Pavlyuchenko gives Spurs victory

A Roman Pavlyuchenko strike gave Tottenham a 1-0 win over Rubin Kazan at White Hart Lane on Thursday night, as the Premier League club move to the top of Europa League Group A.

The Russia international striker downed his countrymen with a 33rd minute free-kick, hitting back at claims made the day before by manager Harry Redknapp that he could be set for a January exit.

Spurs fielded a strong side without risking star players Luka Modric, Emmanuel Adebayor, Rafael Van der Vaart or Gareth Bale, and will be happy with the victory as it keeps the London team unbeaten in the competition.

After the game Redknapp expressed his satisfaction with the three points, and singled out his goalscorer for specific praise.

“It was a good result for us. I didn’t want to over-stretch too many of senior players and one or two of the young kids like Jake Livermore and Tom Carroll did well,” he told reporters after the victory.

“Pavlyuchenko is a great striker of the ball. He really can hit a ball. When he lined it up I had a feeling he was going to score because he is a very clean striker of the football.

“He’s got two great feet. Technically he’s a top, top player – there was never any doubt about that. It was good to see him score,” he concluded.

Spurs now face Blackburn at Ewood Park on Sunday, with Pavlyuchenko holding his hand up for selection despite the return of the team’s big names.

By Gareth McKnight