TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 V STOKE CITY 1
The pundits are agreed that Tottenham will finish in the top six this season.They have the quality players,an excellent management team,the pedigree.
By comparison Stoke are the mongrels,a collection of others misfits,who play one dimensional football.
Today's match will provide much food for thought,and may produce a revision of those ideas.It was certainly Stoke's day.Kranjar hit a post,and Beattie completed a miraculous clearance from under his own bar from a Crouch goalbound header.
Our first away win of the season at a ground where we never really coped last season, and others have been hammered out of sight this.A clean sheet against a prolific expensive forward line.A first win at White Hart Lane since the heady days of Greenhoff and Hudson nearly 40 years ago.
All this in front of England boss Fabio Capello.
Stoke,starting with two changes from last week with Wilkinson in for suspended Huth,and Simonsen a late substitute for flued up Sorensen,spent more time than was comfortable in their own last third in the early stages.Simonsen pulled off some fine saves,as the Stoke team grew in confidence,certainly defensively if not in terms of goal threat.
The second half pattern was similar with Stoke holding their own.It was not until the 86th minute that the deadlock was broken.Ricardo Fuller forced his way to the by-line.His cutback was met by substitute Glen Whelan,matching his fine effort for the Republic of Ireland recently,his right foot shot curling into the top corner of the net.
Stoke survived - despite 5 minutes of added on time- to record a momentous win.This keeps them in 9th spot.
After the match Tony Pulis was clearly a happy man.....but evidently a man with his feet firmly on the ground...already looking forward to a difficult derby match against Wolves next Saturday.