Sunday, 8 May 2011

Tottenham 1-1 Blackpool

A late 25-yard strike from Jermain Defoe earned Tottenham a point against Blackpool after the hosts had conceded two second-half penalties in a minute.Charlie Adam converted a 76th-minute spot-kick after Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes had fouled Gary Taylor-Fletcher.Gomes had saved a penalty moments earlier from the same player after Michael Dawson handled in the area.But Defoe struck powerfully past Matthew Gilks in the 89th minute to level a dramatic encounter.However, Tottenham could be without inspirational winger Gareth Bale for their remaining games - at Manchester City on Tuesday, at Liverpool on 15 May and at home to Birmingham on 22 May - after the Wales international left the pitch on a stretcher with an ankle injury following a rash Adam challenge.The result will frustrate the north Londoners, whose prospects of qualifying for the fourth and final Champions League place look increasingly bleak ahead of Tuesday's trip to Eastlands - City effectively need a point to deny Spurs a second successive top-four finish.
Tottenham, who have only won once in nine Premier League matches, were once again profligate in front of goal with Rafael Van der Vaart, Bale and Luka Modric all spurning excellent chances, especially in the early stages of the second half.
However, the result gives Blackpool fresh impetus in their quest to maintain their Premier League status with games at home to Bolton next Saturday and away to Manchester United on the final day of the campaign remaining.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp made two changes to the team that controversially lost to Chelsea, with Danny Rose making his first appearance in a Tottenham shirt in over a year at left-back, while Defoe replaced Aaron Lennon, who was dropped to the bench.
A lively first half saw both sides create good chances, but neither could produce a deft finish in front of goal as opportunities were squandered.
A thumping left-footed volley by Adam was brilliantly saved by Gomes in the 24th minute, while a Van der Vaart pass dissected Blackpool's back four and found Defoe, but the striker's run was a fraction too early as he was rightly adjudged offside before rifling the ball into the back of the net.
The hosts dominated the opening exchanges of the second half as the introduction of Lennon, on for the redundant Roman Pavlyuchenko, allowed Redknapp's men to play the kind of expansive game which enthralled fans at the start of the season.
England winger Lennon's pace opened up Blackpool's defence, but numerous opportunities could not be converted as the crowd's impatience began to show.
Gomes made yet another excellent save, this time to deny DJ Campbell from eight yards after good work from David Vaughan sent the striker through.
Bale's withdrawal increased the home faithful's worries - further exacerbated when Dawson was adjudged to have handled an Adam corner in the 75th minute.
But the Scotland midfielder's low strike was brilliantly saved by Gomes, diving to his left - only for the Brazilian keeper to concede a thoroughly needless penalty less than 60 seconds later when he chased a bobbling ball through a throng of players inside his own box.
Referee Lee Probert deemed that Gomes had obstructed Taylor-Fletcher and Adam stepped up and hammered his second penalty into the top-left corner.
But Defoe grabbed a late equaliser for Spurs when he collected the ball 30 yards out before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the bottom right corner for only his fourth goal of the Premier League campaign.

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