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Defoe hails Spurs team-mates after sinking Panathinaikos

Tottenham's Jermain Defoe (centre) celebrates scoring their third goal of the game with team-mate Aaron Lennon (left) and Mousa Dembele (right). Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire. Tottenham's Jermain Defoe (centre) celebrates scoring their third goal of the game with team-mate Aaron Lennon (left) and Mousa Dembele (right). Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Friday, December 7, 2012
7:14 AM

Jermain Defoe paid tribute to the architects of the three goals as Tottenham confirmed their place in the last 32 of the Europa League following a 3-1 victory over Panathinaikos at White Hart Lane.

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Emmanuel Adebayor put Tottenham ahead just before the half hour, but the Greeks played the better football and deservedly equalised through Zeca just after the re-start.

Clint Dempsey - whose header hit the bar before going in off keeper Orestis Karnezis - and Defoe eased a tense atmosphere as they secured victory and sent Spurs through.

Defoe has now scored five goals in as many games and he told ITV 4: “When you play with good players they will always create chances for the forwards to score.”

He added: “It’s been good - not just me and Ade [Emmanuel Adebayor] - I think everyone played their part.

“Hopefully we can keep it going - it was a good victory.

“Everyone wants to do well in the competition - we want to win it.

“Now we’ve got an important game at the weekend against Everton, a great side.”

Adebayor added: “We are through and very happy.

“We [me and Defoe] are trying to know each better. We have to look forward.”

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas admitted his side had “felt a bit of anxiety” during the second half as the Greeks continued to attack.

However, their recent scoring form gave cause for confidence.

He told ITV4: “We’ve been scoring lots of goals.

“We have goals in ourselves and excellent people assisting and scoring.”

The Portuguese’s strong selections have been vindicated by their progress, and he added: “If we were sitting 13th or 14th you would have an argument not to have us take this competition seriously.

“We proved that is the not the case. The motivation we will get from that is tremendous.”

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