Match Report: Pompey 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Portsmouth got back to winning ways this afternoon after a comfortable win against bottom-of-the-table Tottenham.

Former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe opened the scoring from the penalty spot, after Jermaine Jenas foolishley handled a Glen Little free-kick inside his area.

Record-signing Peter Crouch doubled the home team’s lead after half time, nodding the ball into the back of the net after Armand Traore’s shot was originally saved.

Spurs never looked as though they’d score this afternoon, although they did have a penalty shout when Lassana Diarra was judged to have handled the ball from Aaron Lennon’s cross.

With today’s win, Pompey now move up to ninth in the table and will be a boost to Harry Redknapp’s side after suffering two heavy defeats previously.

Spurs have now only managed to collect two points from the opening six league games, pushing Juande Ramos closer to the exit door.

It is officially Spurs’ worst start to the season for 53 years and after today’s performance, surely things can only get better for them.

The side lacked belief, creativity and confidence towards the end of the match with former Charlton man Darren Bent being guilty of wasting two good chances.

One player who will have more reason to celebrate today’s result than anyone else, is Jermain Defoe.

The striker was found surplus to requirements at the White Hart Lane club, spending most of his time on the bench, deemed second best compared to Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.

And whilst those two strikers have sinced moved on for big money, it is Jermain Defoe that has had the finer start to the season.

The England international moved to Pompey for £7.5 million in the January transfer window and has since had a new burst of life on the South Coast.

Defoe started bright alongside Peter Crouch this afternoon, having an early goal ruled out for offside after good work by his strike partner.

However it was Richard Hughes who had the first clear-cut opportunity, with a low left-footed drive, which was punched away by the Brazilian, Heurelho Gomes.

Hughes went close for a second time when his far-post volley from a Pompey corner, was somehow kept out from Gomes.

After 34 minutes, Pompey finally took the lead. Jermaine Jenas was guilty of handelling in the area and Defoe confidently scored from the resulting penalty, making it six goals in five outings.

Spurs looked most threatening from set-pieces with new signing Roman Pavlyuchenko going close with a header from a David Bentley free-kick.

Lacking ideas, Ramos brought on Lennon at the start of the second-half, with the under-21 international nearly having an immediate impact.

The pacey winger drilled in a cross from the left hand side, which seemed to hit Diarra’s arm. However referee Mike Dean, refuted claims for a penalty and allowed play to go on.

Pompey took advantage of this and soon doubled their lead. After a mazey run by Defoe, he soon set Armand Traore up for a shot, which was to then be parried, by Gomes, into the path of the former Tottenham trainee Peter Crouch, who cooly headed in his second goal of the season. 

With minutes to spare, Lassana Diarra was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card of the game, after a clumsy tackle on Spurs left-back Assou-Ekotto.

The Frenchman will now serve a one-match ban and will miss Pompey’s next league encounter with Stoke City.

Fortunately for Pompey fans, the combative midfielder will be available for selection against Vitoria SC on Thursday evening.

Portsmouth Squad: James, Johnson, Campbell (c), Distin, Belhadj, Little (Utaka 61), Hughes, Diarra, A. Traore, Crouch, Defoe (Kaboul 89)

Unused subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Pamarot, Mvuemba, Kanu

Sent Off: Diarra (88)

Booked: Diarra, Belhadj, Crouch , Hughes

Goals: Defoe pen 34, Crouch 68

Tottenham Squad: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Jenas, Zokora (Giovani 58), O’Hara, Gilberto (Lennon 46), Pavyluchenko (Bent 73)

Subs not used: Cesar, Huddlestone, Modric, Gunter.

Booked: Woodgate, O’Hara, Lennon.

Attendance: 20,352

Referee: Mike Dean

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