Tottenham 3-1 Reading
Tottenham moved up to third in the Premier League table as they claimed a deserved victory against Reading.
The visitors went ahead when Pavel Pogrebnyak headed in a rebound after Ian Harte's free-kick hit the crossbar.
But Spurs equalised only five minutes later, Michael Dawson with a diving header from Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner.
Emmanuel Adebayor's powerful header from Aaron Lennon's cross put Tottenham ahead, before Clint Dempsey's deflected 25-yard effort sealed victory.
Despite Spurs having 30 shots on goal compared to only seven from Reading, the Royals were left regretting their failure to score in a five-minute second-half spell.
Pogrebynak had a shot saved by Hugo Lloris, a last-ditch challenge from Kyle Walker denied Jimmy Kebe and Dawson headed an Alex Pearce effort off the goal-line.
Tottenham had been the only club in the Premier League not to have conceded a goal in the first 15 minutes of a match this season but that record ended as the visitors took a fourth-minute lead.
Pogrebnyak was fouled by Mousa Dembele and Harte's curling free-kick from 25 yards hit the crossbar but the Russian striker reacted first to head his seventh goal of the season.
However, Reading's lead did not last long as Dawson out-jumped two defenders to head in an equaliser.
The Royals, one of three teams to not win an away Premier League game this season, had to defend for the rest of the half with lone striker Pogrebnyak working hard but seeing little of the ball as Spurs dominated.
Jermain Defoe, who scored twice in Spurs' 3-1 win at the Madjeski Stadium in September, put an effort over the bar and later blasted a powerful shot wide.
The visitors were hanging on as goalkeeper Adam Federici reacted to save a deflected shot from Sandro and also gathered Dembele's effort at the second attempt as Adebayor waited to pounce.
Ex-Reading man Sigurdsson, who replaced the suspended Gareth Bale, also had a shot blocked and Dembele was unlucky to shoot narrowly wide.
Spurs maintained their pressure early in the second half when Defoe was again denied by Federici.
But the goalkeeper could do nothing as Tottenham took a deserved lead when Adebayor scored only his second Premier League goal of the season.
Lennon got to the byline and dinked a cross to the back post where Adebayor beat Pearce in the air to power a header past Federici.
Spurs, who have dropped points at home against West Brom, Norwich, Wigan and Stoke already this season, pushed for a third with Sandro, Lennon and Kyle Naughton all wasting chances.
The hosts had dominated but nearly paid the price for their misses as Pogrebynak beat Jan Vertonghen and had two opportunities but Lloris made his only save of the game before Pogrebynak headed the rebound wide.
Jimmy Kebe also had a late chance when he was denied by a last-ditch challenge before Dawson headed Pearce's effort off the line.
But the home fans could relax when substitute Dempsey's shot took a huge deflection off Mikele Leigertwood with the ball looping up past Federici to seal Tottenham's win, their seventh in nine Premier League matches, while Reading remain 19th, five points adrift of safety.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said:
"It was a difficult game in the beginning and the early goal gave them hope.
"But we did well to close out the festive period with 10 points from four games and hopefully we will continue this form to put ourselves in the position we want to be.
"Aaron Lennon is such a magnificent player and sometimes he does not get the recognition he deserves but his form has been extraordinary. He has been magnificent for us, scoring goals like last week, and is such a good player.
"The three points have meant we have opened a bit of a gap over West Brom, Everton are still there and Arsenal have a fixture to play."
Reading manager Brian McDermott said:
"It was frustrating to concede an equaliser straight after scoring and if we could have had it at 1-0 at half-time then it would've been a really good game.
"Even when they were 2-1 up we had three great opportunities and they scored a deflected goal to win it.
"But at 2-1 we were right in it; their goalkeeper has made a decent save and Jimmy Kebe was denied by decent defending from Kyle Walker.
"This is a really good Tottenham side that Andre has built here and not many people will come away from here taking points."
- 25 Lloris
- 05 Vertonghen
- 16 Naughton
- 20 Dawson
- 28 Walker
- 07 Lennon
- 22 Sigurdsson (Dempsey - 75' )
- 30 Sandro
- 10 Adebayor (Livermore - 88' )
- 18 Defoe
- 19 Dembele (Parker - 69' )
- 24 Friedel
- 33 Caulker
- 02 Dempsey
- 06 Huddlestone
- 08 Parker
- 27 Falque
- 29 Livermore
- 01 Federici
- 02 Gunter
- 05 Pearce
- 06 Mariappa
- 23 Harte
- 04 Karacan (Robson-Kanu - 57' )
- 08 Leigertwood
- 11 McAnuff (Le Fondre - 73' )
- 14 Kebe
- 20 Guthrie
- 07 Pogrebnyak (Hunt - 84' )
- 41 Taylor
- 15 Morrison
- 24 Cummings
- 16 Tabb
- 19 Robson-Kanu
- 09 Le Fondre
- 10 Hunt
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +3:31
Alex Pearce crosses the ball, Jan Vertonghen manages to make a clearance.90:00 +2:17
Outswinging corner taken by Kyle Walker.90:00 +2:06
The ball is delivered by Kyle Walker, clearance by Alex Pearce.90:00 +1:55
A cross is delivered by Kyle Walker, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.90:00 +1:31
Kyle Walker takes a outswinging corner to the near post.90:00 +1:17
Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Gunter.90:00 +0:55
The official flags Adam Le Fondre offside. Free kick taken by Jan Vertonghen.90:00 +0:35
Kyle Naughton takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.90:00 +0:13
Corner taken right-footed by Kyle Walker.89:50
Scott Parker takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.86:37 Substitution
Substitution Jake Livermore joins the action as a substitute, replacing Emmanuel Adebayor.86:37
The ball is crossed by Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe challenges Adrian Mariappa unfairly and gives away a free kick. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.86:04
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Gunter on Emmanuel Adebayor. Clint Dempsey takes the free kick.85:25
The referee blows for offside. Hugo Lloris restarts play with the free kick.84:27
Scott Parker challenges Danny Guthrie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alex Pearce takes the free kick.84:13
Scott Parker takes a short corner.83:55
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.83:26 Substitution
Substitution Noel Hunt replaces Pavel Pogrebnyak.82:33
Kyle Walker decides to take the corner short.
Scott Parker takes a shot. Mikele Leigertwood gets a block in.81:41
Short corner worked by Kyle Walker.81:26
Aaron Lennon produces a cross, Chris Gunter makes a clearance.79:56
The offside flag is raised against Adam Le Fondre. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.78:16
The assist for the goal came from Raniere Sandro.78:16 Goal scored
Goal! - Clint Dempsey - Tottenham 3 - 1 Reading Clint Dempsey fires in a goal from long range high into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 3-1 Reading.78:03
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Raniere Sandro by Danny Guthrie. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.76:13
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Guthrie, Alex Pearce takes a shot. Corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte from the right by-line, clearance by Michael Dawson. Blocked by Michael Dawson.75:58
Corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte, Jan Vertonghen makes a clearance.75:34
Jimmy Kebe takes a shot. Blocked by Kyle Naughton.74:53 Substitution
Substitution Clint Dempsey on for Gylfi Sigurdsson.72:12 Substitution
Substitution Adam Le Fondre on for Jobi McAnuff.71:34
Pavel Pogrebnyak takes a shot. Save made by Hugo Lloris. Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Pavel Pogrebnyak misses to the left of the goal.70:55
Gylfi Sigurdsson produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.70:09
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jan Vertonghen by Pavel Pogrebnyak. Free kick taken by Hugo Lloris.69:39
Effort from just outside the area by Kyle Naughton goes over the bar.69:00 Substitution
Substitution Scott Parker joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mousa Dembele.68:49
The ball is swung over by Kyle Walker, Jobi McAnuff manages to make a clearance.65:54
Jermain Defoe has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.64:23
Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Adrian Mariappa gets a block in.62:58
Corner taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson from the right by-line to the near post, Mikele Leigertwood makes a clearance.61:46
Free kick awarded for a foul by Raniere Sandro on Danny Guthrie. Danny Guthrie takes the indirect free kick.61:15
Kyle Naughton takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.59:41
The ball is sent over by Hal Robson-Kanu, Jan Vertonghen manages to make a clearance.59:16
A cross is delivered by Kyle Walker, clearance made by Alex Pearce.58:16
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Gylfi Sigurdsson.56:22 Substitution
Substitution Hal Robson-Kanu comes on in place of Jem Karacan.56:08
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Gylfi Sigurdsson from the left by-line, Adam Federici manages to make a clearance.55:39
Aaron Lennon takes a shot. Alex Pearce gets a block in.54:46
Effort from outside the penalty box by Raniere Sandro goes wide left of the goal.54:12
Alex Pearce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Adebayor. Kyle Naughton takes the indirect free kick.53:32
Mikele Leigertwood fouled by Mousa Dembele, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Federici takes the free kick.50:03
Aaron Lennon provided the assist for the goal.50:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Emmanuel Adebayor - Tottenham 2 - 1 Reading Emmanuel Adebayor scores a headed goal from close range. Tottenham 2-1 Reading.49:57
Raniere Sandro takes a shot. Adrian Mariappa gets a block in. The ball is sent over by Aaron Lennon,46:29
Kyle Naughton crosses the ball, Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.46:21
Gylfi Sigurdsson produces a cross, clearance made by Alex Pearce.46:02
Gylfi Sigurdsson produces a cross, Adrian Mariappa manages to make a clearance.45:45
The ball is sent over by Aaron Lennon, Adrian Mariappa manages to make a clearance.45:35
The ball is crossed by Gylfi Sigurdsson.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +1:03 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.45:00 +0:29
Gylfi Sigurdsson has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.44:54
Raniere Sandro takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.44:05
Mikele Leigertwood challenges Raniere Sandro unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Kyle Walker.42:48
Gylfi Sigurdsson takes a shot. Blocked by Jem Karacan.41:54
The ball is sent over by Jimmy Kebe, Jobi McAnuff produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.41:20
Mousa Dembele takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.40:51
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.38:07
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Gunter by Gylfi Sigurdsson. Adam Federici takes the free kick.36:47
Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Guthrie on Raniere Sandro. Indirect free kick taken by Jan Vertonghen.36:12
Jermain Defoe has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.34:53
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Gunter on Jermain Defoe. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, clearance by Adam Federici.33:29
Raniere Sandro has a shot and went wide right of the net.32:13
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Blocked by Jem Karacan.31:57
A cross is delivered by Kyle Walker, clearance by Ian Harte.31:44
Gylfi Sigurdsson sends in a cross, clearance by Alex Pearce.29:39
Jimmy Kebe is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Kyle Naughton restarts play with the free kick.28:12
Mousa Dembele challenges Mikele Leigertwood unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alex Pearce takes the free kick.26:06
Foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak on Michael Dawson, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Jan Vertonghen.25:23
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Pearce by Mousa Dembele. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.24:16
Raniere Sandro takes a shot. Blocked by Adrian Mariappa.23:03
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, clearance made by Mikele Leigertwood.21:40
Jobi McAnuff fouled by Kyle Walker, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Danny Guthrie, Emmanuel Adebayor makes a clearance.20:19
Mousa Dembele has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left.14:02
Jobi McAnuff is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Kyle Walker.12:26
Gylfi Sigurdsson takes the outswinging corner, Alex Pearce manages to make a clearance.12:07
Gylfi Sigurdsson takes a shot. Mikele Leigertwood gets a block in.11:03
Jermain Defoe takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.8:55
Aaron Lennon sends in a cross, Adam Federici manages to make a clearance.8:49
Assist on the goal came from Gylfi Sigurdsson.8:49 Goal scored
Goal! - Michael Dawson - Tottenham 1 - 1 Reading Michael Dawson finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Tottenham 1-1 Reading.8:46
Inswinging corner taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson from the left by-line played to the near post,7:54
Emmanuel Adebayor fouled by Ian Harte, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.6:58
Close range header by Emmanuel Adebayor goes wide of the left-hand upright.5:40
Emmanuel Adebayor is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.3:56
The assist for the goal came from Ian Harte.3:56 Goal scored
Goal! - Pavel Pogrebnyak - Tottenham 0 - 1 Reading Pavel Pogrebnyak scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Tottenham 0-1 Reading.2:42
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mousa Dembele on Pavel Pogrebnyak. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Ian Harte,1:28
The assistant referee signals for offside against Aaron Lennon. Free kick taken by Adam Federici.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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