Tottenham Hotspur v Blackburn Rovers - as it happened

Tottenham leap back up to fourth with a comfortable victory over a Blackburn side who fail to have a single shot

Afternoon all. Like an apple crumble with a biscuit base, it's crunch time at the top and bottom. Tottenham leapfrog Chelsea and Newcastle with a win to go fourth, while a three-goal winning margin would lift Blackburn out of the bottom three.

In the 16 games since the turn of the year, these sides have picked up 20 and 17 points respectively, while only Wolves and Villa have been worse than Spurs since Fabio Capello handed in his notice with the FA. Blackburn, lumbered with a manager about as popular as steak tartare at a cows-only Christmas party, at least ended their losing run against Norwich last weekend.

So this is a meeting of two teams not so much in a sticky patch as in a gargantuan mud-filled trench of discarded Pritt Stick and Sellotape. It could get messy.

The teams are in:

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Saha, Giovani, Defoe, King, Livermore, Nelsen.
Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Marcus Olsson, Formica, Dunn, Lowe, Pedersen, Hoilett, Yakubu. Subs: Kean, Martin Olsson, Modeste, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Rochina, Goodwillie.
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

So Younes Kaboul, Danny Rose, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor come in for Spurs, with Ledley King, Jermain Defoe on the bench and Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Scott Parker out through injury. Blackburn are unchanged from their win over the Canaries.

Here's pre-match Harry: "Blackburn have got some great players. So we're not expecting an easy game."

And here's Stevie K: "We come into the game with confidence."

Pre-match email dept. "I've been putting off doing the lawn, the rest of the gardening, the recycling, cleaning out the kitty litter, I have some washing to do," begins John Willoug. "I may even have a go over my personal accounts... As a Spurs fan I'm used to having disappointments, but spread out over a season. This season had got me stoked up so high that I ... think I'll just skip the game today. Next year lose a few more games early please, I'd prefer not to get hyped up to such unreasonable optimism only to have it crash."

Click-clack, click-clack … the teams emerge from the tunnel and into a grey day at White Hart Lane. It's not raining now, but it has been on-and-off all day. We might get a downpour or two later.


Peep! Off we go then. Blackburn, in black and gold, get things underway.

50 seconds: What a piece of play this is, Blackburn torn open like a bag of ready salted. Modric to Rose to Bale to Modric, who gets to the byline and fizzes a ball across goal only for Lennon to bundle his shot into the side netting from close range.

2 min: Olsson hammers forward, Yakubu scampers after it, but Kaboul tidies up neatly.

3 min: Lennon's turn to scurry to the byline and zip in a cross. Cleared by Blackburn. Corner …

4 min: … dragged down to the near post and swatted away by a defender.

5 min: Sandro beats one, two, three, four, FIVE men but his cross cannons off a defender and back at the Brazilian before going out for a goal kick. That was exhilarating stuff, if ultimately disappointing. Like a rollercoaster that ends in a tax bill.

7 min: Optimism dept. "I'm a long-suffering Spurs fan (aren't we all?) and I am mystified by our performances of the last two months," writes Guy Hornsby. "We've looked as likely to score five as we have to ship five, and up front we've been non-existent. We can talk about 'Arry and England, but it's not like the players are up for the top job. It's an easy excuse. We should turn over Blackburn here, and we've started well, so that probably means we'll lose 2-0."

8 min: OFF THE BAR! Spurs have started here like a bunch of Marios with star power. Sandro rumbles forward again and thunders a superb effort off the underside of the bar. Modric and Adebayor can't get to the rebound.

9 min: This could be an exceptionally long afternoon for Blackburn Rovers. They've not been out of their half yet and now they've conceded a free-kick, centralo, 40 yards out …

10 min: … which Modric takes short. And Blackburn eventually clear.

12 min: Mistake by Walker allows Olsson to nip in and win a corner. But like a slipshod postman, Pedersen's delivery is poor.

13 min: Spurs break with lightning speed, but Lennon can't quite find Van der Vaart neatly enough with his cross.

14 min: Steve Kean, perhaps taking a leaf from the Roberto Martinez playbook, has set his side up with a back three today. Not really working so far.

16 min: Rose wastes a decent crossing position with Blackburn backpeddling. Still Spurs apply the pressure.

18 min: Walker storms forward but again the final ball isn't crisp or accurate enough.

19 min: Pedersen has to have a bit of magic sponge treatment after coming off worst in a 50-50 with Sandro. He's OK, though.

21 min: Walker and Rose have enjoyed more space than a goth with halitosis at a Justin Bieber gig.

GOAL!!! Tottenham 1-0 Blackburn (Van der Vaart 22) This has been coming, in the same way that a puddle is coming when a monsoon starts. Dann does brilliantly to keep out Bale's backpost header, but the Rovers defender can only jam his header against the bar. It drops out to Adebayor inside the six-yard box. He shields it to allow Van der Vaart to spank it home. Again Blackburn almost keep it out, but replays show it was a good yard over the line.

23 min: That could've been two! But Lennon lashes a shot high and wide, like an obese buzzard.

25 min: "Whisper it," whispers Russell Child, "but it looks like the Spurs players actually want to play and want to win."

26 min: Wondering how things stand if it stays like this? You can find out here with our live Premier League table.

27 min: Bale and Van der Vaart combine neatly again, but the move breaks down when the ball reaches Rose.

29 min: Modric is running the show here – he's the conductor of this Spurs symphony. Although, to be honest it's been more of a thrash metal opus.

32 min: Pass, pass, pass from Spurs …

33 min: Bale wins a free-kick out on the left, but Spurs aren't happy. They had the advantage. Anyway, chance to deliver here …

34 min: … but it's not a good ball from Bale and Blackburn clear. In a fashion, because the ball just keeps coming back.

36 min: Blackburn enjoy a few touches of the ball. Gallas is so taken aback that he almost switches off and allows Hoilett in.

37 min: Robinson scoots off his line to deny Rose after a lovely Modric through-ball.

38 min: Again Blackburn have a few touches in the Spurs half, but Sandro, playing nightclub bouncer to Modric's superstar DJ, wins the ball back for Tottenham.

40 min: This is probably Blackburn's best spell of the game so far. Which isn't saying much. At all.

42 min: OFF THE BAR!! AGAIN!! Spurs force a couple of corners, and from the second Gallas stoops lowest (weirdly) and glances a header against the woodwork.

43 min: Attempts at goal: Tottenham 9-0 Blackburn.

45 min: This is what season finale football is all about – sunshine at last! "Is it just me, or is Sandro a much better player when he's not playing alongside Parker?" ponders Sam Abrahams. I'll leave that one open to the floor.

PEEP! Half-time. Time for an orange segment and some tea in a Pyrex mug.

The half-time Let's Give Steve Kean A Thorough Kicking dept

"Blackburn are awful. Steve Kean's tactics are worse," fumes Stephen Green. "Sit back and let Spurs attack relentlessly. Genius. No wonder other managers praise him, it's 3 easy points. Obviously it's the fans fault though for saying mean things to precious Stevie K at a football match. The horror ..."

"Dreadful stuff from Rovers," rages Matthew Coyle. "Relegation beckons. And people wonder why Steve Kean is unpopular."

Good news dept. I've found my cardigan!

Peep! Tottenham, who had Blackburn bloodied, bruised and on the ropes in the first half, but failed to deliver the knockout blow, get round two underway. Ding, ding.

46 min: Tottenham enjoy 69 seconds of possession before Blackburn get their first touch of the half thanks to Modric's loose pass.

48 min: Modric and Van der Vaart combine beautifully through midfield to fashion a chance for Lennon, but the winger can only flay his shot into the side-netting.

49 min: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," said Einstein back in the day. Steve Kean and Rovers are unchanged. Current shot tally: Tottenham 11-0 Blackburn.

52 min: CLICHE ALERT!! The visitors are in this as long as it remains only 1-0 etc and so forth.

54 min: Dunn to Lowe to Hoilett, who trips Kaboul and concedes a free-kick.

55 min: Pedersen concedes a corner …

56 min: … flicked away by a Blackburn head.

57 min: "All due respect to Einstein, but the true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again because the flying dragons from the purple dimension are sending you signals to do so," reckons Dan Davis. "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is more the definition of stupidity, rather than insanity, in my non-Einsteinian opinion."

58 min: Rose and Formica exchange aggressive body shapes. Not handbags, or even purses, more one of those plastic things that hold a few pounds coins that walkers and youth hostellers wear around their necks.

60 min: Robinson launches a free-kick close to the centre-circle into the Tottenham area. A foul ends the 'attack' before Friedel's even had the chance to claim it.

61 min: Hoilett scurries forward, drops a shoulder, but tumbles down as Kaboul leisurely relieves him of the ball on the edge of the box.

63 min: 1-0 would be a far more worrying scoreline for Spurs if Blackburn had a) had a shot at goal, b) shown any sign of thinking about having a shot at goal or c) looked vaguely interested in having a shot at goal or working out a position from which a shot at goal might be taken. It's been a confusingly, headscratchingly negative performance from the visitors.

65 min: Bale's deep cross drops out to Lennon, who slips the ball back to Modric, who sees his shot blocked by an advancing Blackburn body.

68 min: Van der Vaart whips in a free-kick, nodded clear again by Blackburn, who, to be fair, have defended pretty well today.

70 min: Einstein's getting as much as a kicking as Steve Kean in my inbox. "Problem is, Einstein was a theoretical physicist," writes Matt Dony. "A damn good one, admittedly, but that doesn't give him any great insights on psychiatry. His definition of insanity is no more worthy than his opinions on popular music, or his knock knock jokes, or anything else that isn't crazy, impenetrable science and/or maths."

71 min: Lennon's turn for the magic sponge after a painful looking ankle twist.

72 min: Off comes Yakubu, on comes Anthony Modeste. Kean really chancing his arm there.

GOAL!!! Tottenham 2-0 Blackburn (Walker 75) And it's an absolute screamer from the former Sheffield United full-back. A free-kick 35 yards out, and he spanks it into the top corner, via a slight deflection off David Dunn.

76 min: That will be that. Current shot count: Tottenham 17-0 Blackburn.

78 min: "The real question about Einstein is not whether his opinions matter outside his own discipline, but could he offer them on a wet Thursday in Stoke?" writes Allan Castle.

79 min: Friedel catches a long throw and releases Bale, who wins a corner, Spurs' sixth of the game …

80 min: … nodded down by Kaboul, but thwacked away by the defence. Rovers had all 11 men back to defend that, so Spurs build again from the back.

82 min: Spurs, their job done, have slowed this to walking pace now.

83 min: Lennon strides off to be replaced by Giovani, while David Goodwillie comes on for Blackburn in place of David Dunn.

85 min: Just for a second there it looked like Blackburn would have a shot. But Hoilett delayed and the chance disappeared.

86 min: Sandro off, Livermore on. Bale flicks a header wide.

88 min: Defoe replaces Van der Vaart.

89 min: "Steve Kean for England," chant the home fans.

90 min: Three minutes of added time to play.

90+2 min: You've got to feel for those in the away end at White Hart Lane, who will have paid £30 to watch their team do this. What a miserable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

PEEEEEEEEEP!!! It's all over.

Final shot tally: Tottenham 19-0 Blackburn.

Right, that's it from me. Thanks for all your emails as ever. Cheerio!

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