Tottenham 1-0 Hull City: Spurs cash in on questionable refereeing decision, jump to fourth (video)
Tottenham Hotspur struggled to produce a goal from open play yet again, but were bailed out by referee Michael Oliver when he gave a questionable penalty for a handball in the final 10 minutes as White Hart Lane exhaled and went home 1-0 winners.
Hull City proved to be their usual gritty selves, peppering the Spurs goal on a 22nd minute free kick but couldn’t find a shot on target, with a pair of good attempts blocked.
The good start for Hull not only frustrated the home side but built the visitors’ confidence as they went forward and played their teammates in well.
The first half marched on and came to a close without a clear momentum leader, although Hull will have been happy to keep it goalless. Spurs have often found the final ball lacking from open play this season with the new squad.
Roberto Soldado, one of those new signings, proved threatening in the second half as Spurs quickly gained the upper hand, but Hull City goalkeeper Steve Harper played fantastically to keep him out on multiple occasions.
Soldado went down in the box as well in the 56th minute but referee Michael Oliver sided with the defender Alex Bruce.
Halftime substitute Mousa Dembele, not known for shooting very often, had a crack in the 70th minute but it whistled wide right along the grass.
The chances were beginning to wither for Spurs, when Oliver shockingly handed Tottenham a lifeline in the 80th minute.
Jan Vertonghen sent in a cutback cross from outside the left end of the penalty area, and his defender Ahmed Elmohamady stuck his leg out to block the cross. The ball ricocheted off of Elmohamady’s leg and back onto his arm, and Oliver gave a penalty to Tottenham.
The decision was very harsh, as Elmohamady’s arm wasn’t outstretched from his body in any attempt to make his body larger, but Spurs took their chance. Roberto Soldado converted just Spurs’ ninth goal of the season in nine Premier League matches to get the win.
A scary moment before full time saw Andros Townsend go tumbling over the advertising boards at full speed, with the boards clipping his upper thigh and sending him head over heels. Townsend popped right back up, however, much to the delight of the fans.
The three points push Spurs up to fourth in the Premier League table. Depsite their lack of scoring, the staunch Spurs defense has only conceded five goals.
Tottenham - Soldado 80'
Tottenham Hotspur – Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen; Pauilnho, Sandro (Dembele, 45'); Townsend, Holtby (Eriksen, 60'), Lennon (Defoe, 70'); Soldado
Hull City – Harper; Rosenoir (Mclean, 84'), Figueroa, Bruce, Davies; Meyler, Huddlestone, McShane, Boyd (Brady, 84'), Elmohamady; Sagbo (Proschwitz, 87').