Saturday 27 July 2013
Andre Villas-Boas expressed his happiness with a "perfect" display as Tottenham Hotspur beat South China 6-0 to claim third place in the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy.
"Today all individuals were at a great level and we were repaid with a good performance"
A hat-trick from Jermain Defoe, plus goals from Clint Dempsey, Andros Townsend and an own goal by Sean Tse helped Spurs ease past Hong Kong's reigning champions, who are also in the middle of their pre-season.
"Everything was perfect," Villas-Boas, the Spurs head coach, said, also offering praise to his groundsman Darren Baldwin, who had helped to make the pitch at the Hong Kong Stadium playable after heavy rain over the past week. "I am extremely happy with the way we finished. It's sad we could not play the final but Sunderland went through deservedly.
"Today was much better, not only physically but the football that we played was very pleasant. We really wanted a comfortable win and we played really well. The full-backs were excellent because they kept on pushing forward both [Kyle] Walker and Danny [Rose]. Today all individuals were at a great level and we were repaid with a good performance."
Villas-Boas was pleased to have Defoe, whom he labelled a "deadly striker", not only scoring a treble but helping his team-mates to score.
"It was good to see Defoe come back to this level, but also assisting, which shows an unselfish part of his game, which is good. We played him as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 with Clint Dempsey behind and then Tom Carroll in the second half. He is extremely comfortable in both situations and is a player who can adapt."
Defoe was naturally happy to score a hat-trick in this formation. "We tried it last season and it is a system the manager likes," Defoe said. "It's a system I enjoy because I work both sides. I can work the line and when you have that 'No 10' behind you and he comes on the ball, that's when I come alive and make my runs."
"I remember Thierry Henry getting golden boots most years, but he was up there with the most assists as well and he was someone I looked up to"
Defoe's ability to help his team-mates get on the scoresheet gave the striker satisfaction and he revealed that he would like this part of his game to emulate a former Arsenal forward.
"People always look at how many goals you scored at the end of the season over the years, never the number of assists," he said. "I remember Thierry Henry getting golden boots most years, but he was up there with the most assists as well and he was someone I looked up to."
South China manager Cheung Po Chun put the heavy defeat down to the speed at which Spurs were able to play down the flanks, more so than during the 1-0 defeat by Manchester City on Wednesday. But he took the positives, including coming close to registering a first goal in this competition on two occasions, both through Bruno Martins towards the end of the match.
"I hope that my players were able to improve their physical levels from this match because it was a good experience for us," Cheung said. "The last two chances were down to a loss of concentration and lack of power in his shot. But we should be happy because it showed that we were trying hard until the end of the match."