MATCH SPY: Woodgate shines as Spurs edge out Newcastle
From White Hart Lane tottenham h 1 Bent 24 newcastle 0 Att: 35,850 DARREN Bent s first-half goal was enough to earn Tottenham all three points against relegation-threatened Newcastle at the Lane on Sunday lunchtime, writes
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DARREN Bent's first-half goal was enough to earn Tottenham all three points against relegation-threatened Newcastle at the Lane on Sunday lunchtime, writes Patrick Mooney.
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Bent took his tally to 11 goals from 20 Premier League starts this season, but with Jermain Defoe now fit again - he came on for the 12 minutes after 11 weeks being out with a foot injury - knows he will drop down the pecking list.
Harry Redknapp paired Bent with Robbie Keane up front while Michael Dawson came in for the unfit Ledley King at the back while Tom Huddlestone retained his place in midfield in the absence of Jermaine Jenas.
Spurs dominated the first period and should have had more than the one goal to show for their superiority at the break. Bent soon tested Steven Harper with a shot from a corner before grabbing the all important goal after 24 minutes.
Luka Modric's pass, intended for Keane, was intercepted by Steven Taylor's last-gasp tackle and the ball fell for Bent to beat Harper at the second attempt.
The influential Huddlestone then saw a shot saved by Harper, before Spurs were forced to reshuffle their defence when Dawson injured an ankle. He was replaced by Alan Hutton, who went to right back with Vedran Corluka partnering Jonathan Woodgate.
Despite the changes Spurs continued to control the game and Modric saw a powerful shot saved by Harper. The keeper was happy to see the first of Huddlestone's many long-range efforts just miss the target before Bent headed wide from Huddlestone's cross just before the break.
Although Newcastle improved slightly in the second half, thanks mainly to the arrival of Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka, Spurs continued to create chances.
The best fell to Woodgate 10 minutes from time but his powerful header from Modric's corner was brilliantly tipped over by Harper.
SPURS MAN OF THE GAME Joanthan Woodgate. May not be wanted by Fabio Capello but a rock in Spurs' defence.
Team: Gomes 7, Corluka 7, Dawson 7 (Hutton 6, 33), Woodgate 8, Assou-Ekotto 7, Huddlestone 7, Palacios 7, Modric 7, Lennon 7, Keane 6, Bent 7 (Defoe 6, 75). Not used: Cudicini, Bentley, Bale, Zokora, Campbell. Booked: Assou-Ekotto.