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MATCH SPY: Defoe strikes but Bent's miss is the talking point

PUBLISHED: 16:22 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:50 07 September 2010

From White Hart Lane Spurs 1 (Defoe 70) Portsmouth 1 (Nugent 59) Att: 36,011 SPURS had to be satisfied with a point despite creating a host of chances in Sunday s pulsating Premier League clash against Portsmouth at the Lane on Sunday, writes PATRICK MO

From White Hart Lane

Spurs 1 (Defoe 70)

Portsmouth 1 (Nugent 59)

Att: 36,011

SPURS had to be satisfied with a point despite creating a host of chances in Sunday's pulsating Premier League clash against Portsmouth at the Lane on Sunday, writes PATRICK MOONEY.

Jermain Defoe, who else, scored against his old club to cancel out David Nugent's powerful deflected strike. The point lifts Tottenham out of the relegation zone on goal difference. But the Lilywhites were left to rue one of the misses of the season from Darren Bent, who headed wide from five yards when it looked impossible to miss.

Defoe, on his home debut, spurned a glorious chance early on, drilling wide after intercepting Sean Davis's crazy cross-field pass.

Spurs continued to keep Pompey keeper David James busy during the first half but the England No.1 was up to the task, pulling off a series of top-class saves to deny Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Ledley King. A the other end, Vedran Corluka made a goal-saving tackle on Armand Traore while Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes denied Nugent in a one-on-one.

Spurs were forced to replace the injured King (hamstring) with Michael Dawson just before the break and Harry Redknapp's side fell behind when Nugent drilled home - just 19 seconds after James had denied Lennon at the other end.

Tottenham regrouped and, with David Bentley on for Gareth Bale, levelled when Defoe fired home through Sol Campbell's legs after being set up by Luka Modric.

Spurs surged forward in the closing quarter of an hour and should have been rewarded when Bentley's cross found Bent totally unmarked at the far post, but inexplicably, he directed his header wide.

SPURS PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Jonathan Woodgate. Towering display from the centre-half after King's exit.

SPURS: Gomes; Corluka, Woodgate, King (Dawson, 44), Bale (Bentley, 68); Lennon, Zokora, Modric, O'Hara; Pavlyuchenko (Bent, 30) Defoe. Subs not used: Alnwick, Huddlestone, Campbell, Taarabt.


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