Spurs 2-0 Rovers - Walker's stunner secures key win
Kyle Walker capped a week to remember with a stunning free-kick to secure a vital win against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Seven days after being voted PFA Young Player of the Year, the flying full-back stepped up from fully 30 yards and curled the ball beyond the full-length dive of Paul Robinson into the top corner.
It was the goal we needed and deserved after completely dominating the match from start to finish.
Rovers set-up with a 5-3-1-1 system and kept nine men behind the ball throughout, suffocating the space 30 yards from goal.
That resulted in a game of attack versus defence for 90 minutes - statistics back it up as well, with possession at 64-36 per cent in our favour and an incredible shot count of 19-0 in our favour.
But goals are really all that matter - there is always a threat at 1-0 - so Walker's beauty remained a key strike to put the issue beyond doubt after Rafa van der Vaart fired us into the lead in the 22nd minute.
Harry Redknapp made four changes to the team that started last week at QPR.
Most notably, Aaron Lennon came in for Scott Parker, who missed out with a sore Achilles, so it was Sandro and Luka Modric in central midfield. Younes Kaboul was back for Ledley King and Danny Rose replaced injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
The team looked bright from the first whistle and might have taken the lead inside the first minute when Modric got to the left byline and crossed for Kyle Walker steaming in at the far post, but the full-back fired into the side-netting.
Sandro was even closer on nine minutes when he unleashed a piledriver from 22 yards that hammered the underside of the crossbar.
After long spells of possession, we broke the deadlock midway through the half.
Gareth Bale headed Lennon's cross onto the underside of the crossbar and the ball fell to van der Vaart, who angled his shot at goal from eight yards.
Scott Dann did his best to clear and there was a moment's pause as we waited for a decision - but the ball had clearly crossed the line.
Lennon burst through and fired over, Robinson saved well from Rose and then we struck the woodwork again as William Gallas glanced van der Vaart's header onto the crossbar.
There were no changes at the break and the second half followed exactly the same pattern - us camped in Blackburn's half.
Lennon shot into the side-netting and as we tried in vain to open up the nine-man defence, Bale and Modric fired just wide from distance.
When Robinson launched a free-kick from deep in Rovers' half into our penalty box - claimed confidently by Brad Friedel - there was a reminder that the one-goal margin was still a slender one, so Walker's moment of magic was all the more welcome.
Lennon was hacked down 30 yards from goal and after debating with van der Vaart who would take it, Walker stepped up and curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner. It was a wonderful strike that got better with every view.
Sandro received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Jake Livermore with Giovani and Jermain Defoe also entering the fray as late substitutes.
Spurs (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon (Giovani, 84), Modric, Sandro (Livermore. 86), Bale; Van der Vaart (Defoe, 88); Adebayor. Unused subs: Cudicini, King, Nelsen, Saha.
Blackburn Rovers (5-3-1-1): Robinson; Lowe, Dann, Orr, Givet, Marcus Olsson; Formica, Dunn (Goodwillie, 84), Pedersen; Hoilett, Yakubu (Modeste, 71). Unused subs: Kean, Martin Olsson, Petrovic, Rochina, N'Zonzi.
Goals: Spurs - van der Vaart (22), Walker (75).
Referee: Mr M Jones.