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+The Monday Verdict

Posted on 7 February 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

You have to hand it to Mido! He told us on Wednesday that it was his dream to score on his debut for Spurs and was determined to do so - and you could tell that he meant it. The striker clearly doesn't do things by halves and he chipped in with two in what was nearly as good a Lane debut as we've seen this season. Dean Marney's full home debut will still take some beating in this particular observer's book.

Looking back on the game, it was unbelievable that we fell behind following Pompey's first attack and first corner. Diomansy Kamara took his goal well, but the boys will have been disappointed to concede from a first set piece against them.

A response was needed and we got a good one, a positive attacking reaction which illustrated that spirit among the team remains high despite recent setbacks. Mido has grabbed the headlines with his two-goal introduction to English football, but Robbie Keane's contribution was the goal of the game after he replaced the tiring Egyptian.

A combination of Atouba and Davies provided Mido with an opening inside of three minutes, with the striker firing over the bar. A raking cross from Atouba just cleared the head of Mido who retrieved the ball and crossed for Kelly to head straight at Chalkias in the Pompey goal.

It was a bright beginning and King was unfortunate that Reid's corner did not sit up nicely for him after taking a bounce in the area. The visitors were being firmly planted on the back foot in the first ten.

The boys continued to lay siege to the Pompey penalty area as the half way mark was passed in the first half. Mido employed a number of flicks and tricks to delight the crowd, but little in the way of clear chances were being created at this stage. For their part, Portsmouth were showing very little ambition and Yakubu was becoming increasingly isolated.

Taking all this into consideration, it was a crowd silencing moment when Portsmouth took the lead on 27 minutes. From their first corner of the game taken by Berger, his left footed inswinger found the head of Kamara who redirected the flight of the ball to send it flying past Robinson.

Defoe had the chance to level when he appeared to be dragged down in the area by Stefanovic following a neat pass from Mido. Referee Mr Dunn waved play on and replays were pretty inconclusive.

The deserved leveller came on 33 minutes when the advancing Simon Davies stood up a high cross perfectly for Mido in front of goal. He wasn't about to miss and powered his header past Chalkias to spark scenes of delight around the Lane.

The pressure carried on being applied at the beginning of the second half with Mido again very much to the fore.

On 56 minutes he made his presence felt again. Defoe did not give up on a loose ball to the right of the area, twisted and turned before zipping over a low cross and Mido was there to meet the ball at the far post and slam the ball into the net.

Defoe was then found by an exquisite cross from Reid, but was denied adding his name to the scoresheet by Chalkias.

Mido took his leave just after the hour with Keane introduced, leaving what you imagine was a lasting impression 36,105 fans in attendance.

With ten minutes remaining Davies located Defoe in the area with a pinpoint chip and only the alertness of Chalkias denied the little fella the chance of sharing some of the glory with Mido. Almost straight after Reid hit the inside of the post before Keane settled the game as a contest.

Reid arrowed the ball into the patch of the substitute, who brilliantly took the ball in his stride before delicately lofting it over the despairing reach of Chalkias to make it 3-1 and game over.