Ecstasy then agony for Tugay

Blackburn midfielder Tugay went from hero to villain as Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe salvaged a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.

Tugay scored a stunning goal to put Blackburn ahead but the Turkish star was then sent off after giving away the penalty that led to Defoe’s second half equaliser.

A fiery encounter reached a spiteful conclusion when referee Phil Dowd dismissed Tottenham’s Hossam Ghaly for an elbow on Michael Gray and also sent Spurs boss Martin Jol to the stands for his furious reaction to that decision.

While Defoe’s second Premiership goal this season ensured Tottenham returned to London with a point their play merited, Jol’s side are still marooned in midtable without an away win this season.

Blackburn, who had lost their last four league matches, at least stopped the rot but Mark Hughes’s men are now without a win in seven matches and appear destined for a season of struggle.

Jol made four changes to the side that lost at Reading with Defoe, Tom Huddlestone, Edgar Davids and Mido coming in.

But, despite Jol’s tinkering, Tottenham were unable to impose themselves on the game early on.

Rovers striker Shabani Nonda had the ball in the net in the seventh minute but his effort was ruled out for offside.

After Manchester United’s recent win at Blackburn, Alex Ferguson had been moved to suggest that, if he was ten years younger, Tugay’s ability would have him an ideal player for the Old Trafford team.

Tugay’s tecnhique and vision remain unsurpassed at Ewood Park and Spurs found out exactly why Ferguson was so fulsome with his praise in the 23rd minute.

Gray caused panic in the Tottenham defence with a deep cross that Morten Gamst Pedersen flicked on and, when Ledley King’s headed clearance dropped to Tugay on the edge of the penalty area, the midfielder lashed an unstoppable volley past Paul Robinson.

Defoe has endured a miserable season so far, but he almost emulated Tugay’s strike late in the first half when he caught a loose clearance with a dipping volley that flashed just over the crossbar.

Egyptian striker Mido had a glorious chance to equalise on the stroke of half-time when he broke the Blackburn offside trap, only to scuff his shot wide with just Brad Friedal to beat.

Mido thought he had levelled three minutes after the interval when he glanced a header past Friedal but his effort was disallowed for offside.

However, Tottenham were level in the 62nd minute.

South Korean defender Lee Young-Pyo sent a long pass over the Blackburn defence and Ghaly burst through before Tugay’s despairing lunge sent him crashing.

Dowd doubled the agony for the former Rangers star by deciding the foul warranted a red card. Defoe waited calmly for Tugay to trudge off before side-footing his spot-kick past Friedal.

Ghaly was shown a red card in injury time for an elbow on Gray. This also saw Jol sent to the stands for protesting furiously as the match ended in acrimony.
- Sapa-AFP

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