Spurs strike twice in 95 seconds to shock QPR and earn first home win

18:12 23 September 2012

Gareth Bale (left) in action for Tottenham. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Gareth Bale (left) in action for Tottenham. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Premier League: Tottenham 2 QPR 1

Tottenham came from behind to strike twice in 95 seconds against QPR as Andre Villas-Boas earned his first home win of the season.

Having been held to three successive draws at White Hart Lane by West Brom, Norwich and Lazio, Spurs looked to be in trouble again today as they trailed 1-0 at half-time against an impressive QPR outfit, following Bobby Zamora’s opener against his former club.

However, an Alejandro Faurlin own goal levelled the scores on the hour-mark - and Jermain Defoe struck less than two minutes later to secure the Lilywhites’ second successive victory in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, winless QPR were left to reflect on their third defeat from their opening five top-flight fixtures – and they remain without a victory on the road in the league since a 3-2 triumph at Stoke last November.

With both Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Naughton out injured, Villas-Boas opted to play Gareth Bale at left-back and hand Clint Dempsey his first Premier League start for Spurs on the left of midfield.

Brad Friedel replaced Hugo Lloris between the sticks following the Frenchman’s debut against Lazio on Thursday night, and William Gallas and Gylfi Sigurdsson were also recalled to the side.

For the visitors, Anton Ferdinand’s absence from the QPR squad meant that Ryan Nelsen kept his place and lined up against his former side, while another ex-Spurs man Adel Taarabt missed out with a hamstring injury.

Spurs started brightly, with Aaron Lennon haring past Jose Bosingwa and crossing for Defoe, whose volley was blocked. Gyfli Sigurdsson was first to the loose ball and went down appealing for a penalty, but referee Phil Dowd dismissed the claim.

That early sprint proved too much for Bosingwa, who limped off with a hamstring injury in the second minute. He was replaced by Kieron Dyer, who came on to play at right-back, with Nedum Onuoha switching to left-back.

However, Rangers recovered from that early setback and forced Friedel into two fine saves in the opening quarter of an hour.

Clint Hill rose to meet a corner kick and saw a powerful header tipped over the bar, and Junior Hoilett then chested the ball over Kyle Walker and unleashed a superb volley which was brilliantly palmed away by the diving Friedel.

Spurs were dominating possession but were struggling to find a way through a hard-working Rangers midfield and penetrate the visiting defence, while Rangers continued to threaten on the break and from set pieces, with Nelsen heading over from another corner.

Tottenham briefly dissected the Rs’ rearguard as Sandro freed Defoe, who gifted Dempsey a simple finish into an open net – but the goal was disallowed for offside.

It was the second time in four days that the American had seen a goal ruled out at the Lane – and QPR promptly went up the other end and took the lead as Faurlin slid the ball through to Zamora, who finished past Friedel.

It was a deserved lead, and Mark Hughes’ side found another level after their opener, taking full control of the game and forcing Friedel into action again as the dangerous Hoilett jinked through the midfield and let loose from 30 yards.

Spurs, on the other hand, were reduced to something of a shambles, struggling to string any passes together. Lennon and Walker had a disagreement about their problems on the right flank, while Dempsey misplaced a simple pass to Dembele and jesticulated angrily at the Belgian.

Tottenham had failed to bring a single save out of Julio Cesar in the first half, and the home fans unleashed a chorus of boos as Dowd blew his whistle to end the first period.

Villas-Boas responded by withdrawing Sigurdsson at the interval and introducing Steven Caulker at centre-back. Jan Vertonghen switched to left-back, with Bale moving up to the left wing and Dempsey taking up the No10 role behind Defoe.

The initial response was positive as Dempsey forced Cesar into his first stop with a swerving, 30-yard strike, and Caulker also saw a header parried away by the Brazilian keeper.

Rangers seemed to have regained control of the match before the hour-mark, finding their rhythm again, while Tottenham seemed to be struggling for inspiration - but the hosts turned the game on its head with two quickfire goals.

Lennon broke away from his own half and hared down the right flank to win a corner, and when the ensuing ball came in Caulker saw his looping header flicked into the net by the unfortunate Faurlin.

Moments later Vertonghen raced upfield and freed Bale, whose low drive struck Cesar and flew up onto the bar – and Defoe was on hand to record his sixth goalin nine games for club and country.

Spurs pushed for a killer third strike, and Dempsey tried his luck from distance again before Vertonghen and Bale combined down the left again, with Bale delivering across the goalmouth, narrowly in front of the lurking Defoe.

There was still all to play for though, and Spurs needed a stunning sliding challenge from Vertonghen to deny Hoilett a shot at goal from the middle of the penalty box.

At the other end Lennon crossed for Dempsey, whose header lobbed over Cesar, and Defoe had two attempts to force the ball over the line but was unable to double his tally.

Lennon then found Bale on the edge of the box, and the Welshman darted outside Onuoha but saw his effort saved by Cesar at the near post.

Having conceded decisive late goals against Newcastle, West Brom and Norwich, there was obvious tension in the Tottenham ranks as the minutes ticked away.

Villas-Boas was on his feet throughout the final stages, standing soaking wet in his suit, and his assistants cut equally agitated and animated figures in the dug-out.

There were four added minutes of torture to endure – and Spurs nearly grabbed a third goal as substitute Andros Townsend broke away and freed Defoe, who brought a superb save from Cesar.

That was the final action of the game, and the full-time whistle brought a delirious celebration from Villas-Boas as Spurs moved up to eighth place in the table, while QPR remain in the bottom three with two points from five games.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Vertonghen, Gallas, Bale, Sandro, Dembele, Lennon (Townsend 90), Sigurdsson (Caulker 45), Dempsey (Huddlestone 87), Defoe

QPR: Cesar, Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Bosingwa (Dyer 2), Faurlin, Park, Granero, Wright-Phillips, Hoilett, Zamora (Cisse 73).

Attendance: 36,052

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - August 29

 

Latest Stories

08:01
The Met is cracking down on homeless people and beggars (PA)

Homeless people and beggars in six London boroughs will be targeted by police today in a “robust” operation focussed on “disrupting and deterring rough sleeping.”

Read more
A stock photo of a lifeguard at the ladies' pond on Hampstead Heath.

Swimmers have defended a ban on young children at Hampstead Heath’s bathing ponds after a mother complained to a national newspaper about being kicked out with her baby.

Read more

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Match Reports

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
Guess the managers quiz

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
Which London club play their home games at this stadium...? (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground buff? Test your stadium knowledge with this brilliant quiz.

Read more

QPR Transfer News

Friday, August 29, 2014
Armand Traore of Queens Park Rangers (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has revealed Crystal Palace have made a move for R’s full back Armand Traore.

Read more
Friday, August 29, 2014
Get the latest transfer window updates from the sports team at London24

The transfer deadline is drawing near and you can keep track of all the latest news and gossip with the London24 live blog.

Read more
Friday, August 29, 2014
Harry Redknapp. Picture: PA

QPR boss Harry Redknapp has revealed he has been offered a two-year extension of his contract by R’s owner Tony Fernandes – and he won’t hesitate to sign it.

Read more
Friday, August 29, 2014
Alejandro Faurlin. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

The luckless Alejandro Faurlin has sustained a third anterior cruciate ligament injury in as many seasons and is now likely to miss most of the season.

Read more