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Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Blackburn Rovers - Match Report
Roman Pavlyuchenko scored twice as Tottenham moved a step closer to their Champions League ambitions with a 3-1 victory against Blackburn Rovers.
Jermain Defoe opened the scoring just before half-time and Pavlyuchenko bagged a second-half brace, to make it eight goals in six games.
Spurs should have gone ahead early on when Pavlyuchenko bobbled a shot over the bar after Benoit Assou-Ekotto had capitalised on some sloppy Blackburn defending.
Gareth Bale continued his impressive form and often had the beating of Blackburn right-back Michel Salgado. He set up Pavlyuchenko, who again failed to hit the target from close range.
Wilson Palacios then neatly found Defoe with a throughball but the England striker was denied by substitute keeper Jason Brown.
Spurs got their breakthrough just before half-time when a Niko Kranjcar corner found Vedran Corluka, whose header glanced across the face of goal and Defoe provided the tap-in at the back post.
Spurs extended their lead early in the second period. Luka Modric set off on the counter-attack and picked out Defoe, who unselfishly knocked the ball to Pavlyuchenko. The in-form striker fired a shot that squirmed underneath Brown, who should have done better in the Blackburn goal.
Blackburn began to threaten and a ball across the box from Martin Olsson needed a better touch from Kalinic before Spurs broke away.
Bale felt he should have had a penalty when he went down under the challenge of Salgado but referee Howard Webb waved play on.
Blackburn got back in the game late on when Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner was met by the towering Christopher Samba to make it 2-1.
Spurs won a free-kick minutes later and Bale pin-pointed Pavlyuchenko with a ball across goal but the striker squandered his shot. However, he was granted a second chance when Palacios picked out Bale to provide another telling cross for the Russian who could not miss.
Samba then acrobatically cleared Pavlyuchenko's goalbound lob to deny the Tottenham man a stunning hat-trick.
Kalinic found the net but the striker was adjudged to have handled the ball and Spurs held out for a 3-1 win.
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