x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Spurs turmoil worsens

Portsmouth pile on the pressure for bottom of the table Tottenham Hotspur with a 2-0 home win.

Peter Crouch, left, scores Portsmouth's second goal.
Peter Crouch, left, scores Portsmouth's second goal.

PORTSMOUTH, England // Portsmouth strikers Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch returned to punish Tottenham today, each scoring in a 2-0 victory that deepens the turmoil at their former side Spurs with their worst start to a season in 53 years. From the penalty spot in the 34th minute, Defoe scored his 13th goal in 18 games since being surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane. The victory was sealed in the 66th by Crouch, who was let go by Spurs in 2000 without making a competitive appearance.

But Tottenham departed Fratton Park with a sense of injustice after referee Mike Dean refused to award a penalty when Lassana Diarra blocked Aaron Lennon's cross with his hand in the 54th - despite Jermaine Jenas being penalised for the same offence that gave Defoe his goal. Diarra, though, was sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 88th for a late challenge on Benoit Assou-Ekotto. A shapeless Spurs side lacking confidence and invention are lodged at the bottom of the league with just two points from their first six matches - one more than the tally amassed in 1955 at this stage.

Taunts of "Going down" came from Pompey fans as their side bounced back from a 6-0 thumping at Manchester City last weekend and a 4-0 elimination from the League Cup by Chelsea. *AP