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Spurs v Norwich City – September 14th 2013

Spurs v Norwich City – September 14th 2013

Gylfi Sigurdsson gives Tottenham the lead against Norwich

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a goal in each half as Tottenham began life after Gareth Bale with a routine victory over Norwich at White Hart Lane.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas handed a debut to new signing Christian Eriksen and the Dane created the first goal, with Sigurdsson slotting home.

The Iceland international converted a Paulinho cross for his second and was then denied a hat-trick by John Ruddy.

Andros Townsend almost scored a third but was also thwarted by Ruddy.

The comfortable nature of the victory was just what Villas-Boas would have wanted after saying the club needed to “move on” from Bale’s departure to Real Madrid.

The result gives Spurs nine points from their first four Premier League games, an improvement on their tally of five at the same stage last season, when they went on to finish just one point outside of the Champions League qualification places.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton returned to the club where he spent 13 years as a player and 14 years on the coaching staffhaving distanced himself from the vacant Republic of Ireland manager’s position earlier this week.

Hughton made eight signings during the transfer window, but it was one of his old club’s new recruits who had a telling influence in the opening period.

Midfielder Eriksen, signed from Ajax for £11.5m, went straight into the starting line-up, unlike forward Erik Lamela, who was among the substitutes once again.

His impact was almost instant as a weaving run ended in a shot which Ruddy parried and Roberto Soldado back-heeled against the post from close range.

Playing behind the Spanish striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Eriksen continued to find space and on 28 minutes weighted a pass into the path of Sigurdsson, who calmly netted Spurs’ first league goal from open play this season.

Norwich responded with their only meaningful attempt of the first half, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel firing wide from 10 yards after a Nathan Redmond cross.

But four minutes into the second half their deficit was doubled.

Eriksen was again prominent, sliding a pass wide to Paulinho, whose cross evaded Ruddy and left Sigurdsson with little to do.

The former Swansea player was denied a hat-trick when Ruddy palmed wide a stinging effort from 30 yards and the goalkeeper then blocked a Townsend strike from inside the box as Norwich offered little threat.

Sigurdsson’s hopes of a hat-trick ended when Sandro replaced him, with Eriksen also departing to a standing ovation on 71 minutes.

As the pace of the play dropped, Lamela, signed from Roma, came off the bench to make his home debut.

And when Van Wolfswinkel had a sight of goal blocked in the late stages, Spurs’ sixth consecutive home league win was assured.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas:

“Sigurdsson is a big fighter in this squad, always hoping for his opportunity to arrive.

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton:

“It was a real tough day for us. We came up against a Tottenham side with the quality they’ve got. Not only on the pitch but the choices they’ve got off the bench as well.

“We tried to stay in the game and up the energy in the second-half which I think we did but in the first half, it was tough for us with the movement they’ve got.”

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (4) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 25 Lloris Booked
  • 02 Walker
  • 03 Rose
  • 05 Vertonghen
  • 20 Dawson
  • 08 Paulinho
  • 17 Townsend
  • 19 Dembele (Lamela – 83′ )
  • 22 Sigurdsson (Sandro – 79′ )
  • 23 Eriksen (Holtby – 71′ )
  • 09 Soldado

Substitutes

  • 24 Friedel
  • 04 Kaboul
  • 16 Naughton
  • 11 Lamela
  • 14 Holtby
  • 30 Sandro
  • 18 Defoe

Norwich City

  • 01 Ruddy
  • 03 Whittaker
  • 05 Bassong
  • 06 Turner
  • 18 Garrido Booked
  • 04 Johnson Booked (Howson – 64′ )
  • 07 Snodgrass
  • 10 Fer
  • 22 Redmond (Pilkington – 74′ )
  • 09 van Wolfswinkel
  • 16 Elmander Booked (Tettey – 74′ )

Substitutes

  • 13 Bunn
  • 02 Martin
  • 23 Olsson
  • 08 Howson
  • 12 Pilkington
  • 27 Tettey
  • 11 Hooper
Ref: Mason
Att: 35,952

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