Tottenham- 19              Blackburn 0

Shots on target: Tottenham- 8              Blackburn 0

Shots off target: Tottenham- 11              Blackburn 0

Corners: Tottenham- 6              Blackburn 1

Fouls: Tottenham- 5              Blackburn 14

Offside: Tottenham- 4              Blackburn 1

Assists: Tottenham- Bale and Lennon              Blackburn None

Harry Redknapp - Tottenham Hotspur Manager

"It's going to be close [the race for 4th]. You can't really see Chelsea losing many games at the moment, Newcastle have done a fantastic job to be where they are but have to play Chelsea [on Wednesday] so it's going to be interesting. Bolton are in good form, fighting for their lives, and Aston Villa need a result. We just have to keep winning games and if we win our games no-one can finish above us. I thought we really played well today, the movement was fantastic. [when Kyle stepped up to take the free kick] I looked to the bench and said 'Surely he isn't going to shoot from there' and he stuck it top corner. They were all laughing." 

Click here to hear the full interview with Harry Redknapp

Steve Kean - Blackburn Rovers Manager

"We need two massive performances now for the rest of the seaspm, but we're still in it. We need 3 points against Wigan and back-to-back clean sheets. We've had some massive performances home and away, we have got to believe' we have been written offmany times but we have always bounced back. We've got Wigan up next, it's a local derby, so that adds extra spice, and if we pick up three points there, we go to Chelsea and we keep going, keep chasing. We've had some monumental performances this season, some really good home wins, some back-to-back clean sheets. We'll probably need that again, and I have trust and faith in these lads. Today going forward we never got our passes together. When you don't circulate the ball enough you won't trouble their defenders. That's frustrating."

For the full interview with Rovers Manager Steve Kean, click here 

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