Samba on target for Blackburn


Tottenham 1 Blackburn 2:Juande Ramos' presence failed to have the desired impact as the new Tottenham boss watched Christopher Samba snatch an injury-time winner for Blackburn.

Samba curled home a fine strike to secure Rovers' sixth straight victory and only their second triumph at White Hart Lane in a decade.

Robbie Keane had fired Tottenham ahead with a 49th-minute penalty — his eighth goal of the season — in a fitting reward for his side's ascendancy.

But Benni McCarthy struck 10 minutes later to set up a tense climax that was completed when Congo defender Samba fired his remarkable late winner.

After Spurs' early onslaught, play became more balanced with Blackburn enjoying the odd foray into the box.

Friedel had to come to the rescue in the 18th minute, however, when a Tom Huddlestone free-kick was flicked towards goal by Dawson only for the American stopper to intervene.

Sharp reactions from Friedel yet again proved decisive a heartbeat later with Malbranque sending Aaron Lennon charging in on goal only for the Rovers keeper to deflect his effort to safety.

Malbranque and Keane, who replaced Jermain Defoe in the starting line-up, combined well in the 28th minute but Andre Ooijer was alert to the danger.

Spurs had taken a stranglehold on the match once again and were well on top with 15 minutes of the first half remaining.

Samba headed a Huddlestone free-kick clear to safety as the London club continued to probe away at Blackburn's creaking defence.

However, Spurs' efforts to unpick the opposition rearguard became increasingly speculative as the half petered out.

Savage limped off on the stroke of half time with Aaron Mokoena coming on as his replacement.

Malbranque was covering plenty of ground, making several timely tackles in a committed display that will have caught the eye of Ramos.

The Frenchman maybe have been missing the creative spark he was bought to provide, but Keane made up for that by starting and finishing Spurs' 49th-minute equaliser.

The Republic of Ireland marksman found Lennon with a beautifully-weighted pass that sent the jet-heeled Spurs winger racing in on goal.

Struggling to contain Lennon, Stephen Warnock sent him tumbling and referee Rob Styles immediately pointed to the spot.

Keane bamboozled Friedel to rifle home the penalty and Warnock went into Styles' book for the offending challenge.

Lennon then forced a last-gasp save from Friedel as the home side, buoyed by their strike, went in search of a second.

But disaster struck for Spurs in the 60th minute when McCarthy pounced with the equaliser, collecting Bentley's pass and finding the net via a slight deflection off Dawson.

A Berbatov header was kept out superbly by Friedel and the match was finely poised as it entered the final 20 minutes.

Darren Bent replaced Malbranque in the 77th minute, before words were exchanged in the dug out and on the pitch where a small of group of players squared-up.

Spurs brought on Defoe with two minutes to go in attempt to rescue, but instead the late drama came at the opposite end.

Brett Emerton caused panic in the Spurs defence with the initial free-kick and when the ball was played to an unmarked Samba the winner seemed inevitable.

The Congo defender curled his effort into the bottom left corner for a magnificent finish that gave Cerny no chance.