Mon, Aug 20, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Under-pressure Spurs thrash the Rams

ON THE UP Tottenham were bottom of the league with no points going into their home game with Derby, but four goals scored without reply gave them the points


Steed Malbranque, left, of Tottenham Hotspur and Jay McEvely of Derby County vie for the ball during their English Premier League football match at White Hart Lane stadium, north London, on Saturday.


Under-fire Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol was mightily relieved after Spurs got their English Premier League season back on track.

The big-spending Dutch boss was under pressure to deliver results after his side lost both their opening games and sunk to the foot of the table.

But they took their frustration out on visitors Derby County, who were thrashed 4-0, while hosts Wigan Athletic beat Sunderland 3-0 to leave the Latics topping the table ahead of yesterday's matches.

"It's a relief because we need the points and to lose back-to-back games at home, it's impossible," Jol said. "We got the first three points, we're not bottom of the league any more and that is the main thing. When we fire as a team and a club we can be a force again."

Elsewhere, previous leaders Everton lost 1-0 at Reading, Portsmouth beat visitors Bolton Wanderers 3-1 and Middlesbrough won 2-1 at Fulham.

West Ham United won 1-0 at Birmingham City and Newcastle United shared a bore draw with visitors Aston Villa.

Last season's Championship play-off winners Derby County were made to suffer as Tottenham Hotspur ran riot at White Hart Lane.

French midfielder Steed Malbranque scored twice before England midfielder Jermaine Jenas made it 3-0 within 14 minutes.

Darren Bent, Jol's big pre-season signing, scored his first Spurs goal to ease the pressure on the Dutch boss.

"We were makers of our own downfall," grumbled Rams boss Billy Davies. "We've got to bring in more firepower and quality. Strikers are our number one target."

Roy Keane's Sunderland were overrun by Wigan Athletic in a 3-0 defeat at the JJB Stadium, leaving the Latics in the unusual position of topping the table.

Former Liverpool and England forward Emile Heskey scored -- though television replays showed he was offside -- before Denny Landzaat and Antoine Sibierski struck from the penalty spot.

"It's always about winning games and when you're winning games you get confident," Wigan boss Chris Hutchings said. "If you get quality players, they can deal with things and you expect them to produce, and in the last two games they have done."

Keane said: "Even after defeat, you look for some pluses. I don't know if you've found one but I haven't yet."

Reading beat Everton 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium thanks to Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Hunt's goal just before halftime.

"The workrate probably deserved a draw, but I don't think the way we played deserved it," Everton manager David Moyes said.

Royals boss Steve Coppell said: "I have had a respect for my team for a long while, and once again today their earned it in bucket-loads."

At Fratton Park, UEFA Cup side Bolton Wanderers third straight defeat heaped the pressure on boss Sammy Lee.

Portsmouth notched their first victory of the campaign as they beat the Trotters 3-1.

France striker Nicolas Anelka gave Bolton the lead but Nwankwo Kanu equalized, John Utaka scored and Matthew Taylor completed the rout from the penalty spot.

"We can turn it around. I've seen the progress and even though I'm not happy with losing, we will get it right," Bolton boss Sammy Lee said.

Middlesbrough put two straight defeats behind them as they came from a goal down to beat Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage, with Boro's new striker Mido scoring on his debut.

Fulham's Brian McBride dislocated his left knee as he scored and Hameur Bouazza then dislocated his right shoulder.

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