Report:<br> Spurs 2, Middlesbrough 0
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).
Jermain Defoe and Mido scored the goals that ensured it is six points out of six in the new Premiership season as Middlesbrough were defeated 2-0 on Saturday.
Defoe's was a moment of brilliance, Mido's more a moment of good fortune - but they all count and, with a clean sheet at the other end, it was all smiles at ten to five!
There was a definite air of optimism within White Hart Lane and surrounding areas as our opening home game of the season loomed nearer. The prospect of depositing a further contribution to our Premiership savings account was occupying minds and confidence can only have been increased by the news of Edgar Davids making his competitive debut.
The Dutchman was the only change from last week's starting line-up at Portsmouth, with the versatile Teemu Tainio moving across to the right to cover for the absence of Wayne Routledge. There was a return for Robbie Keane on the bench, where he was joined for the first time by new boy Aaron Lennon.
Despite the knowledge that the team play with a confident swagger in front of their own people, a look down the Middlesbrough starting X1 confirmed this would be a challenging examination. There is experience nearly right the way through the Boro side, along with an injection of pace from England hopeful Stewart Downing. One enforced change for Steve McClaren was the introduction of Matthew Bates in place of the suspended Ugo Ehiogu.
The atmosphere was absolutely sizzing inside the ground as the teams entered the arena and their names read out - guess who got the biggest cheer? Said gentleman introduced himself by getting into a tangle with Ray Parlour and helping him along on his way south...
Tainio and Paul Stalteri unlocked the Boro left flank as early as the fourth minute following a bit of brilliant vision from the Finn. Unfortunately, the Canadian's cross was not measured to meet an on coming white shirt.
Middlesbrough's first sortie came after 11 minutes while Michael Dawson was off the pitch nursing a bloodied nose. Downing got the better of Tainio and whipped in an outswinging cross that the head of Hasselbaink could not divert with enough power to trouble Paul Robinson.
Five minutes later a breakaway from an Andy Reid corner very nearly caught us short at the back. Yakubu was on the charge and it took the combined efforts of Edman and Stalteri to deny the Nigerian. From the resulting corner from Downing, Hasselbaink should possibly have done better with a clear header at the back post. There followed a great chance at the other end when Michael Carrick sent Mido away down the right and but the striker chose the wrong ball and an attempted overhead kick from Davids - one of three players rushing in - failed to open the scoring.
There was an excellent interchange of passes on 24 minutes when Davids and Tainio combined to offer a shooting chance for Carrick. Unfortunately the ball flew just over but the signs were promising and the football good. A handball shout (probably rightly not given according to replay) and a Davids effort that Mark Schwarzer took two bites at were the closest we came after that as the game entered half-time goalless.
McClaren rang the changes at the interval with Mark Viduka and James Morrison entering play for Yakubu and Gaizka Mendieta. There followed Boro's best chance when Viduka nodded the ball in the direction of Hasselbaink in the area which he duly latched onto but, thankfully, lifted over the bar. Davids then made a vital interception to deny Viduka a pot shot in front of goal.
The Lane erupted on 48 minutes when Jermain Defoe picked up possession just inside the Boro half and advanced goalwards, worked himself a couple of yards of space and unleashed a searing drive into the top left hand corner of the net with Schwarzer left virtually motionless. The game needed a goal and it got one of the highest order.
Robinson was then forced into a save of similar quality after Davids tripped Parlour a few yards outside the area. Downing drove and Robbo's fingertips diverted to even further acclaim from his Park Lane fan club. Boro also came close to levelling when Viduka squeezed Boateng through to the right of the area and he dinked his shot over Robinson and the net rustled - to huge relief, it was the top of the net.
Boro were clawing their way back into the game but the boys responding by stepping up a gear with both Tainio and Reid doing good work down the flanks. It was wideman Downing who had the next clear chance after a one-two with Viduka he shot over to the despair of manager McClaren on the touchline.
The boys' football remained quick and slick although the final ball wasn't quite coming off. Dawson took it upon himself in trying to increase the advantage and somehow managed to get a shot away after bundling his way through a crowd of players in the area.
On 75 minutes - for the second time in two seasons - Schwarzer played a big part in us securing a two goal lead. Defoe sprinted away before supplying Mido with the ball off to the right of the Boro area. Mido elected to shoot but did not get any power in his effort. As it turned out he didn't need to as Schwarzer let the ball squirm under his body and into the net. Like Fredi Kanoute, who charged down the Australian's clearance into the net last season, Mido had reason to be cheerful!
So did the vast majority of a very satisfied crowd of 35,844.
Team: Robinson, Stalteri, Edman, Gardner, Dawson, Reid, Carrick, Davids, Tainio, Defoe, Mido. Subs: Cerny, Naybet, Mendes, Keane, Lennon.