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Game To Remember: Tottenham Hotspur 6-4 Reading

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As the Royals take on Jose Mourinho’s side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we take a look back at an incredible 10-goal clash from December 2007.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Reading - White Hart Lane Photo by Nigel French - PA Images via Getty Images

Dimitar Berbatov scored four goals as Spurs came from 4-3 down to win 6-4, against a Reading side who were majorly unlucky at White Hart Lane.

The home side made a quick start and were in the lead within ten minutes, when Steed Malbranque’s ball through to Robbie Keane allowed the Irish forward to slot in Berbatov, who made no mistake converting in to an empty net.

This was not going to be an easy game for Spurs however – and when Nicky Shorey’s free-kick was punched away by Paul Robinson, Kalifa Cisse was on hand to volley it in to level the contest.

Spurs should have retaken the lead when another perfect ball was driven in to the box – but Keane was unable to get a vital touch to it and the visitors managed to get to half time at 1-1.

Reading were in dreamland shortly after the interval, when an inch-perfect corner from Shorey found its way to an unmarked Ivar Ingimarsson - giving the Icelander a simple header to make it 2-1.

They should have been even further in front and would have been if it wasn’t for Dave Kitson squandering two one-one-one chances. However, he was to make up for this later on.

At this point, the home side were in complete disarray and even their supporters were voicing their displeasure at how chaotic they looked.

It was down to Berbatov to come to Tottenham’s rescue again, when he capitalised on a poor clearance to smash the ball home for 2-2. A sigh of relief for Juande Ramos and his side – but it would only last for five minutes.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Reading - White Hart Lane Photo by Sean Dempsey - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Another brilliant corner from Shorey allowed Kitson to impose himself at the front post and head past England international Robinson, only for Tottenham to equalise in the 73rd minute when Pascal Chimbonda’s header set up a wonderful volley for Bulgarian Berbatov to complete his hat-trick.

When Kitson and Hunt combined to make it 4-3 just a minute later, with the former chipping the ball over the goalkeeper, Reading were well on there way to causing an upset. However, it wasn’t meant to be and Malbranque got on the score sheet almost straight after when he finished off a neat Spurs move.

Things went from bad to worse for the away side when Ibrahima Sonko brought down Keane in the box for a penalty. Jermaine Defoe, who was well inside the area when the penalty was taken, headed in the rebound when Marcus Hahnemann saved Keane’s spot-kick. It was harsh on Reading – but Spurs put the game beyond doubt when that man Berbatov shrugged off Ingimarsson and struck the ball past Hanhemann, who did manage to get a hand to it.

The most startling thing about this game is the fact this wasn’t the highest scoring match Reading were involved in that 2007/08 season. A few months before, the Royals suffered a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

I just hope we don’t concede as many this afternoon...


Starting Lineups

Tottenham Hotspur: Robinson, Lee, Kaboul, King, Chimbonda, Jenas, Huddlestone, Malbranque, Lennon, Keane, Berbatov

Reading: Hahnemann, Shorey, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Murty, Cisse, Harper, Convey, Hunt, Doyle, Kitson


Highlights