Bent hat-trick sinks Dinamo

06 November 2008 10:19
Darren Bent bagged a hat-trick as Tottenham's 4-0 UEFA Cup rout of Dinamo Zagreb continued Harry Redknapp's sensational start to life in the White Hart Lane hot-seat. Former boss Juande Ramos was axed just days after Spurs' miserable start to the season was compounded by a 2-0 defeat at Udinese in the first round of Group D fixtures last month. But since Redknapp's appointment two weeks ago, the north London club have not lost a game and the new confident Spurs side made light work of a subdued Dinamo outfit to kick-start their European adventure. Prior to the game, Redknapp was forced into a defensive reshuffle with Ledley King's knee injury requiring rest, Vedran Corluka cup-tied and Benoit Assou-Ekotto dropped. Michael Dawson returned to the heart of the defence, while Alan Hutton and Gareth Bale resumed full-back responsibilities. Aaron Lennon was given the nod on the right side of midfield with Jamie O'Hara suspended. Luka Modric was making his first appearance against the side he left in a £12million deal during the summer and the Croatia playmaker was the architect of the first goal on the half-hour mark. His cross was dummied by Tom Huddlestone and the in-form Bent took an assured touch before rifling the ball past Ivan Kelava via a deflection off the knee of Vladimir Smicer. Bent doubled his and Spurs' advantage just three minutes later when Huddlestone spotted him in space in the box and selflessly squared the ball for the striker to squeeze his shot under the diving keeper. Huddlestone turned from provider to scorer in the opening stages of the second half. The England Under-21 midfielder scored the goal of the night as he volleyed David Bentley's pinpoint corner into the bottom corner via a slight deflection to prompt scenes of jubilation among home fans, who have a new-found belief in their previously struggling side. Bent saw a hat-trick effort correctly ruled out for offside midway through the second period but was not to be denied the match ball. The England striker claimed his third goal and his first treble for Spurs with a composed finish after 70 minutes. The equally impressive Huddlestone split the defence with a powerful run and his pass allowed Bent the simplest of finishes on what could be a defining moment in the career of the former Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town striker. Bent has struggled to live up to the expectations of his £16.5million price tag since his arrival from Charlton in June 2007.

Source: ESA

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