Sublime Spurs score four
Majestic Spurs dominate toothless Derby
By Robin Hackett. Last Updated: 19/08/07 3:09pm
Derby were powerless to resist Tottenham as Martin Jol's men romped to a well-deserved 4-0 win at White Hart Lane.
Spurs were three goals up in the first 15 minutes thanks to two fine early strikes from Steed Malbranque and a great solo effort from Jermaine Jenas, with a bundled late finish from Darren Bent completing the rout.
Derby never looked capable of mounting any sort of comeback against a Spurs side that simply strolled to victory.
Jol could take heart from his side's performance after a barrage of criticism following a disappointing start to the season, but Billy Davies will need to work hard to restore confidence in his side after they were simply taken apart from start to finish.
With less than two minutes gone, Wayne Routledge was tugged by Andy Todd for a free-kick, which Jenas disguised to find Malbranque on the edge of the area.
The Frenchman clipped his effort inside the post then headed straight to the dug-out, bypassing Jol and embracing dropped team-mate Didier Zokora.
Malbranque doubled the lead in the sixth minute, this time from just inside the area. Bent had been fed on the right flank and Malbranque controlled his low cross before curling into the far corner.
It got better in the 14th minute, with Jenas getting on the scoresheet. The midfielder won the ball from Todd then raced towards goal on a 40-yard run that ended with a neat finish off the post after riding a challenge from Jay McEveley.
Jenas, Robbie Keane and Tom Huddlestone all had efforts on goal which were off target, and Routledge had a strike disallowed on the half-hour mark when Keane's mis-kick fell to him in the six-yard box.
Malbranque could have completed his hat-trick in the 38th minute when he danced beyond the Derby defence but the visitors managed to scramble clear, managing to get to the break three goals down.
Todd was taken off at the break for Gary Teale as they looked for a route back into the match.
Jol freshened his attack with Adel Taarabt, who replaced Routledge with 19 minutes remaining.
It was Bent who added the fourth by heading in on the goalline after Pascal Chimbonda challenged at the back post and the ball was flicked onto the bar by Bywater.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Derby County|
|3||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||2|
|13||Shots off Target||2|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||34||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||33||33|