Spurs rout QPR 4-0 in Pochettino’s 1st home game
LONDON (AP) — Tottenham tore apart Queens Park Rangers to produce a stylish 4-0 rout that showcased the expressive attacking football demanded of new manager Mauricio Pochettino on Sunday, ensuring a miserable return to White Hart Lane for Harry Redknapp.
In a high-tempo first-half display, Nacer Chadli seized on hapless QPR defending to score twice and defender Eric Dier made it two goals in two games at the start of his Tottenham career.
Dier also scored the late winner at West Ham in last weekend’s season opener but Tottenham was far more rampant in Pochettino’s first home game in charge. Emmanuel Adebayor completed QPR’s humiliation in the second-half with a goal on the break provided by Danny Rose.
“The most important thing is to try and develop our style and philosophy, today we showed our basis,” said Pochettino, who joined from Southampton in May to replace Tim Sherwood. “We always try to play in the way that Tottenham played in its history.”
One early achievement for Pochettino is transforming the fortunes of Tottenham’s record-signing: fellow Argentinian Erik Lamela. The 22-year-old winger was a $40-million misfit in his injury-hampered first season but has made an influential and industrious start to this campaign. After setting up two goals in the Europa League on Thursday, there were two more assists on his first Premier League start at White Hart Lane after a year in London.
It had been two years since Redknapp left Tottenham and this capitulation, after QPR opened with a loss last weekend, showed the size of the task facing the 67-year-old manager.
“We started poorly and we didn’t get out of it,” Redknapp said. “We looked like a team of strangers.”
A day to forget began with an exchange of hugs with Pochettino, whose Tottenham reign will be measured against Redknapp’s pair of top-four finishes and first-time Champions League qualification before being fired in 2012. Another face from Tottenham’s past returned alongside Redknapp, with former player and manager Glenn Hoddle now on QPR’s coaching staff watching from the directors’ box.
The 3-5-2 formation Hoddle has introduced couldn’t cope in the first half with the intense and speedy hosts. Lamela, who was signed a year ago to replace Gareth Bale, set the tone with a shot that was deflected wide inside a minute.
It took just 12 minutes for QPR goalkeeper Rob Green to be beaten. Adebayor, who had already gone close with a header, crossed to the far post where defender Richard Dunne left Chadli to chest the ball down before dispatching it in the net.
Had QPR’s finishing been better, the course of the game could have turned but Matt Phillips, having already got away from Younes Kaboul, shot over when trying to chip goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
At the other end, QPR struggled to stop Spurs. The underside of the crossbar denied Christian Eriksen a goal directly from a free kick. But the 20-year-old Dier, who joined Tottenham in the offseason from Sporting Lisbon for $6 million, then flicked a header into the net at the near post from Lamela’s corner on the half-hour.
Seven minutes later and another header flew past Green, with Chadli left unmarked to meet Lamela’s cross.
Although QPR was tougher to break through with its four-man defense after the break, the damage was irreversible. The fourth goal came from a quick counterattack, with Rose charging down the left flank before squaring for Adebayor to side foot into the net.
Although Pochettino’s league career at Tottenham has started with two London derby successes, the first serious test won’t come until next Sunday with the visit of Liverpool.
Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris