London – Nacer Chadli ruined Harry Redknapp’s return to White Hart Lane as the Tottenham winger’s double inspired a 4-0 rout of woeful QPR on Sunday.
QPR boss Redknapp was back at his old club for the first time since his sacking in 2012, but his hopes of avenging that surprise dismissal by chairman Daniel Levy swiftly evaporated as Tottenham ran riot.
Inspired by a sublime display from Argentine playmaker Erik Lamela, Spurs surged into a three-goal lead before half-time thanks to a brace from Belgian winger Chadli either side of defender Eric Dier’s second goal for his new club.
Emmanuel Adebayor compounded Redknapp’s misery when his strike put the finishing touch to the move of the match in the second half.
Redknapp had insisted he harboured no grudges about the manner of his exit from the Lane, but that didn’t stop him heaping pressure on Tottenham’s new manager Mauricio Pochettino this week when he claimed anything less than a top four finish in the Premier League would be a failure.
On the evidence of this vibrant performance, which extended Tottenham’s 100 percent winning start, former Southampton coach Pochettino has every chance of becoming the first Spurs boss since Redknapp to qualify for the Champions League.
In stark contrast, a disorganised and passionless effort from QPR suggests Redknapp will have to work overtime if the Championship play-off winners, pointless after two matches, are to avoid relegation.
Pochettino emerged for his first competitive match at the Lane with little fanfare, although he did pause to exchange a hug with Redknapp before kick-off.
With Tottenham pressing with intensity and attacking QPR’s creaky defence at blistering speed, there was an air of inevitability about their opening goal in the 12th minute.
Adebayor’s power and pace carried him down the left flank unchecked and he had time to cut back on to his right foot before floating a perfect cross to the far post.
A defender of Richard Dunne’s experience should have been able to snuff out the danger, but his poor positioning was exposed as Chadli controlled on his chest and flicked a close-range finish past Robert Green.
Tottenham were almost punished for a lapse of concentration from Younes Kaboul when the French centre back allowed Matt Phillips to get in on goal, but the striker’s miscued chip drifted harmlessly over.
That escape sparked Spurs back into life and Christian Eriksen crashed a free kick against the bar from 25 yards, before QPR’s shoddy defending was punished again in the 30th minute.
This time it was debutant Leroy Fer who made the critical mistake when the Dutch midfielder lost Dier as the right-back met Lamela’s corner with a glancing header past Green from an acute angle at the near post.
It was turning into a nightmare for Redknapp, who infuriated QPR’s fans by responding to Tottenham chants calling for him to give them a wave, and he slumped deeper into his seat as the visitors capitulated seven minutes later.
Once more Lamela was the architect with a mazy run through the heart of the shambolic QPR defence that ended with a pinpoint cross to Chadli, who was completely unmarked as he planted a header past Green from eight yards out.
Lamela endured a disappointing maiden season at Tottenham following his move from Roma, but Pochettino has made it a priority to get the best out of the little Argentine and he already looks revitalised under his compatriot.
Redknapp took Dunne off at half-time and ditched his 3-5-2 formation, yet his changes were futile as Tottenham added an exquisite fourth in the 65th minute.
Danny Rose was the provider as he exchanged passes with Chadli and raced away to whip over a low cross that Togo striker Adebayor calmly converted to underscore Tottenham’s dominance. – Sapa-AFP