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Rediff.com  » Sports » Stoke snatch late win at Spurs, Villa held

Stoke snatch late win at Spurs, Villa held

Last updated on: October 24, 2009 22:34 IST

Tottenham Hotspur's bid to break up the Premier League's big-four cartel suffered a hefty setback on Saturday when they lost 1-0 at home to Stoke City courtesy of an 86th-minute goal by Glenn Whelan.

A Spurs win would have taken them provisionally level on points with leaders Manchester United but after failing to turn their dominance into a goal they were caught on the break as Stoke claimed their first away win of the season.

Burnley's 100 per cent home record ended with a 3-1 defeat by Wigan Athletic and Sunderland's good run was halted by a 2-1 loss at Birmingham City.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa drew 1-1 at Molineux while Hull City and visiting Portsmouth showed why they are in the bottom three with a dire goalless draw.

Spurs stayed third on 19, one clear of Arsenal, who visit West Ham United on Sunday. Fifth-placed Manchester City (17) are also in action on Sunday, at home to Fulham.

ABLE REPLACEMENT

Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was taken ill in the warm up at White Hart Lane but Steve Simonsen proved a more than able replacement as he enjoyed a terrific afternoon.

Jonathan Woodgate's first appearance of the season for Spurs lasted only 13 minutes as the injury-prone England centre back suffered a heavy knock to his head in the process of making a superb goalline clearance.

That was a rare piece of Stoke pressure, however, Niko Kranjcar smacking a long shot against a post and Peter Crouch going close several times as Spurs, without suspended England striker Jermain Defoe, were denied repeatedly by Simonsen.

Tottenham were reduced to 10 men for the last 12 minutes when Aaron Lennon went off injured with all the substitutes used and Stoke took advantage when Ricardo Fuller stormed down the wing and squared for Whelan to score with a superb curler.

"We've got good group of lads, they all work hard, they all have a go and we know that's a great three points today," Stoke manager Tony Pulis told Sky Sports News after his side's first win at White Hart Lane since 1975.

Steven Fletcher's early goal had Burnley fans hoping for a fifth successive home win but Wigan were presented with something of a freak equaliser when goalkeeper Brian Jensen collapsed with what looked like a twisted ankle, allowing Hugo Rodallega to tap into an empty net.

A second by Rodallega and one for Emmerson Boyce completed the win.

Source:
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