A Jermain Defoe brace helped Tottenham secure their first win of the season after beating Reading 3-1 at the Madejski Stadium.
After one loss and two draws in his first three games, Andre Villas-Boas, was feeling the early season pressure as the Tottenham manager. Two home draws against West Brom and Norwich were both met with boos at the final whistle and the Portuguese man was very much in need of his first victory as Tottenham boss. As for newly promoted Reading, they have played a game less, as one of their games was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. They were still looking for their first victory of the season after drawing and losing in earlier games, however it was the away team that came home with all three points after a dominating performance by the North London team.
The away side looked comfortable all of the first half and easily dominated the game but wasted several chances until Jermain Defoe swept home from a Aaron Lennon cross in the 18th minute. It wasn’t the cleanest of strikes from the Englishmen, but his shot nestled into the bottom corner leaving the Reading goalkeeper stranded. That was the only goal they could find in the first half depsite their dominance of possession.
The second half was a lot more even and Reading even looked like they could snatch something from the game. They looked a lot more comfortable on the ball and showed that they were ready to put up a fight. However in the 70th minute after great work from the right back, Kyle Walker, the ball fell to Gareth Bale who scuffed the shot but saw the ball loop into the top corner to make it 2-0 and to put the game to bed.
The goal of the game followed just three minutes later. Jermain Defoe picked up the ball just in the Reading half and stormed towards the last two Reading defenders. Gareth Bale pealed off to the right and dragged away one of the defenders, but Defoe wanted to go by himself and he then rifled the ball into the corner to make it 3-0 and to wrap up all three points for Spurs. Villas-Boas’ reaction on the touchline showed a sigh of relief and delight as he was just 15 minutes away from winning his first game as Tottenham boss.
In their last two games, Tottenham have conceded two late goals and that run continued with Reading sub, Hal Robson-Kanu, slotted home a consolation goal for Reading late-on.
Tottenham, goalscorer, Jermain Defoe hailed the players he has working around him after scoring two goals today:
“When you’re playing with quality players it’s not a problem [scoring]. 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 – when it’s 1-0 you panic a bit. It could have been a lot more. When a new manager comes to club it takes time [to produce results].”
The manager of Tottenham was also very proud of his players and is relieved to get the first win of the season:
“It was a well-deserved win. Everyone performed to their top level and it is a win that will lift us up for the season. We created lots of chances and the second goal gave us the stability. It was a good solid performance from everybody. The most important thing today was the motivation of the players to change the negative results at home. We were very good against West Brom, but not as prolific as today. Jermain [Defoe] is showing his abilities, the amount of shots he has on target is amazing. Every player improves through time and as the lone striker up front, he is linking well with the colleagues.”
So the first three points on the board for Villas-Boas and his men leave Tottenham in 10th place on five points, whilst Reading are sitting in 19th on just one point, but they have a game in hand.
Alex William Batt