Adebayor puts Spurs back on track

Published: Monday | December 23, 2013 Comments 0
Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor (second left) celebrates his goal against Southampton with teammates, during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's stadium, Southampton, England, yesterday. Tottenham won 3-2. - AP
Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor (second left) celebrates his goal against Southampton with teammates, during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's stadium, Southampton, England, yesterday. Tottenham won 3-2. - AP
Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (left) scores as West Ham United's James Collins (on bottom) looks on, during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, last Saturday. - AP
Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (left) scores as West Ham United's James Collins (on bottom) looks on, during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, last Saturday. - AP

LONDON (AP):

Just six points off the summit with the English Premier League's best away record, Tottenham seem far from in crisis, however, much the club appears to be in disarray.

A week after Andre Villas-Boas saw his team routed 5-0 by Liverpool before being fired, interim manager Tim Sherwood's first experience of English Premier League management was a 3-2 victory at Southampton yesterday.

Adebayor has been brought in from the cold by Sherwood after being exiled by Villas-Boas and marked his first league start of the season by providing two goals, including the match winner.

Sherwood, though, doesn't know if he'll still be in charge for Thursday's match against West Bromwich Albion, who are also searching for a new manager.

"I don't want (the job) on a temporary basis - I want it for the long term," Sherwood said.

A sixth away win of the campaign moved Tottenham four points from fourth place, where Everton sit, after Ross Barkley's free kick clinched a 2-1 win at Swansea in the day's other game.

Everton's stay in fourth won't last long if Chelsea, who are a point behind, win at third-place Arsenal today.

The season had opened with Southampton emerging as top-four contenders, but the Saints are now without a win in six games.

The south-coast team had led against Tottenham after Adam Lallana scored his fourth of the season in the 13th minute. Fed by Danny Fox, Lallana turned Vlad Chiriches before striking low past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The first from Adebayor, though, brought Tottenham level in the 25th, with the Togo striker sticking out his right boot to meet Roberto Soldado's cross and volley into the net.

The first goal by a Tottenham striker in the league since October jolted the visitors into action and Spurs were more purposeful from that moment.

They went in front in the 54th following a slick move that ended with Danny Rose's cross being turned inadvertently into his own goal by Southampton defender Jos Hooiveld.

In a thrilling game, the hosts were back in it within five minutes.

Lloris raced off his line to meet Lallana, but the Southampton captain squared for Rickie Lambert to tap the equaliser into an open net.

Parity didn't last long as Adebayor inflicted the final blow in the 64th against a team that had boasted one of the best defensive records in Europe in the opening weeks of the season.

The ball broke for Adebayor after Tottenham defender Kyle Walker attempted to bundle the ball forward, and the former Arsenal and Manchester City striker slotted into the net.

Having waited until November 24 to make his first appearance of the season, Adebayor only featured again last Wednesday with Sherwood in charge.

After scoring in Tottenham's League Cup loss to West Ham on Wednesday, a resurgent Adebayor now has three goals in two games.

TOP PLAYER

"We all know he's a top player," Sherwood said. "He doesn't need any motivating to go play now because he's not played for a long time. He's a top player and is certainly warranting his place in the team at the moment ... I've not had to gee him up.

"All I've said is: 'There you go Ade, you are going to play and I want you to attack. I want the defenders to defend and the midfielders to play in midfield. Go out there, crack on and do what you do.' It's a simple game."

At Swansea, Barkley stole the show even before netting the winner in the 84th minute, beating goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel with a free kick that came off the underside of the bar on its way in.

"It's a relief because I had a chance to score with 20 minutes to go and I slipped," Barkley said. "So to see the free kick go in was a bonus and great for the team."

Barkley's goal spared Bryan Oviedo's blushes after Dwight Tiendalli's strike deflected off the Everton defender and landed in his own net to cancel out Seamus Coleman's opener for the visitors.

It was manager Roberto Martinez's first win against his old club, which is 11th.

"We showed the desire and discipline to win the game and this is a very satisfying day," said Martinez, who managed Swansea between 2007and 2009 after playing for the south Wales club.

CRYSTAL PALACE 0, NEWCASTLE UNITED 3

GOALS:- NEWCASTLE: CABAYE 25th; GABBIDON 39th (OG); BEN ARFA 86th (PEN).

Newcastle beat Crystal Palace to record their sixth win in eight games and keep pace with the Barclays Premier League's leading pack. They took the lead through Yohan Cabaye, whose deflected shot from close range beat goalkeeper Julian Speroni. They doubled their advantage when defender Danny Gabbidon inadvertently turned in Mathieu Debuchy's low cross. Hatem Ben Arfa completed the win when he smashed home from the spot after Jonathan Parr had fouled Shola Ameobi.

FULHAM 2, MANCHESTER CITY 4

GOALS:- FULHAM: RICHARDSON 50th; KOMPANY 69th (OG). MANCHESTER CITY: TOURE 23rd; KOMPANY 43rd; JESUS NAVAS 78th; MILNER 83rd.

Manchester City moved up to second in the Premier League table after a thrilling victory against Fulham. Yaya Toure scored direct from a free kick and Vincent Kompany prodded in a second as City looked to be in control. Fulham pulled one back when Kieran Richardson finished off a counter-attacking move before Kompany sliced a clearance into his own net for 2-2. But Jesus Navas converted David Silva's pass to restore City's lead and James Milner tapped in a fourth goal late on.

LIVERPOOL 3, CARDIFF CITY 1

GOALS:- LIVERPOOL: SUAREZ 25th; 45th; STERLING 42nd; CARDIFF: MUTCH 58th.

Luis Suarez helped Liverpool move top of the league with a win over Cardiff, as doubts remain over the future of Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay. Mackay is in conflict with owner Vincent Tan and saw his side go behind through an 18-yard Luis Suarez volley. Suarez, who signed a contract extension last Friday, set up Raheem Sterling for a tap-in and curled in a shot before Jordon Mutch headed in for Cardiff.

STOKE CITY 2, ASTON VILLA 1

GOALS:- STOKE: ADAM 50th; CROUCH 70th. VILLA: KOZAK 66th.

Peter Crouch scored the winner against former club Aston Villa as he helped Stoke extend their unbeaten home league run to six games. Charlie Adam gave the Potters the lead when he latched on to a Crouch knockdown before tucking in a shot. Libor Kozak pounced on a poor headed backpass from Erik Pieters to slot in a Villa equaliser. But after keeper Brad Guzan missed a cross, the ball fell for Crouch to net from close range.

SUNDERLAND 0, NORWICH CITY 0

Sunderland head into Christmas bottom of the Barclays Premier League after a scrappy goalless draw with Norwich at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats are five points from safety, despite no wins for any of the clubs directly above them - Fulham, West Ham, Crystal Palace and West Brom. Wes Brown, who was later sent off, went closest for Sunderland, his header hitting the post after a scramble.

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 HULL CITY 1

GOALS:- WBA: VYDRA 86th. HULL: LIVERMORE 28th.

Matej Vydra's late equaliser rescued a point for West Brom against Hull City at The Hawthorns in caretaker boss Keith Downing's first game in charge. On-loan Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore gave Hull a deserved lead with a cool finish on the counter-attack. But Czech striker Vydra levelled four minutes from time with his first goal since joining on loan from Udinese. It was Albion's first point in five league games.


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