Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 1 Maribor

Match info: Europa League - Group J at White Hart Lane

Date: 08/11/2012 KO: 20:05 Ref: Antti Munukka Att: 27,089

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Tottenham

Jermain Defoe 22,49,77

3
vs
1

Maribor

Robert Beric 40

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: November 8 2012, 23:28 GMT

Jermain Defoe spoke of his pride at overtaking Teddy Sheringham in the Tottenham record books after scoring a fine hat-trick in tonight's Europa League demolition of Maribor.

Tottenham's hat-trick hero Jermain Defoe
Tottenham's hat-trick hero Jermain Defoe

Defoe scored all three goals in the 3-1 win which puts Spurs within one victory of qualifying from Group J with one match to spare.

The 30-year-old was surprisingly left out of Roy Hodgson's England squad this afternoon and he responded in fine style, putting Tottenham ahead with a tidy volley before adding two more after the break.

The hat-trick, his first in a Spurs shirt since February 2010, means he now has 126 goals for the north London club - two more than Tottenham icon Sheringham, who he idolised when he was growing up.

"That's special on a personal note as Teddy was a player I watched as a kid," Defoe told ITV.

"He was a great player for club and country.

"It was amazing (to score a hat-trick). As a forward you get judged on scoring goals. It's the best thing in the world but it was important we won the game tonight."

Andre Villas-Boas paired Defoe with Emmanuel Adebayor from the start for the first time this season and the move worked well, with the duo combining well throughout.

Gareth Bale also played a big part in Defoe's excellent display, the Welshman providing the assists for the striker's first and last goals.

Villas-Boas showered praise on Defoe afterwards.

"He was amazing," the Spurs boss said.

"It's important for him because he overtakes Teddy Sheringham's record in the club, which means a lot.

"It was good to see (Defoe play with Adebayor). It is important for us to have this option. It was good to see us use this system.

"He (Defoe) makes the most of the opportunities he gets.

"Gareth was amazing for him and when you have so much quality in the link-up you have the possibility to score and he's a good goalscorer."

Villas-Boas would not be drawn on Defoe's international snub, adding: "It's Roy's selection. I cannot comment."

The win means Spurs leapfrog Maribor in to second ahead of their trip to Italian giants Lazio in two weeks' time.

The manner of the victory also went a long way to appeasing the fans who booed Spurs, and Villas-Boas, during Saturday's terribly lacklustre home defeat to Wigan.

Given that Manchester City are next up for Spurs on Sunday, Villas-Boas was happy to see his team return to winning ways.

"It was a good performance. It was important for us to bounce back," the 35-year-old said.

"You saw determination, desire and a great physical effort.

"To see the players putting on such a level of effort is fantastic to see."

Tottenham's only wobble during the match came when Kyle Naughton's woeful backpass caused Hugo Lloris to miscontrol and allow Robert Beric to draw Maribor level just before half-time.

Villas-Boas defended Lloris' part in the gaffe, saying: "Sometimes things happen like this.

"It happened to us at Chelsea. It's mistakes that make you evolve as a player and I have no problem with that.

"It could happen to any goalkeeper during any game. It will not affect my decision-making.

"We don't just want to whack it clear, we want to play it from the back. It's more to do with what we want to do with the ball."

Villas-Boas shrugged off Didier Deschamps' claims Lloris is not playing enough games.

When asked what he thought of the France manager's criticism, Villas-Boas pointed to his head and said: "It goes in one ear and comes out the other."

Maribor manager Darko Milanic meanwhile was impressed with Tottenham's display.

"The quality of their players is world class," he said.

"It was a very difficult match. Their speed was difficult to deal with. There is a clear difference between the teams."


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