Tottenham Hotspur vs. Stoke City Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Stoke City Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Tim Sherwood bagged his first home win as Tottenham Hotspur manager as his side saw off Stoke City 3-0 at White Hart Lane.

Roberto Soldado opened the scoring by converting a penalty in the first half, then strikes from Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon sealed a comfortable, dominant victory.

Tottenham started with purpose, controlling the ball and passing it around patiently, probing for openings.

It became immediately clear that Erik Pieters, playing at left-back for Stoke, had been targeted in the attacking strategy, and Spurs' forward line began interchanging to afford Aaron Lennon space to use.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The English winger continually bested his marker and worked good positions, and all that was needed was a strong final delivery to seemingly get the ball rolling.

After that, a few testers arrived, but Emmanuel Adebayor—a man in form—inexplicably failed to convert from five yards despite finding himself unchallenged. His shanked effort went sideways, hit Roberto Soldado's legs and ended up in Thomas Sorenson's grateful arms.

At this point, Stoke were playing almost exclusively on the counter, and aside from two chances—one to Jonathan Walters, one to Oussama Assaidi—the Spurs back line went largely untroubled.

The Assaidi chance was contentious, as replays suggest it was a foul (from behind) by Michael Dawson and a penalty should have been awarded.

The home side began working more and more outlets into the game, and after 30 minutes, Paulinho came alive. After being restored to the starting lineup upon completing a suspension, his tricks and flicks were out in full flow as he did his best to spark the attack.

Ezekiel Fryers, making his full Premier League debut, also looked fantastic, but it was the Soldado-Adebayor combination that eventually crumbled the Potters' resistance.

The Spaniard's accurate cross picked out his partner in the box, and as the former Arsenal man went to acrobatically turn home, Ryan Shawcross stuck both hands in the air to block the goal-bound shot.

Soldado stepped up to convert his fourth penalty of the season, with relief spreading quickly through the ranks of the home supporters.

The second half lacked flow for long periods, but individual moments of brilliance from Spurs brought the game to life.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

After Charlie Adam fired a rare shot on goal from 30 yards, Dembele broke the shackles of the midfield and converted a stunning, fierce grass-cutter from distance.

The Stoke resolve then collapsed for good, and just minutes later a swift counter made it three: Soldado's cross was deflected into Lennon's path, and the winger hooked a delightful, expert finish into the top corner to seal the win.

There was even time for Erik Lamela to come on and enjoy himself, with the Spurs supporters fully behind Sherwood's attacking brand of football. After mustering 20 shots on goal and converting a trio of those, the terraces sloped out in a positive mood. 

Stoke's total of two shots—with just one on target—is perhaps the most worrying statistic of the weekend.

 

Post-Match Reaction

 

Player Grades

Tottenham XI
Player Position Rating
Hugo Lloris GK 7
Kyle Naughton RB 6
Michael Dawson CB 6
Vlad Chiriches CB 7
Ezekiel Fryers LB 7
Paulinho CM 8
Mousa Dembele CM 7
Christian Eriksen AM 6
Aaron Lennon RW 9
Emmanuel Adebayor ST 7
Roberto Soldado ST 7
Subs
Etienne Capoue N.A 7
Erik Lamela N/A N/A
Nacer Chadli N/A N/A

B/R UK

Stoke XI
Player Position Rating
Thomas Sorenson GK 6
Andy Wilkinson RB 6
Ryan Shawcross CB 5
Geoff Cameron CB 6
Erik Pieters LB 4
Wilson Palacios DM 5
Steven N'Zonzi DM 5
Oussama Assaidi LW 5
Stephen Ireland AMC 4
Jonathan Walters RW 5
Peter Crouch ST 4
Subs
Charlie Adam N/A 5
Jermaine Pennant N/A 5
Marc Muniesa N/A N/A

B/R UK

 

What's Next?

On New Year's Day, Spurs travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United, while Stoke host Everton at the Britannia Stadium.


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