Adebayor puts Spurs back on track; Everton in 4th
LONDON (AP) — Just six points off the summit with the Premier League’s best away record, Tottenham seems far from in crisis, however much the club appears to be in disarray.
A week after Andre Villas-Boas saw his team routed 5-0 by Liverpool before being fired, interim manager Tim Sherwood’s first experience of Premier League management was a 3-2 victory at Southampton on Sunday.
Adebayor Emmanuel has been brought in from the cold by Sherwood after being exiled by Villas-Boas and marked his first league start of the season by providing two goals, including the match winner.
Sherwood, though, doesn’t know if he’ll still be in charge for Thursday’s match against West Bromwich Albion, which is also searching for a new manager.
“I don’t want (the job) on a temporary basis — I want it for the long term,” Sherwood said.
A sixth away win of the campaign moved Tottenham four points from fourth place where Everton sits after Ross Barkley’s free kick clinched a 2-1 win at Swansea in the day’s other game.
Everton’s stay in fourth won’t last long if Chelsea, which is a point behind, wins at third-place Arsenal on Monday.
The season had opened with Southampton emerging as top-four contenders, but the Saints are now without a win in six games.
The south-coast team had led against Tottenham after Adam Lallana scored his fourth of the season in the 13th minute.
Fed by Danny Fox, Lallana turned Vlad Chiriches before striking low past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
The first from Adebayor, though, brought Tottenham level in the 25th, with the Togo striker sticking out his right boot to meet Roberto Soldado’s cross and volley into the net.
The first goal by a Tottenham striker in the league since October jolted the visitors into action and Spurs were more purposeful from that moment.
They went in front in the 54th following a slick move that ended with Danny Rose’s cross being turned inadvertently into his own goal by Southampton defender Jos Hooiveld.
In a thrilling game, the hosts were back in it within five minutes.
Lloris raced off his line to meet Lallana but the Southampton captain squared for Rickie Lambert to tap the equalizer into an open net.
Parity didn’t last long as Adebayor inflicted the final blow in the 64th against a team that had boasted one of the best defensive records in Europe in the opening weeks of the season.
The ball broke for Adebayor after Tottenham defender Kyle Walker attempted to bundle the ball forward, and the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker slotted into the net.
Having waited until Nov. 24 to make his first appearance of the season, Adebayor only featured again on Wednesday with Sherwood in charge.
After scoring in Tottenham’s League Cup loss to West Ham on Wednesday, a resurgent Adebayor now has three goals in two games.
“We all know he’s a top player,” Sherwood said. “He doesn’t need any motivating to go and play now because he’s not played for a long time. He’s a top player and is certainly warranting his place in the team at the moment ... I’ve not had to gee him up.
“All I’ve said is: ‘There you go Ade, you are going to and play and I want you to attack. I want the defenders to defend and the midfielders to play in midfield. Go out there, crack on and do what you do.’ It’s a simple game.”
At Swansea, Barkley stole the show even before netting the winner in the 84th minute, beating goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel with a free kick that came off the underside of the bar on its way in.
“It’s a relief because I had a chance to score with 20 minutes to go and I slipped,” Barkley said. “So to see the free kick go in was a bonus and great for the team.”
Barkley’s goal spared Bryan Oviedo’s blushes after Dwight Tiendalli’s strike deflected off the Everton defender and landed in his own net to cancel out Seamus Coleman’s opener for the visitors.
It was manager Roberto Martinez’s first win against his old club, which is 11th.
“We showed the desire and discipline to win the game and this is a very satisfying day,” said Martinez, who managed Swansea between 2007and 2009 after playing for the south Wales club.