Premier League – Spurs climb out of relegation zone

Tottenham clambered out of the Premier League relegation zone after an early Roman Pavlyuchenko strike sealed a 1-0 win against Blackburn at White Hart Lane.

FOOTBALL 2008-2009 Premier League - Spurs players celebrate after Roman Pavlyuchenko's winner against Blackburn - 0

Aaron Lennon was the undoubted man of the match after running Blackburn, and in particular Martin Olsson, ragged all afternoon.

The diminutive winger caught Olsson napping before laying the ball off for Pavlyuchenko’s ninth-minute winner, which Blackburn never looked like cancelling out.

Harry Redknapp caused much furore by deploying the strike partnership of Pavlyuchenko and Darren Bent – a combination which former coach Gus Poyet insisted could not function effectively – and the pair repaid his faith in abundance.

Lennon compounded Paul Ince’s side’s woes as he repeatedly skipped past Olsson before the full-back was finally dismissed by referee Howard Webb for two bookable offences.

David Bentley also got in on the act from the left, curling a delightful delivery on to the head of the Russian striker, whose attempt struck Paul Robinson‘s near post.

Much of the pre-match scrutiny was on Spurs’ much-maligned keeper Heurelho Gomes. His afternoon was only spoiled through having to endure ironic cheers from the home fans every time he touched the ball.

However that did not happen often, as Blackburn failed to create clear-cut chances to test the Brazilian shot-stopper: Benni McCarthy stabbing a shot narrowly over the bar in the first half and Roque Santa Cruz missing in similar fashion in the second were isolated incidents.

Jermaine Jenas was industrious in the Spurs midfield, his powerful running complementing the pace and guile of Lennon and the precise passing of Bentley.

Ince, however, will have been dismayed at his side’s lack of creativity and conviction.

While Redknapp’s side have completed their escape from the bottom three, Blackburn drop to 19th spot and are now without a win in their last six games.

Dan Quarrell / Eurosport

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