Premier League: Stoke City 1 Tottenham 2
By Football News
Tottenham kept their hopes of a UEFA Champions League place alive as they earned a 2-1 victory over 10-man Stoke City.
Tony Pulis' side grabbed the advantage less than five minutes into the game through Steven N'Zonzi but Clint Dempsey equalised for the London outfit.
Charlie Adam was shown a red card early into the second half and the visitors' pressure finally told when Emmanuel Adebayor tapped home the winner with seven minutes to go to lift Tottenham into the top four.
Pulis made just one change to the side which earned a point at Sunderland, Matthew Etherington coming in for Cameron Jerome.
Tottenham brought Stephen Caulker in for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, while Clint Dempsey replaced Germany international Lewis Holtby following their 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday.
Stoke started brightly and took the lead after just three minutes, N'Zonzi heading in at the near post from an Adam free-kick.
Tottenham were edgy in defence but looked a threat going forward and thought they had levelled matters when Dempsey deflected Kyle Walker's effort into the bottom of the net, but the Amercian's strike was correctly ruled out for offside.
However, four minutes later Dempsey did score in somewhat bizarre fashion, sending a looping effort into an empty net after Marc Wilson had played Scott Parker's lofted ball into his path after a lack of communication had left Asmir Begovic woefully out of position.
Spurs gained confidence following that equaliser and went close again three minutes later, Gareth Bale firing over with a long-range free-kick.
The Welshman went close again after 44 minutes, his left-footed effort from the edge of the area well saved by Begovic.
The hosts were able to hold on until the interval, but two minutes into the second half they were dealt a huge blow as Adam was sent-off for a second bookable offence following an ill-advised lunge on Jan Vertonghen.
Adam's dismissal had the inevitable effect as the home side sat behind the ball with Spurs pushing forward at will, still Andre Villas-Boas' men were far from clinical, with Vertonghen's ballooned effort clear evidence of their wastefulness.
Spurs' urgency was clear for all to see and when Begovic saved again from Bale at the near post it appeared only a matter of time before the visitors would eventually find a winner.
Stoke's defence was at best severely fragile, but they rode their luck effectively and survived another scare as Vertonghen headed over after latching on a free-kick from Tom Huddlestone.
Dempsey stung the palms of Begovic once more and Bale fired wide from close range, but Stoke remained a threat and almost grabbed an unlikely winner when Robert Huth headed over from a free-kick.
However, it was Spurs who deservedly had the final say, Adebayor slotting into an empty net after latching on to a Dempsey cross at the end of a sweeping move to maintain the White Hart Lane club's top-four ambitions.