Defoe doubles up in first Spurs win for Villas-Boas
England striker Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed their first victory under Andre Villas-Boas courtesy of a 3-1 Premier League win away to Reading yesterday.
Spurs had drawn two and lost one of their three previous league matches this term under Villas-Boas.
And doubts were starting to surface at White Hart Lane as to whether the Portuguese, sacked by London rivals Chelsea before they won the Champions League last season, was the right man to replace the popular Harry Redknapp.
However, an early goal from Defoe helped settle the nerves of the travelling fans although it wasn’t until the 71st minute, when Gareth Bale made it 2-0, that Spurs could start to relax.
“It was a well-deserved win,” Villas-Boas said.
“Everyone performed to their top level and it is a win that will lift us up for the season.
“Jermain is showing his abilities, the amount of shots he has on target is amazing.”
Defoe gave Spurs an 18th minute lead at the Madejski Stadium when he stroked in a pull-back from Aaron Lennon after a burst down the right flank by the winger.
Spurs nearly had a second goal when an error by novice keeper Alex McCarthy, dwelling on the ball in the box, saw him dispossessed by Defoe.
Defoe cut the ball back for Gylfi Sigurdsson but the Iceland international was denied on the line by Alex Pearce.
At half-time, Reading could consider themselves fortunate to be only 1-0 down.
But, with such a slender deficit, the Royals were still in the game.
And that remained the case until 19 minutes from time when Bale finally gave Tottenham the second goal their dominance deserved.
Spurs added a third three minutes later when Defoe, on the break, beat McCarthy with a shot into the far corner.
“When you’re playing with quality players it’s not a problem (scoring),” Defoe said
“Today we had a lot of a ball and I made sure my movement was good. We wanted the second goal to settle us down.”
However, Tottenham were denied a clean sheet yesterday when Hal Robson-Kanu pulled a goal back for Reading in the closing moments.
“I thought we were too submissive and didn’t get on the ball enough or in their faces,” said Reading manager Brian McDermott after the match.
“We came up against a very good side today and they deserved the win.”
Defoe 18, 74; Bale 71;
HT: 0-1. Att: 24,160.
Everton vs Newcastle - 21.00
Saturday: 13.45 Swansea vs Everton. 16.00 Chelsea vs Stoke; Southampton vs Aston Villa; West Brom vs Reading; West Ham vs Sunderland; Wigan vs Fulham.
Sunday: 14.30 Liverpool vs Manchester United. 16.00 Newcastle vs Norwich. 17.00 Manchester City vs Arsenal; Tottenham vs QPR.
Wolves 2 - Leicester 1