Tottenham 3-1 Shamrock Rovers

By Jon SmithBBC Sport
Jermain Defoe and Giovanni dos Santos
Defoe celebrates with Dos Santos after heading Spurs into the lead

Tottenham survived a scare as they fought back from 1-0 down to run out comfortable winners against Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League.

Rovers took an unlikely lead after the break when Stephen Rice flicked in Gary Twigg's long-range strike.

But their lead lasted just 10 minutes before Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe both headed home in the space of two minutes to wrestle back control.

Giovani dos Santos smashed home a third five minutes later to wrap up the win.

With the north London derby to come at the weekend, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp opted to rest many of his key players, although he brought back Aaron Lennon after a month out through injury.

But with the lively Dos Santos pulling the strings behind strikers Pavlyuchenko and Defoe, Spurs controlled the first half without finding the breakthrough their dominance deserved.

Rovers keeper Richard Brush diverted Defoe's 17th-minute effort on to the bar before Danny Rose smashed the woodwork with a looping strike.

Former Coventry trainee Brush also made wonderful saves to deny long-range efforts from Dos Santos and Pavlyuchenko, who had a header cleared off the line by Stephen O'Donnell.

And White Hart Lane was stunned when Rovers scored just five minutes after the restart in front of their away following.

A curling free-kick from Gary McCabe was palmed away by Carlo Cudicini to Twigg on the edge of the box and his effort was touched home by Rice.

Rovers' hopes of pulling off one of the great European shocks of all time lasted just 10 minutes before Spurs finally found their scoring touch.

Dos Santos, who has often been on the fringes at Spurs since moving from Barcelona, whipped in a fantastic cross that Pavlyuchenko emphatically headed home for his first goal of the season.

And the home fans breathed a huge sigh of relief barely two minutes later when Andros Townsend's cross was finished by Defoe.

Mexican ace Dos Santos smashed home the third five minutes later after good work from Defoe.

Former Tottenham star Rohan Ricketts came off the Rovers bench with 19 minutes to go to a warm reception from the home fans, six years after leaving the Lane.

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