Rampant Spurs crush QPR to ruin Redknapp’s return to White Hart Lane
15:21 24 August 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Harry Redknapp’s return to White Hart Lane proved to be an unhappy one as Tottenham thrashed his QPR side 4-0 to go top of the fledgling Premier League table.
Redknapp spent three and a half years as Spurs manager between October 2008 and May 2012 and he returned to N17 as a visiting manager for the first time today - but the 67-year-old could only look on helplessly as his Rangers side were ripped apart by Mauricio Pochettino’s rampant Lilywhites.
Nacer Chadli opened the scoring in the 11th minute and Eric Dier then got his second goal in two Premier League games before Chadli doubled his own tally before the interval – and Emmanuel Adebayor added another after the hour-mark.
Having made a host of changes for Thursday night’s Europa League game against AEL Limassol in Cyprus on Thursday, Mauricio Pochettino reverted to something close to his first-choice side.
With Kyle Walker out injured and his usual deputy Kyle Naughton suspended, Eric Dier started for the third time in eight days – as did Nabil Bentaleb – and Jan Vertonghen kept his place in the side, while his fellow Belgian Chadli was a surprise inclusion in the Spurs line-up.
There were notable absentees on the bench, with Andros Townsend, Michael Dawson and Sandro all missing out on the squad, fuelling speculation that they could be leaving White Hart Lane before the end of the transfer window.
Meanwhile, Redknapp gave debuts to Mauricio Isla and Leroy Fer, but a hamstring injury ruled Charlie Austin out, so Matt Phillips started in an advanced position behind striker Loic Remy.
Erik Lamela started on the right for Spurs and created an early opening, jinking inside and hitting a left-footed shot which was deflected wide.
The Argentine then played a neat one-two with the lively Adebayor and, although he forced Chadli too wide with his final pass, the Belgian crossed for Adebayor, who headed over.
Spurs took the lead in the 11th minute, with Bentaleb freeing Adebayor on the left, and he chipped the ball to the back post, where Chadli chested the ball down and prodded it past Rob Green.
QPR won their first corner but it turned into another chance for Spurs as Vertonghen broke away, crossing the halfway line and trying to find Christian Eriksen with a low ball. Armand Traore blocked it but stopped it in Adebayor’s path – but he could only prod straight at Green from the edge of the box.
Despite Tottenham’s dominance, Rangers nearly got an equaliser in the 20th minute as Phillips latched onto a long ball over the top, brought it down neatly and beat Younes Kaboul, only to lift his shot over the bar.
It proved to be a big miss because the Rs never got so close to levelling again and the game rapidly got away from them.
Eriksen hit the underside of the bar with a curling 30-yard free-kick and, just before the half-hour mark, it was 2-0 as Dier headed home from six yards from Lamela’s corner.
Tottenham went on to extend their lead shortly afterwards, with Lamela twirling to beat his man in the middle and then darting into the box on the left-hand side before chipping the ball in to Chadli, who headed home for his second goal of the first half.
It could have been worse for QPR before half-time as Eriksen was first to a throw-in into the box, setting up a chance for Adebayor, but Richard Dunne came across to make a good block.
That was to be Dunne’s last major contribution as Redknapp made a half-time change, introducing Nedum Onuoha in the Irishman’s place.
Rio Ferdinand headed wide from a Joey Barton corner, and the Rs defender then defended superbly when Adebayor and Lamela ran at him two on one, stopping Lamela from getting a shot off.
Eriksen then won the ball in the midfield and sent Adebayor running at the defence again. The ball came back to the Dane but his shot was blocked.
The fourth goal arrived in the 65th minute, with Danny Rose flying forward and getting free on the left flank before sliding a low cross into the path of Adebayor, who finished first-time into the bottom right corner.
Former Spurs striker Bobby Zamora had a late chance to get a consolation goal as the ball ran to him in the box, but he blazed over and Tottenham maintain their four-goal advantage.
That was enough to take Spurs top of the early league table on goal difference as they maintained their perfect start to the season under Pochettino with three wins from three.
Tottenham host Cypriot side AEL Limassol in the second leg of their Europa League play-off at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
Tottenham: Lloris, Dier, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose, Bentaleb (Dembele 59), Capoue, Chadli (Kane 68), Eriksen, Lamela, Adebayor (Soldado 80).
QPR: Green, Caulker, Ferdinand, Dunne (Onuoha), Isla, Barton, Fer (Faurlin 67), Mutch, Traore, Phillips (Zamora 74), Remy