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Barclays Premier League

White Hart Lane (ATT 36,011) 18th January 2009 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: S Bennett

Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur vs Portsmouth Portsmouth

Defoe denies former club

Spurs out of the bottom three after 1-1 draw with Pompey

By Richard Bailey.   Last Updated: 18/01/09 7:15pm

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Defoe scores the equaliser

Defoe scores the equaliser

Tottenham and Portsmouth shared the points at White Hart Lane after an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Man of the match: David James made lots of good saves and kept Portsmouth in the game. Save of the match: James did superbly to change his direction as Aaron Lennon's cross was deflected by Sylvain Distin. Goal of the match: Jermain Defoe produced a sweet finish from the edge of the box to find the target against his former club. Moment of the match: David Nugent, after missing a great chance in the first-half, scored to finally grab his first goal in the Premier League. Talking Point: Are both these side capable of avoiding relegation?

In a game which saw Spurs' manager Harry Redknapp and striker Jermain Defoe play against their former club for the first time, Pompey will be happier with the point.

In a goalless first half both sides had chances to take the lead with Defoe going close on a number of occasions for the home side and David Nugent squandering a good chance for Pompey.

Nugent made amends in the 59th minute after striking across goal from the right hand side of the penalty area to give Tony Adams' side the lead.

But Defoe came back to haunt his former club when he shot left-footed through the legs of Sol Campbell from the edge of the box to equalise for Spurs with 20 minutes left.

Redknapp left Pompey 84 days before this game and Spurs headed into the match exactly where he found them, rock bottom.

Spurs also knew that victory would take them 12th, such is the tightness of the league this season.

Defoe and Redknapp were booed by away fans, while Pompey skipper Sol Campbell was jeered with his every touch from the Spurs fans who have never forgiven him for joining rivals Arsenal in 2001.

There was no repeat, however, of the chant that led to accusations of racism and homophobia as Spurs fans hummed the tune but omitted the words.

Away from the sideshow in the stands, there was a gripping clash with plenty of chances at both ends and problems mounting for Redknapp after seeing Ledley King and Roman Pavlyuchenko replaced due to injury in the first half.

It was Defoe who had the first chance of the match, in the ninth minute, when Sean Davis passed straight to his former team-mate with a ball across his own defence.

Defoe sent David James the wrong way with his finish but it went just wide of the post.

Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was still struggling with an apparent groin strain picked up last week, and it nearly led to Peter Crouch opening the scoring.

Gomes was down slowly to stop Glen Johnson's weak drive, then had to claw the ball away from Crouch when the effort was spilled.

The Brazilian then hopped around his area in an attempt to shake off the knock but could not take goal kicks.

James was called into action in the 20th minute when Aaron Lennon drove forward and drilled a shot from the edge of the area that needed turning around the post.

Denied

Pavlyuchenko had a close-range effort blocked by team-mate Defoe from the corner.

James was needed again midway through the first half after Lennon controlled a ball over the top and hustled his way past Nadir Belhadj.

He stood up the cross and Defoe headed towards the roof of the net, only for England stopper James to tip over the crossbar.

At the other end, Vedran Corluka made a goal-saving challenge to deny Armand Traore after Nugent pulled the ball back for the youngster.

With skipper King hobbling, Nugent was able to break the offside trap just before the break, but Gomes was down to block the effort. Michael Dawson was then brought on for King.

As the intensity increased, the crucial incidents of the match came just before the hour mark.

Counter-attack

Lennon had forced James to scamper towards his near post and make a fine sprawling save, then Pompey were ahead seconds later with their next attack.

Traore carried the ball from left to right and the ball broke to Nugent on the edge of the area. The striker shot first time, with the strike deflecting off Gareth Bale and finding the bottom corner.

It was his first goal in over a year and first in the Premier League.

Defoe's moment came with 20 minutes left. Didier Zokora had exchanged passes with Luka Modric and the ball was shifted to Defoe, whose angled drive went through Campbell's legs and past James.

Bent should have added a second 10 minutes from time when David Bentley, on as a substitute, found him unmarked - but his header went horribly wide of the post from four yards.

Tottenham HotspurTeam StatisticsPortsmouth
1Goals1
01st Half Goals0
10Shots on Target3
13Shots off Target6
6Blocked Shots3
8Corners4
6Fouls11
3Offsides0
0Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
77.3Passing Success74.4
37Tackles35
56.8Tackles Success74.3
48.9Possession51.1
56.5Territorial Advantage43.5

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 32 70
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 33 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 West Ham United 34 37
12 Crystal Palace 33 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 32 25

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