Modric 7, Defoe 66, Adebayor 68 & 90+3
Adam sent off 28, Skrtel sent off 63
Tottenham Hotspur kick-started their season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over fellow top four hopefuls Liverpool at White Hart Lane.
A sluggish start by the visitors cost them dearly as Luka Modric put the hosts in front with just seven minutes on the clock. Liverpool’s task went from challenging to all but impossible after Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel were both dismissed following two bookable offences. This allowed Tottenham to wrap up the points in comfortable fashion; Jermaine Defoe doubling their lead before Emmanuel Adebayor capped an impressive home debut with a quick fire brace to wrap up the victory and humiliate Kenny Dalgleish’s men in the process.
Tottenham set their stool out from the opening minute, unsettling Liverpool early on with their pressure and hunger without possession of the ball. With the ball, they were proving just as effective; Gareth Bale getting the better of makeshift right-back Martin Skrtel from the outset, with his dominance down the left hand side leading to the breakthrough.
Liverpool continued to look disjointed, experimenting with various systems as they looked to get the best out of strike duo Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, who had been almost non-existent. There was even more cause for concern when Charlie Adam was rightfully given his marching orders for a late challenge on Scott Parker.
This resulted in yet another reshuffle with Andy Carroll asked to fill in on the left hand side of midfield, a move that Tottenham took full advantage of, with full-back Kyle Walker bombing forward at every opportunity and Carroll reluctant to track his man.
The home side were eager to make the most of their one man advantage before the break; Scott Parker and Luka Modric dictating terms from the middle of the park while Emmanuel Adebayor was also proving a handful. Despite their dominance however, Tottenham failed to add to their lead before the half time interval, offering a lacklustre and lightweight Liverpool side a glimmer of hope.
Their hopes were all but dashed when play resumed though as the hosts continued in the same energetic mood as they had started the first half, Emmanuel Adebayor intelligently dropping off in behind the Liverpool midfield and running menacingly at a fragile Liverpool back four.
Martin Skrtel had endured a torrid afternoon at the hands of Gareth Bale and it was no surprise to see him dismissed just after the hour mark. The Slovakian defender received a second yellow card for a mistimed challenge on the Spurs winger.
The points were wrapped up just minutes later when second half substitute Rafael Van der Vaart picked out Jermaine Defoe in acres of space, who fired home past Pepe Reina as Liverpool lost their shape altogether and with it any chance of salvaging a point.
Emmanuel Adebayor added insult to injury late on as he firmly got the Spurs fans on side with a late brace as Tottenham played with the freedom and fluency that could well see them mount a serious challenge for a place inside the top four.
Tottenham (4-4-2):Friedel; Walker, King (Bassong 83), Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Krancjar (Van der Vaart 46), Modric, Parker, Bale; Adebayor, Defoe (Giovani 83)
Liverpool (4-4-2):Reina; Skrtel, Carragher, Agger (Coates 27), Enrique; Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing (Spearing 70); Carroll, Suarez (Bellamy 70)