Lennon on fire as Spurs bounce back from Carling Cup gloom
Spurs 4 Middlesbrough 0 AARON Lennon scored twice as Tottenham bounced back from their Carling Cup final shoot-out defeat at Wembley with a thumping victory over fellow Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough at the Lane on Wednesday night, writes PATRIC
Spurs 4 Middlesbrough 0
AARON Lennon scored twice as Tottenham bounced back from their Carling Cup final shoot-out defeat at Wembley with a thumping victory over fellow Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough at the Lane on Wednesday night, writes PATRICK MOONEY.
The win lifts Spurs to 13th place in the table, four points clear of the drop zone and puts them in good heart for Saturday's visit to the Stadium of Light.
Although strikers Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko fired Tottenham 2-0 ahead after 14 minutes it was the Lennon's performance which really excited Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.
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The flying winger, who mesmerised Manchester United's Patrice Evra with his pace on Sunday, produced another man-of-the match performance again in front of the watching England coach Fabio Capello.
"Aaron's in fantastic form, and you felt something would happen every time he got the ball," said Redknapp.
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"The little fella is flying at the moment. He's learning the game - he's only a kid. Aaron's got all the equipment."
Spurs no signs of a hangover from Sunday's Carling Cup defeat and were quickly into their stride on Wednesday. Skipper Keane opened the scoring with his first goal since returning to the Lane in the fourth minute, prodding home from close range after Michael Dawson had nodded on Luka Modric's in-swinging corner.
Soon after Boro's Tuncay was denied an equaliser by a tight offside decision, But the visitors' defensive problems continued and they fell further behind after 14 minutes, this time thanks to some more magic by Modric.
His clever dummy bought him time as he ran on to Keane's cross and fired a perfect low cross for Pavlyuchenko to slide home, again from close range.
Boro's defending was terrible throughout the first half. Julio Arca gave the ball to the impressive Modric soon afterwards and, when the Croatian fed Keane, it took a smart block by Brad Jones to stop Spurs adding to their lead.
A third goal eventually arrived before the break and it was well worth waiting for. Tottenham were allowed to spray the ball around the pitch before it came to Keane and he had time to turn and look up before threading a pass through for Lennon to supply a clinical finish under finish under Jones.
Although Boro improved somewhat after the break, they failed to force Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes - preferred to Carlo Cudicini - into a save of note. The closest they came to scoring was when Tuncay's cross looped over Gomes and hit a post.
Spurs seemed content to sit on their handsome lead but there was still time for Lennon to round off the scoring 11 minutes from time following another delightful move that saw substitute Darren Bent and Keane combine for the winger to clip the ball over Jones and high into the net.
Tottenham: Gomes, Zokora, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas (Huddlestone 64), Modric (O'Hara 73), Pavlyuchenko (Bent 53), Keane. Not Used: Cudicini, Bentley, Chimbonda, Corluka.