Myhill's heroics frustrate Spurs
TOTTENHAM 0 HULL 0
Published 17/01/2010 | 05:00
Harry Redknapp could not have envisaged such a taxing afternoon against a Hull City team in the relegation places and on their worst run of form of the season.
This was a match that Tottenham had to have banked on taking three points from to sustain their challenge for a Champions League finish.
Instead, they ran out of steam and luck, and Redknapp could find little to celebrate as he reached the milestone of 500 Premier League games as a manager.
Hull infuriated Spurs with some blatant time-wasting but, despite the checks that this presented to the home team's momentum, it did not explain their inability to break the dogged resistance of the Tigers.
Hull's hero was the goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who made a clutch of outstanding saves, none better than the double block from Wilson Palacios and Robbie Keane in the first half.
Tottenham worked Myhill during two passages of play in a scrappy first half. First, Myhill beat away Palacios' low drive and then made a magnificent reflex save from Keane's rebound. Just before the interval, Jermain Defoe, clean through following Luke Modric's through ball and Keane's dummy, could not get his shot past the goalkeeper.
Myhill stood tall once again when, having saved from Modric, he denied Keane at close quarters. Sections of the home crowd began to vent their spleen at the Dubliner. The unthinkable almost happened at the other end in the 56th minute. Following a loose pass from Niko Kranjcar and good work by Stephen Hunt, Nick Barmby tiptoed in only to swell the side-netting.
The game bubbled to the boil and, with Peter Crouch on for Keane, the scene was set for the grandstand finale. Hull nearly provided the sting when Hunt tore through only to be denied by Michael Dawson's saving challenge while, at the other end, Myhill produced another flying save to keep out Modric's rising drive and yet another on Crouch's header. It simply would not go in for Spurs.