Pav at the double for super Spurs: Match Review

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Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko was on target again to help defeat Blackburn 3-1 at White Hart Lane and maintain his side's hopes of a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Pavlyuchenko had been unsettled for most of the season and looked set to leave during the January transfer window but stayed at the club and has now played a big part in Spurs' push for Champions League qualification.

Jermain Defoe opened the scoring against Sam Allardyce's men, then Pavlyuchenko doubled the lead before Christopher Samba pulled one back.

Hopes of a Blackburn comeback were dashed when Pavlyuchenko scored his eighth in his last six games and even Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who has been at loggerheads with the Russian at times during the campaign, was up celebrating.

Before the weekend, Redknapp set his side the target of 19 points to finish in fourth position this season, with Blackburn designated as a must-win fixture given a run-in that includes Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

The odds were with them too because Allardyce's side have only recorded one league victory away from Ewood Park during the campaign, with only their home form getting them within sight of safety.

Despite their woeful record on the road, Rovers showed early attacking intent, largely due to David Dunn returning from a calf injury and making his first start since January.

His 50-yard box-to-box run required Spurs midfielder Wilson Palacios to track back into his own penalty area, then he could have earned a penalty for the visitors.

Dunn carried the ball into the area and Palacios won the ball fairly but Vedran Corluka cut across the midfielder at the same time, although World Cup referee Howard Webb decided to wave play on.

Spurs' first chances came to Pavlyuchenko, preferred to Peter Crouch as Defoe returned from a tight hamstring.

Pavlyuchenko's first effort was stabbed into the ground and over after Benoit Assou-Ekotto burst into the area, then Gareth Bale crossed and he fired wide.

It meant Paul Robinson, granted a warm welcome from his former club, was not forced into a save before he was taken off with an injury to his left leg.

Jason Brown came off the bench to deputise and was nearly beaten shortly afterwards when Bale, who had the beating of Michel Salgado for pace, dashed around the Spanish veteran but fired wide.

Brown saved at full stretch before the break when Assou-Ekotto's early cross from the left angled towards the bottom corner, then he parried a Defoe effort after Luka Modric sent him through.

But Defoe was on target in stoppage-time of the first half. Niko Kranjcar's corner was flicked on by Corluka, who climbed above Martin Olsson, and Defoe was at the far post to tap home. It was his 23rd of the season.

Nikola Kalinic mis-controlled when he had sight of goal just after the break - and Spurs then punished Rovers in the 55th minute with the second goal.

Spurs were defending a corner when the move started, with Modric carrying the ball forward and finding Defoe. Defoe resisted the temptation to shoot and laid on Pavlyuchenko, whose finish went through Brown.

Modric could have added another when Sebastien Bassong carried the ball out of defence and found his team-mate - but the Croatia playmaker dragged his finish wide.

Bale felt he should have had a penalty when Salgado challenged but Webb pointed for a goalkick and did not book the Wales international.

Webb turned down another appeal when Bale went over a challenge by Morten Gamst Pedersen, with Samba then setting up a nervous finish when he headed home from Pedersen's cross.

Pavlyuchenko, however, grabbed his second five minutes before the end when he clipped home Bale's cross. He was denied a hat-trick when Samba cleared off the line, then Kalinic had an effort chalked off for handball.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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