I have to start with an apology for being so pessimistic prior to the game. A first victory against Tottenham in 4 years has given me and I guess many of you some much needed optimism for this coming season. ?

In a clash between last season’s fourth- and fifth-placed teams, Demba Ba’s precise finish and Hatem Ben Arfa’s penalty was enough to defeat an organised Spurs side.

It was perhaps slightly harsh on Tottenham who controlled possession through large amounts of the game most notifiable the first half, ?and also hit the woodwork through Defoe.

Ba’s goal was highly welcome, a return to form would surely encourage the rest of the team to push on this season. Maybe not to take that literally Mr Pardew!

‘It was very important to get a goal, but I am not running only for goals.

‘The more I play well, the more the team wins. But, it’s my first goal and I am very happy.’ Explained a calm looking Ba

One could feel a little inclined to feel sorry for the new Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas. His players deserved more from the game but were surely not unlucky not to win.

Player ratings:
Krul: 7 – a couple of great saves made – somehow kept Santon’s header out before Defoe scrambled in.
Simpson – 6 – Bale enjoyed his opponent today
Perch – 6 – steady at the back
Taylor – 6 – was great to have him back, didn’t like how Defoe turned him with ease in the first half
Santon – 6 – looks good going forward
Ben Arfa – 9 – a joy to watch, I think he actually wants to win the league.
Cabaye – 5 – off the pace, only 20mins played during pre-season.
Tiote – 7 – bossed the midfield
Gutierrez – 7 – such an accomplished player, so composed on the ball
Ba – 8 great finish for the first goal
Cisse – 6 – supported the team well. Love seeing him always play with a smile

Subs
Anita – 6 – some enjoyable signs of class
Obertan – 5 – too little time on the pitch

By Jonathan Silman

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