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Gylfi Sigurdsson's brace helped Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-0 win against Norwich City
A brace from Gylfi Sigurdsson ensured Tottenham Hotspur secured all three points against Norwich City in a 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane this afternoon.
In Spurs’ first match since Gareth Bale completed his world record transfer to Real Madrid, the home side all but dominated the visitors, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rarely called into action.
But while Sigurdsson was the name on the scoresheet, it was debutant Christian Eriksen who impressed most with a starring role in midfield and a hand in both goals.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 to North London rivals Arsenal in the team’s last outing before the international break, bringing in Sigurdsson and Eriksen for Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue.
An early opportunity saw Sigurdsson’s effort clear the bar from outside the area while Andros Townsend’s low drive flew narrowly past visiting goalkeeper John Ruddy’s left post.
Norwich boss Chris Hughton was an animated figure on the touchline in the opening exchanges but he could only watch as a long run by Johan Elmander ended in a weak shot that fell harmlessly to Lloris.
After dominating the opening exchanges, Spurs had the first clear shot on goal when after 11 minutes, Eriksen cut inside the box and his shot was saved low by Ruddy, only for Roberto Soldado’s rebound effort to be blocked on the line by former Spurs defender Sebastian Bassong.
The home side had another chance when, after 25 minutes, Dembele worked his way into the box and his cut back was hit by Soldado, who forced another good block from Bassong.
However, just two minutes later, Spurs broke the deadlock, and scored their first goal in open play of the season. Soldado’s neat lay-off was pushed into the box by Eriksen and Sigurdsson found the corner of the net.
Spurs continued to dominate possession but on 34 minutes, Norwich broke down the left-hand side through Nathan Redmond, whose cross found Ricky van Wolfswinkel but the striker’s shot went out of play.
Tottenham almost doubled their advantage after 40 minutes but Soldado couldn’t connect with Walker’s touchline cross and Danny Rose fired over at the far post.
As the second half got underway, Spurs reasserted their dominance in possession, with Eriksen firing over from 30 yards in the opening minutes.
And it was the Dane again who was the architect of Tottenham’s second goal on 48 minutes. He worked his way into space on the edge of the area and passed to Paulinho on the right. The Brazilian’s low cross evaded Ruddy and found Sigurdsson, who slotted into an empty net at the back post.
Now on a hat-trick, Sigurdsson tried his luck from 25 yards on the hour mark, only to see his shot pushed away by Ruddy. Moments later, a Rose cross was blocked by Bassong as Spurs stepped up their pressure.
A cross from the right, this time from Townsend, was then put out by Michael Turner as Soldado looked to score Tottenham’s third.
Norwich had a good chance to get back into the game when Lloris punched the ball from a free-kick and Redmond’s volley fell to van Wolfswinkel, whose goal-bound shot was blocked by Rose.
New signing Eriksen received a standing ovation from the home support when he was replaced by Lewis Holtby after 70 minutes, and the crowd were on their feet again when goalscorer Sigurdsson was replaced by Sandro on 78 minutes.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, Townsend sent the ball over with an ambitious shot from the edge of the area before Spurs’ new record signing Erik Lamela made his home debut, replacing Moussa Dembele.
Lloris was booked on 84 minutes after punching the ball outside the area, though Robert Snodgrass could only fire the resultant free-kick into the wall.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Rose, Vertonghen, Dawson (c), Paulinho, Dembele (Lamela), Townsend, Sigurdsson (Sandro), Eriksen (Holtby), Soldado
Subs: Friedel, Kaboul, Naughton, Defoe
Norwich: Ruddy; Whittaker, Turner, Bassong (c), Garrido, Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson (Howson), Redmond (Pilkington), Elmander (Tettey), van Wolfswinkel
Subs: Bunn, Martin, Hooper, Olsson
Booked: Johnson, Garrido, Elmander
Referee: Lee Mason