Tottenham 2 - 1 QPR: Defoe caps Spurs fightback to silence Villas-Boas boo-boys
Jermain Defoe scored his sixth goal of the season as Tottenham came from behind to beat QPR and register their first home win under Andre Villas-Boas.
A dreadful first-half performance meant Villas-Boas left the pitch at half-time to a chorus of loud boos but his team turned things around after the break, with Defoe’s strike and an own-goal from Alejandro Faurlin handing the Portuguese his first win at White Hart Lane at the fourth attempt.
Bobby Zamora, who scored one goal in 18 appearances at Spurs, put QPR ahead in the first half after Faurlin’s brilliant pass and, had it not been for a couple of brilliant reaction saves from Brad Friedel, Tottenham could have gone in 3-0 down at half-time.
The home team regrouped after the break and put in a much better performance with Gareth Bale, who had started at full-back, pushed up to his natural position on the left wing.
Faurlin somehow chested the ball into his own net at the back post from a Steven Caulker header and, less than two minutes later, Defoe scored the winner, coolly finishing from ten yards.
Spurs had conceded in the latter stages of all their previous games but they held firm yesterday afternoon to leave Villas-Boas punching the air with glee at the final whistle.
Friedel, recalled to the starting XI ahead of Hugo Lloris, pulled off a brilliant save to deny Clint Hill after four minutes and another one nine minutes later to thwart Junior Hoilett.
It seemed only a matter of time before QPR broke the deadlock and the opening goal came just after the half hour when Faurlin carved open the Spurs defence to find Zamora, who slotted the ball past the advancing Friedel.
After being booed off at half-time Villas-Boas brought on Caulker for Gylfi Sigurdsson, which allowed Bale to move up to his natural position, and the game changed completely with the two Spurs goals in 95 seconds.
First Caulker’s header from the back post flew in off the chest of QPR midfielder Faurlin and Defoe then made it 2-1 with a cool finish. Jan Vertonghen charged at the Rangers defence and laid the ball off to Bale, whose shot ricocheted into the path of the England striker, who calmly slotted the ball home through a sea of QPR defenders.
The match was turning into a thrilling end-to-end encounter, with QPR, mindful that Spurs had conceded in the last ten minutes of all their league games, threatening through Hoilett and substitute Djibril Cisse.
Spurs poured forward and almost got their third goal when Dempsey and Defoe had close-range headers blocked. Defoe nearly added his second in the last minute of added time but Julio Cesar saved well to his right.
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