Jermain Defoe scored five goals as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Wigan Athletic 9-1 at White Hart Lane on Sunday, a record victory for the hosts in the top-flight.
Spurs were only 1-0 up at the break, thanks to a goal by Peter Crouch before fellow England striker Defoe ran riot after half-time with Aaron Lennon, an own-goal by Chris Kirkland and Niko Kranjcar’s 90th-minute effort adding to the North London club’s tally.
Although Defoe seemed certain to grab the headlines for his five-goal return, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said Lennon had made a key contribution to this thumping win.
”I thought we started really bright, we had 25 minutes where we really got off after them in the first half before they came back into it,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
”We came in at half-time and said we had to get back to how we started, pressing them all over the park, and we decided to work them and made the opportunities and took them.
”Their keeper [Kirkland] made some great saves as well.
”Lennon is a fantastic talent, anybody would have had a hard day with him in that sort of form. He deserved that goal at the end.”
Speaking about Defoe, Redknapp added: ”For Jermain to get five goals was an outstanding performance.
”Yesterday [Saturday] in training he looked so sharp and I felt if he could carry that into the game he would be a real handful.
”You don’t get too many nines in the Premier League[ it’s a bad day for Roberto Martinez but he’ll come back even stronger.”
Wigan manager Martinez added: ”We finished the first half very strongly and looked like a team who were going to dictate things.
”But we have ourselves to blame for the goals we conceded and after that you are climbing a mountain.”
Tottenham’s haul was all the more impressive as Redknapp decided to rest striker Robbie Keane after the Republic of Ireland international’s involvement in the controversial midweek World Cup play-off loss to France.
Wigan could have been forgiven for agreeing to put this match back by 24 hours following the international break as their defence took a pummelling.
Spurs went ahead in the ninth minute when Crouch headed home a cross from Lennon.
Kirkland then had to be alert to deny both Lennon and former Wigan favourite Wilson Palacios.
Defoe, who hit the crossbar before half-time, led a rout in the second half with a hat-trick in seven minutes.
From Lennon’s cross, he got in front of Titus Bramble to shoot into the roof of the net, before he slotted home at the far post after the Wigan defence failed to cut out Palacios’s centre.
Paul Scharner then pulled one back for Wigan although the Austrian midfielder clearly used his hand to control the ball before shooting past Heurelho Gomes.
Tottenham protested to referee Peter Walton but barely a minute later Defoe had his hat-trick as Spurs’ three-goal lead was restored when he volleyed in Lennon’s cross.
Lennon himself added a fifth after Crouch did well to find the winger in a congested penalty area.
Defoe grabbed his fourth 21 minutes from time by scoring off the post after latching on to Vedran Corluka’s through ball and had a fifth late on when he shot through Kirkland’s legs.
David Bentley’s free-kick then appeared to hit both the bar and Kirkland before going in and, in the closing seconds, Kranjcar’s shot went in off the woodwork. — Sapa-AFP