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Report: <br>Spurs 1-0 Birmingham

Posted on 28 August 2004  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Jermain Defoe did it again as we completed an unbeaten August in the Premiership.


The livewire striker grabbed his third and most spectacular goal of the season to clinch the points against Birmingham City.


Arriving on 34 minutes, Defoe's strike was certainly a goal worthy of winning any game.


It all started with Michael Brown controlling Pedro Mendes' raking crossfield pass on the right touchline before knocking it back to Noe Pamarot, he passed inside to Defoe who spun away from two players and towards the box, stopping 25 yards out to step back onto his right foot, losing Kenny Cunningham in the process, before lashing beyond Maik Taylor into the right corner.


It prompted calls of 'are you watching Eriksson?' from the crowd and Defoe surely looks good to play a part in England's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland.


Chances were few and far between in a tight, bustling encounter with defences on top and the defensive partnership of Noureddine Naybet and Ledley King outstanding.


They barely gave Emile Heskey a kick and, indeed, his and Birmingham's best chance arrived in injury time when he rose high to meet Muzzy Izzet's cross but failed to keep his header on target.


Otherwise, neither goalkeeper had to make a serious save. Efforts in the first half were mostly from long range - including Defoe's goal - with the best shooting chance to Mikael Forssell blocked superbly by Naybet.


One of two controversial refereeing decisions followed soon after the goal. Defoe twisted and turned into the box and looked to have his legs taken away by Cunningham. Amazingly, not only did Mr Clattenburg wave away penalty appeals, he also booked Defoe for diving.


Michael Brown's energy caught the eye in the second half but, again, chances were few and far between.


Heskey's header was cleared away by Brown before the big striker was involved in the second controversy of the game - although this one looked right - booked for a dive in the area after Robinson appeared to pull out of a challenge.


There were a few scares as Birmingham pushed us back in the final few minutes nbut apart from Heskey's header, Robinson had plenty of protection.


MINUTE BY MINUTE GUIDE

8mins: HALF CHANCE - Short corner, between Keane and Jackson leads to Jackson cross that falls to Brown who volley's ball goalwards but cannons into defender. Lively opening minutes - no real goalmouth action.

17mins: Poor clearance by Taylor picked up by Mendes with keeper off his line - Mendes fires back towards goal but fielded by Taylor.

18mins: Long-range shot from Mendes well wide of Taylor's right-hand post.

23mins: Decent cross from the left by Jackson just evaded the head of Defoe on edge of six yard box.

26mins: Low Keane drive flashes past Taylor's right post.

29mins: YELLOW. Foul on Johnson by Brown.

30mins: Clear shooting chance for Forssell brilliantly blocked by Naybet.

34mins: GOAL. Defoe picked up ball from Davis just inside Birmingham half before advancing and smashing ball past Taylor.

37mins: Clear looking penalty. Defoe felled on edge of area, ref Mr Clattenburg said no and then amazingly booked Defoe. Bad looking decision - bench in disbelief.

41mins: Forssell attempt to spin and shoot in area excellently foiled by King. Heskey shot from right of area then deflected into side netting by Pamarot.

44mins: Defoe shot from distance well fielded by Taylor.

54mins: Gray fed Forssell on edge of area, who fired high over the bar. Mendes down after clash with Heskey on half-way line. Okay following lengthy treatment.

Half-time score: Spurs 1-0 Birmingham

51mins: Keane felled in area by Clemence. Decent shout for pen - nothing given.

63mins: CHANGE Kanoute on for Keane.

66mins: Heskey header from corner cleared away from danger by Brown. Gray then volleyed over from Gronkjaer cross.

68mins: YELLOW. Jackson booked for collision with Gronkjaer.

70mins: Determined run by Brown from right ends with shot wide. CHANGE: Morrison on for Forssell.

77mins: Brown cross just clears head of Kanoute, Jackson steals in at far post but effort saved by Taylor.

78mins: CHANGE. Clemence off, Stern John on.

80mins: Johnson lofts volleyed effort not too far over the bar.

83mins: Huge Robinson clearance picked up by Defoe on edge of Blues area, about to shoot but dispossessed by Melchiot amid shouts for penalty. Claim for pen at other end when Robinson rushed out to deny Heskey - Heskey booked.

85mins: CHANGE. Redknapp on for goalscorer Defoe.

90mins: Mendes booked for not retreating at free-kick, from which Heskey headed just over.

CHANGE. Gardner on for Jackson.

Final score: Spurs 1-0 Birmingham

Line-ups:
Spurs:
Robinson, Pamarot, King, Naybet, Edman, Brown, Davis, Mendes, Jackson, Defoe, Keane.

Subs: Keller, Redknapp, Kanoute, Ifil, Gardner.

Birmingham City: Taylor, Cunningham, Melchiot, Gray, Izzet, Upson, Johnson, Forssell, Heskey, Gronkjaer, Clemence.

Subs: Bennett, John, Taylor, Morrison, Tebily.

Referee: M Clattenburg.

Attendance: 35, 290