Reading vs. Tottenham Hotspur  1 - 3


Villas-Boas plays down pressure talk

16 September 2012 21:30

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas stressed he felt no pressure over job security ahead of Sunday's 3-1 win over Reading.

Spurs had been without a victory this season before they eased past the newly promoted side at Madejski Stadium, with Jermain Defoe netting twice.

Speculation over Villas-Boas' tenure at White Hart Lane had mounted after the London side's lacklustre start to the season, but the Portuguese denied he was affected.

Asked if he was feeling extra pressure going into the game, the former Chelsea boss replied: "No, not at all.

"I am extremely happy because the players put tremendous commitment into the game, responsibility and concentration. They understood that we've been working so hard and they deserved to get this first win.

"The way they came into the game with that focus and wanting to put things in their place is very pleasing to see."

A number of the north London club's new signings put in good displays to help Spurs claim the victory, with Mousa Dembele making his full debut, and Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson also starring.

However, it was Defoe who made the biggest contribution, and Villas-Boas praised his influence.

"(I'm) extremely happy for him, he's such a prolific striker for club and country," Villas-Boas said.

"He's amazing at sniffing goalscoring opportunities; not only makes the most out of small opportunities that he has, he creates a lot for himself.

"I'm happy for him of course, there are questions being raised about him being played up front on his own and it being difficult for him. On his own or with (Emmanuel Adebayor) on his side I think Jermain can continue to produce attacking opportunities.

"Jermain deserves to be in this position because of what he has been doing in training, obviously when we started the season Adebayor wasn't with us.

Villas-Boas' Reading counterpart Brian McDermott said his side were 'too submissive' and concded Spurs were worthy of the three points.

Reading are without a win from their opening four matches of the Premier League season and McDermott urged his men to start heeding the lessons from top-flight competition.

"I thought we were too submissive and didn't get on the ball enough or in their faces," McDermott told BBC Sport.

"I made some changes and we were much better in the second half. We came up against a very good side today and they deserved the win.

"We've got to move on very, very quickly. Today was a learning curve for all of us. Spurs is a team full of world-class performers, but we didn't cause enough problems for them, especially in the first half."


Defoe hopes win can provide spark

16 September 2012 21:24

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe hopes the club's 3-1 win at Reading on Sunday can silence the doubters and kick-start their season.

The 29-year-old scored twice either side of a Gareth Bale goal as Andre Villas-Boas' side recorded their first win of the campaign.

The visitors were impressive throughout the match and Defoe hopes this can be the result that gets their stuttering start to the season out of their system.

"Hopefully the fans are happy and everyone who has doubted us can look at us and think we'll do well this season," he told Sky Sports.

Defoe admitted Spurs might have panicked if they had needed to defend a one-goal lead late on and acknowledged that Bale's strike, which made it 2-0, was a welcome relief.

"That's what we wanted, just to settle us down," he said. "When we got the second goal, we passed it a lot more and (we) could control the game.

"When it's just 1-0, we panic a little bit because obviously we've conceded late goals. It's something we wanted to get out of our game really."

Their had been much speculation over Villas-Boas' future, with reports even suggesting that he had just three games to save his job, but Defoe dismissed that claim and said his new boss needs time to get his ideas across.

"I think that's normal to be honest (for there to be pressure on Villas-Boas)," he continued. "When a manager comes to a new club sometimes it takes time.

"You get world class players that come to football clubs and people think instantly they are going to be unbelievable sometimes.

The England striker insisted he is happy to continue as a lone striker and felt he could thrive in such a role if he received enough support.

"I've always said that when you're playing with quality players it's not a problem (playing alone) because they get close to me.

"Today we had a lot of the ball, so it's just a case of being clever and making sure your movement is good, and I did that today."


Premier League: Reading 1 Tottenham 3

16 September 2012 19:23

Jermain Defoe scored a double as Tottenham gave new manager Andre Villas-Boas a first win in charge with a 3-1 victory at Reading.

A well-worked move on the right flank saw Aaron Lennon's pull-back clinically converted by Defoe from 10 yards, before Gareth Bale extended the lead in the second half after being set up by Kyle Walker.

Defoe doubled his tally to make it 3-0 before Reading nabbed a 90th-minute consolation through Hal Robson-Kanu.

Tottenham were on the front foot from the outset at Madejski Stadium and Jan Vertonghen stung the palms of Alex McCarthy early on.

The visitors played with authority and although Bale missed the target with a deft flick from a Vertonghen long-ball, Defoe made no mistake when he caught his first clear sight of goal.

Gylfi Sigurdsson threaded a well-weighted pass in between Kaspars Gorkss and Ian Harte for Lennon to scamper on to, and the winger's cutback was met with a well-placed Defoe shot that gave Spurs the lead.

Defoe's sublime first touch from Kyle Naughton's long ball almost saw him create a second, but his shot was toe-poked wide.

The diminutive striker kept hassling the Reading defence and almost set up Sigurdsson for a second goal, but Alex Pearce made a heroic goal-line block from the Icelander.

Aside from a late Jobi McAnuff 20-yard effort, Reading had very little to show for a first half in the way of opportunities on goal.

They opted for a more direct approach after the interval but the impressive Vertonghen remained diligent at the back alongside William Gallas.

With Reading pushing forward the visitors were presented with opportunities on the counter, with a Mousa Dembele cross-shot deflecting off Defoe and over the crossbar.

Walker was the architect of the second goal, taking advantage of some loose defending to skip down the right and drag the ball back to Bale, whose mistimed shot sailed into goal.

Defoe started and finished the play that sealed the three points, gliding past Pearce and slamming the ball across McCarthy for his second goal of the game.

Gallas cleared Adam Le Fondre and Reading's first shot on target off the line with five minutes to play, but the substitute striker showed great invention in the final two minutes to clip a cross over Brad Friedel and provide the assist for the onrushing substitute Robson-Kanu.


Premier League preview: Reading v Tottenham

14 September 2012 09:10

Andre Villas-Boas has not yet endeared himself to the White Hart Lane faithful ahead of Tottenham's trip to Reading on Sunday.

The Portuguese, in his second spell of Premier League management, saw his side roundly booed off after a 1-1 draw with Norwich at the start of September that extended Spurs' winless start to three games.

Newly promoted Reading have just one point in three matches but could provide another headache for Villas-Boas and Tottenham if they claim even a point at the Madejski Stadium.

Luck was not a commodity Villas-Boas enjoyed at Chelsea last season before he was sacked, but something he could do with right about now.

Star playmaker Luka Modric's departure, though inevitable, was not a disaster as the likes of Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Jan Vertongen and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris were brought in for not much more than the 30 million pounds they acquired for him.

All good signings in their own right, yet the early signs have not been good for Spurs.

A distinct lack of fluidity and departure from what fans came to expect under Harry Redknapp has many of them already baying for Villas-Boas' blood.

Lloris, an 11-million-pound signing from Lyon, has caused consternation after Villas-Boas confirmed he would not be dumping 41-year-old keeper Brad Friedel from the starting 11 for the Frenchman.

Lloris, a French international, felt he would inherit the number one spot immediately but the 25-year-old may now be the principle thorn in Villas-Boas' side so long as he is not playing.

Reading manager Brian McDermott has goalkeeper worries of his own, with Australian number one Adam Federici making two critical errors in the side's opening games against Stoke and Chelsea.

McDermott has backed Federici and in somewhat of a blessing does not have the same talent between the sticks Villas-Boas has at his disposal.

Spurs could do with Scott Parker to stiffen up the midfield but he is set to miss at least another week with an Achilles tendon injury.

For Reading, Federici and striker Jason Roberts are expected to line up after battling a knock and shin injury respectively.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25