Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lennon Stars as Spurs Hit Fab Four; England Could Be Beckoning Again for the Winger after His Double Helped Bury a Feeble Boro Side. by Tom Collomosse

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lennon Stars as Spurs Hit Fab Four; England Could Be Beckoning Again for the Winger after His Double Helped Bury a Feeble Boro Side. by Tom Collomosse

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse

TOTTENHAM 4 MIDDLESBROUGH 0

HARRY REDKNAPP spoke this week about how a quirk of the fixture list could make or break a team's season. If that is the case, then the Premier League schedule certainly smiled on Tottenham by presenting them with a home game against Middlesbrough at this stage of their campaign.

After their defeat on penalties by Manchester United in the Carling Cup Final three days earlier, some supporters were worried that Spurs would be there for the taking. But against a Boro side who were so feeble after a relatively bright start, Redknapp's team may still have won had this game begun an hour after their Wembley disappointment.

Redknapp complained bitterly last week that his team would be forced to play five games in 13 days -- this one was their fourth in that period -- but it has actually worked in his favour. Winger Aaron Lennon, who scored twice, admitted that having another match so soon after Wembley had taken the players' minds away from their failure.

As he looks ahead to Saturday's trip to Sunderland, where a victory would haul Spurs seven points clear of the relegation zone, Redknapp may wonder why he cannot make every area of his team work at the same time.

Against Boro, who have now lost 10 League away matches, Spurs played some superb attacking football, with Lennon, Robbie Keane and Luka Modric combin- ing well. Keane struck his first goal since returning to the club from Liverpool in January but also had a major influence in the second, scored by Roman Pavlyuchenko, and the third and fourth, both of which Lennon finished.

With Ledley King sidelined due to his persistent knee problems, Spurs did look shaky in defence early on. In only the third minute, Jonathan Woodgate gave the ball away to Spurs transfer target Stewart Downing on the edge of the penalty area, enabling Downing to fire in a low shot which Heurelho Gomes only just saved.

And with Spurs leading 1-0, Tuncay Sanli was allowed to run between Woodgate and Michael Dawson to collect a long pass and put the ball in the net, only to see his effort ruled out for offside..

Attacking style compromised by a lack of defensive steel might seem a familiar story for Spurs, yet it was the complete opposite against United. …

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