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Posted on 28 July 2008  - 12:00

Darren Bent was the headline act in a resounding 5-1 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Monday night - contributing four of the goals.


Darren Bent was the headline act in a resounding 5-1 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Monday night - contributing four of the goals.

As it happened, he was the only Spurs player on the scoresheet as our opener was courtesy of an own goal. If the first half was a bit sluggish in terms of precision play, the second was a different ball game and almost reached showboating proportions. Norwich were chasing shadows.

It was a night that marked a first game for Luka Modric, plus returns for Gareth Bale and Ledley King.

With the game being played at a fairly frantic pace, both teams struggled to get into their stride on a humid Norfolk evening in front of a full-house. Norwich gave us a nudge in the right direction when Dejan Stefanovic clipped the ball into his own net on 10 minutes.

It was the trickery of Giovani dos Santos down the right flank that put the home side in a spin and the finish applied to his low centre by the central defender would have made a centre forward marvel. David Marshall was left suitably bemused.

The lead did not last long though - just six minutes - and it was Ledley King of all people who eased the route to goal of scorer Jamie Cureton. Lee Croft attempted a threaded pass and it looked like the skipper would mop up, but he slipped and the striker advanced and calmly slotted past Heurelho Gomes.

There were promising early raids from Chris Gunter during a first period where the football became more incisive as the half progressed, with Luka Modric growing into the game in his first appearance in a Spurs shirt.

There was a blow on 25 minutes when Michael Dawson suffered a cut eye in a challenge with Wes Hoolahan and was replaced by Tom Huddlestone, who entered the midfield fray with Didier Zokora retreating to centre half.

Just before the break Jamie O'Hara weaved his way through some defensive traffic and prodded into the path of Darren Bent, who drilled low past Marshall to give us a half-time lead.

Dos Santos forced a fine save from Marshall just after the re-start following more strong running and productive play from Gunter, the new boy from Barcelona moments later forcing Marshall into more smart work.

Bent doubled his tally on 56 minutes when substitute Benoit Assou-Ekotto teased in a cross from the left and the frontman allowed it to bounce once before plunging his head onto the ball and powering past Marshall.

Friendly v Norwich

Dos Santos nearly made it four when a low cross from Aaron Lennon was not effectively dealt with, but Marshall did well to smother.

There was a welcome return for Gareth Bale on the hour, taking the place of Gilberto, with the team later pinging passes around with more than a bit of pizzazz - dos Santos, O'Hara and Lennon very much to the fore.

It was another dos Santos shot that resulted in Bent netting his hat-trick. Marshall saved but couldn't hold a stinging low drive and Bent reacted, spun his marker and struck on the turn to click the scoreboard round to four.

Benty was not done and on 75 minutes some slick interchange led to the excellent Gunter cutting the ball back into his path and the England international again kept composure in front of goal and slotted through the legs of Marshall.

Norwich City: Marshall, Otsemobor, Bertrand (Russell, 38), Clingan, Omozusi, Stefanovic (Chadwick, 60), Croft, Fortheringham, Cureton (Martin, 69), Hoolahan, Pattison. Subs: Russell, Nelson, Shackell, Renton, Eagle, Smith, Daley.

Spurs: Gomes, Gunter, Gilberto (Bale, 60), King (Assou-Ekotto, 46), Dawson (Huddlestone, 27), O'Hara, Jenas, Zokora, dos Santos (Taarabt, 81), Modric (Lennon, 46), Bent. Subs: Jansson, Berbatov.

Attendance: 25,243