Premier League - Sherwood earns first home win as Spurs coast past Stoke

Premier League, White Hart Lane – Tottenham 3 (Soldado 37 pen, Dembele 65, Lennon 69) Stoke 0

Tottenham brushed aside Stoke City 3-0 to move three points off the top four and maintain Tim Sherwood’s unbeaten run as manager in the Premier League.

The hosts carved out a number of openings in a one-sided first-half with Aaron Lennon and Paulinho looking particular dangerous as Spurs repeatedly flooded forward.

Roberto Soldado thumped home the opener from the penalty spot after Emmanuel Adebayor’s acrobatic volley was stopped by the outstretched hands of Ryan Shawcross, leaving Kevin Friend with no option but to point to the spot.

Spurs continued to dominate after the restart and struck again when Mousa Dembele threw in a clever dummy and fired into the bottom corner before Aaron Lennon volleyed past Thomas Sorensen to seal the victory.

Substitute Erik Lamela almost notched a fourth with his first touch only to be denied by a last-ditch sliding challenge but it was to prove inconsequential as Tottenham moved level on points with Manchester United ahead of the pairs’ New Year’s Day clash.

KEY MOMENTS

15’ – CHANCE: Lennon finds himself in acres of space down the inside-right channel. He picks out Adebayor with his cut-back but the striker's effort is shocking. It's so bad it falls to teammate Eriksen but the Dane can't turn it home.

16’ – CHANCE: Paulinho pulls off one of the all-time great flicks to release Soldado. The Spaniard sets his aim on the far corner... Flashed wide. Big chance missed.

37’ – GOAL (PEN): Tottenham 1-0 Stoke: Adebayor attempts an extravagant volley which forces defender Shawcross into a fine two-handed save. Unfortunately for Stoke, Kevin Friend spots the infringement and points to the spot without hesitation. Soldado does the rest.

58’ – CHANCE: Lennon charges down the right wing and precisely pulls the ball back into the path of Soldado... He's blown it - what a sitter! The classic 'my nan could have scored that'. Honestly, she could have.

65’ – GOAL: Tottenham 2-0 Stoke: Dembele drops his shoulder left, shifts the ball between his feet and hammers a low shot into the bottom corner. Brilliant finish from the Belgian. That's his first Premier League goal since his debut.

69’ – GOAL: Tottenham 3-0 Stoke: Soldado's diagonal pass flicks off the boot of Adebayor and into the path of Lennon. The winger flicks it up and whacks it into the top corner. Great hit. Game over.

76’ – CHANCE: Adebayor charges at the Stoke goal with Lamela in support. It breaks to the winger but he can't poke home with his first touch. What a story that would have been.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

KEY STATS

Spurs remain unbeaten in every Premier League match this season in which they have scored the opening goal (10 matches).

Spurs score three goals in a Premier League home match for the first time this season, and for only the third time in 2013.

Stoke have now conceded seven goals in three Premier League matches in London, after keeping two clean sheets in their previous two.

TALKING POINT

Can Tim Sherwood inspire Tottenham to an unlikely top four spot? The caution that was encouraged under AVB has been eradicated as Tottenham employ a far more attacking philosophy under Sherwood. It looked a little disjointed at times against Stoke but surely it’s better than the insipid style that has plagued their game for much of this season. Incredibly, Spurs sit just three points off the top four and are still in the hunt for the Champions League. If Sherwood can bring elite European football back to White Hart Lane, he can look forward to extending that 18-month contract.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham): His close control and lighting pace befuddled the Stoke defence. On this form, Lennon has to be in Roy Hodgson’s squad for Brazil.

PLAYER RATINGS

Tottenham: Lloris 6, Naughton 6, Dawson 6, Chiriches 6, Fryers 6, Lennon 8, Paulinho 8, Dembele 7, Eriksen 6, Adebayor 6, Soldado 6… Subs: Capoue 6, Chadli 6, Lamela 6.

Stoke: Sorensen 6, Pieters 5, Palacios 5, N'Zonzi 5, Shawcross 5, Walters 6, Cameron 6, Assaidi 6, Crouch 5, Wilkinson 6, Ireland 5… Subs: Muniesa 6, Pennant 6, Adam 6.