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Aaron strikes twice as Robbie re-opens account

Posted on 4 March 2009  - 12:00

Robbie Keane marked his 200th league appearance in our colours by scoring his first goal since rejoining the Club in a vital 4-0 win over Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane.

Aaron strikes twice as Robbie re-opens account

Robbie Keane marked his 200th league appearance in our colours by scoring his first goal since rejoining the Club in a vital 4-0 win over Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane.

The in-form Aaron Lennon also struck twice in the win which takes us up to 13th in the Barclays Premier League table.

Roman Pavlyuchenko got his name on the scoresheet as well as we put the disappointment of our Carling Cup Final defeat well and truly behind us.

There were three changes to the side defeated at Wembley on Sunday. Keane and Wilson Palacios, who were cup-tied for that game, both reclaimed their places in the starting line-up at the expense of Darren Bent and Vedran Corluka.

Didier Zokora switched to right-back, allowing Palacios to take up his central midfield role alongside Jermaine Jenas.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Woodgate, who missed out on the cup final with an Achilles injury, came back into the centre of defence in place of Ledley King.

But ‘Woody' did display a little rustiness, you could say, in the opening stages of this game, in which Boro started brightly.

Their former player misplaced a pass straight to the feet of Stewart Downing, who tested Heurelho Gomes with a third minute shot.

But our first chance came just moments later when Jenas picked out Lennon at the back post, who stretched to meet the ball on the volley which trickled just wide.

Overall, it was an even start to the game, so the crucial opening goal was more than welcomed when it came after nine minutes.

Luka Modric's corner was flicked on by Michael Dawson at the near post, and there was captain Keane to turn the ball home with a typical striker's finish.

Then came the familiar celebration as the Irishman wheeled away in delight towards the elated Park Lane end, holding out his arms spread-eagled to lap up the reception. It was if he had never been away.

But Boro were not about to let their promising start go to waste and thought they had found an equaliser just three minutes later.

Tuncay Sanli raced onto Downing's arrowed ball over the top and slammed a shot home off the bar, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Maybe then their heads dropped a little, and before they knew it, we were 2-0 up.

Keane was instrumental again as he slipped a ball through to Modric, whose drop of the shoulder left Robert Huth for dead and the Croatian in the clear to slide the ball across the face of goal for Pavlyuchenko to slide in and score his 13th goal of the season.

Again, Boro must be given credit for doing their best to keep the game alive - but you got the feeling this just wasn't their night.

On 18 minutes Justin Hoyte's cross headed clear by Woodgate but only as far Tuncay, whose goal-bound shot was superbly and bravely blocked by Dawson. So it was left to us to go and kill the game off.

Keane had a chance to do so on 35 minutes as he received a throughball from Modric and tried to lift the ball over on-rushing goalkeeper Brad Jones. He was equal to that one, but there was little he could do five minutes later.

After a splendid passing move, Keane picked up the ball 20 yards out and cheekily flicked the ball through the legs of the hapless Huth for Lennon to run onto and finish past Jones with aplomb.

The last attack of the first half summed it all up for Boro. Gary O'Neil put in a great cross to the back post where Jeremie Aliadiere waited unmarked. His downward header was tame and well wide when he really should have scored.

Their bad luck continued into the second half. On 66 minutes, Hoyte played in Tuncay down the line, and although his cross from the by-line was miss-hit, it hit the inside of Gomes' post.

Julio Arca also went close on 73 minutes with a shot that skimmed the roof of the net from the edge of the box before Lennon put the game well and truly out of sight six minutes later.

Tom Huddlestone found fellow substitute Bent with a throughball and he checked and found Keane, who slid the ball in for Lennon to dink over the goalkeeper for his second of the night.

It was his third goal in two league games and five so far this season for the flying winger.

Boro continued in their endeavours and Tuncay forced Gomes into another low save on 82 minutes.

But Keane should have made it five three minutes later when he headed over Jamie O'Hara's corner unmarked from six yards.

It is worth noting at this point the fantastic reception O'Hara received from our fans when he was introduced for Modric on 73 minutes - a heart-felt show of support after the midfielder's unfortunate miss in Sunday's penalty shoot-out.

In the dying moments, Tuncay had yet another goal disallowed for offside after heading home O'Neil's in-swinging free-kick to make it a truly forgettable night for the Teesiders.


Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Zokora, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Jenas (Huddlestone, 64), Modric (O'Hara, 73); Pavlyuchenko (Bent, 53), Keane
Subs not used: Cudicini, Chimbonda, Corluka, Bentley

Boro (4-4-1-1): Jones; Hoyte (Johnson, 70), Wheater, Huth (Taylor, 46), Pogatetz; O'Neil, Bates, Arca, Downing; Tuncay, Aliadiere (King, 53)
Subs not used: Turnball, Walker, Emnes, Alves