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Report: Spurs 4-1 Birmingham

Posted on 8 January 2004  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Stephane Dalmat dazzled again as we bagged a welcome three points in a thrilling encounter at the Lane.

With Birmingham short down the left flank - no Clapham or Lazaridis - the French wing wizard tore into the over-exposed Darren Carter in the first half, scoring twice, creating a disallowed goal for Robbie Keane and another golden chance that the Irish star somehow failed to convert.

It was a case of get at Carter in that opening period - so much so that Blues boss Steve Bruce removed the 20-year-old at the break in a re-shuffle that almost led to his side getting back into the game.

But it was too little, too late for the visitors. Riding on the crest of a wave after beating Palace on Saturday, we were outstanding in the first half and 3-0 up before the Blues got a grip of proceedings, let alone a grip on Dalmat.

Having said all that, it's worth mentioning that Kasey Keller produced the save of the match in the seventh minute to tip over David Dunn's dipping shot.

Keane had already had his 'goal' chalked off before that save and we were ahead a minute after. It came from John Jackson, impressive deputising for the suspended Mauricio Taricco at left-back, fit-again Darren Anderton and Simon Davies, his first start for us since August, keeping possession before feeding Dalmat who cut inside Carter before lashing home from 25 yards.

Maik Taylor in the visitors goal was tested twice again before the inevitable second goal arrived with 23 minutes on the clock. Keane worked wonders to control the ball on the byline, turned inside Clemence and when Taylor failed to hold his cross, Dalmat tapped in.

Taylor denied Keane one-on-one and the Irish striker must have thought it wasn't his night when he somehow poked Dalmat's cross wide from close range.

Nevertheless, it was soon 3-0. This goal was all about Jackson's quality left foot, his low cross after good work from Keane flicked home by Davies at the near post.

Bryan Hughes came on for Carter at the break as Kenna's switch to left-back put the brakes on Dalmat's threat for the opening exchanges of the second half.

Keane blasted wide after leaving Cunningham and Kenna on the floor but Birmingham's best period followed.

Mikael Forssell shot inches wide and then headed over Robbie Savage's free-kick when he should have done better.

It was now end to end. Kanoute struck the crossbar from Anderton's layback only for Dunn to storm up the other end and win a penalty, collapsing under Dalmat's challenge. Savage drilled home the spot kick for 3-1, 66 minutes gone.

Keane had penalty claims waved away within seconds and then Clinton Morrison burst through but couldn't get a shot off in time, a combination of Keller, the outstanding Gary Doherty and Ledley King keeping him out.

Another goal was coming and Keane finally obliged with the goal he deserved, helping create it himself by flicking to Kanoute before racing into the box to meet his strike partner's cross.


2mins: Great start from Dalmat, beat two players, early cross bound for Keane until Purse headed clear.

3mins: Morrison glancing header just wide.

4mins: DISALLOWED. Keane tap-in from Dalmat cross but ruled offside.

7mins: SAVE. Keller fingertips to deny Dunn dipper from 20 yards.

8mins: GOAL. Jackson, Davies and Anderton kept possession, Anderton squared to Dalmat, he cut inside two defenders onto left foot, low strike into left corner from 25 yards. 1-0.

18mins: Clever one-two between Carr and Dalmat, Taylor out quickly to grab ball from Carr.

21mins: Davies curler straight at Taylor.

23mins: GOAL. Good pressure, Keane did well to keep possession, tricked past Clemence, cross spilled by Taylor, tap-in for Dalmat. 2-0.

27mins: Anderton lobbed pass caught defence square, Keane through, forced wide onto left foot, comfortable save for Taylor.

33mins: MISS. Keane mishit in front of goal from Dalmat cross.

35mins: Dunn fired over from 25 yards as Birmingham are kept at distance.

39mins: GOAL. Keane kept hold of ball under pressure, Jackson cross jabbed home by Davies. 3-0, 39mins.

Half-time: Spurs 3-0 Birmingham

Half-time: SUB. Tebily for Carter.

48mins: Morrison shot wide from 25 yards.

52mins: Dalmat pass released Keane, somehow tricked past two defenders before shooting over.

53mins: Lively Forssell drilled a fraction wide from 25 yards.

62mins: CHANCE. Forssell nodded Savage's free-kick over from eight yards.

63mins: CROSSBAR. Dalmat magic then released Anderton, squared to Kanoute whose measured finish clipped the crossbar.

66mins.PENALTY/GOAL. Savage from penalty spot after Dunn fouled by Dalmat - replays suggested poor decision. 3-1.

69mins: PENALTY? Keane claims after Purse and Cunningham challenge waved away.

70mins: CHANCE. Morrison through, took an age to get in position to shoot, King, Keller and Doherty kept him out.

79mins: GOAL. Keane flick to Kanoute, squared it back for Keane tap-in. 4-1.

80mins: SUBS: Ricketts and Postiga for Dalmat and Kanoute; Hughes for Clemence.

82mins: SUB: Kirovski for Forssell.

86mins: SUB: Kelly for Anderton.

Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Jackson, Doherty, King, Davies, Poyet, Anderton (Kelly, 86), Dalmat (Ricketts, 80), Keane, Kanoute (Postiga, 80) Subs: Hirschfeld, Bunjevcevic.

Birmingham: Taylor, Kenna, Purse, Cunningham, Dunn, Savage, Clemence (Hughes, 80), Johnson, Morrison, Forssell (Kirovski, 82) Carter (Tebily, 45). Subs: Bennett, John.

Referee: Barry Knight.

Attendance: 30,016.