x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Redknapp brings immediate rewards

Roman Pavlyuchenko's header and Darren Bent's penalty finally ended the misery Tottenham Hotpsur fans have had to endure this season.

Tottenham Hotspur's Roman Pavlyuchenko scores his side's first goal.
Tottenham Hotspur's Roman Pavlyuchenko scores his side's first goal.

LONDON // Roman Pavlyuchenko's header and Darren Bent's penalty finally ended the misery Tottenham Hotpsur fans have had to endure this season. It was in keeping with a weekend of revolution at White Hart Lane, as the chirpy cocknet Harry Radknapp was sat in the home dugout rather than the Spaniard Juande Ramos. Redknapp was announced as Ramos' successor on the eve of this clash - and his appointment sparked an instant reaction from Spurs players.

They knew they would still be bottom of the table even if they won but there was a new confidence about Spurs and they took the lead when Pavlyuchenko scored his first league goal since his £13.8million (Dh80.5m) move from Spartak Moscow. Redknapp was unveiled to the Spurs fans before kick-off - something not afforded to Ramos due to the embarrassing manner of Martin Jol's departure. There was an extra energy from the hosts, Jamie O'Hara having an early shot from long distance deflected over and it took a brave header from Andy O'Brien to prevent Pavlyuchenko from tapping in from the resulting corner.

Luka Modric has struggled to make an impact since his £16.5m signing in the summer, but he was given a free role behind the striker and was seeing plenty of the ball. The opener came in the 18th minute when David Bentley picked the ball up on the right flank. Bentley was also back after being dropped from the Uefa Cup squad that lost to Udinese in midweek following an outspoken assessment on Spurs' start to the season. After exchanging passes with Alan Hutton, the early cross came and was met with a downward header from Pavlyuchenko 12 yards out, with the ball going in off the post.

Bent wrapped up the victory from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Jussi Jaaskelainen. * PA Sport