Blackpool stunned Tottenham by a three-goal margin in a game that was full of action at either end, with the visitors failing to capitalise on their vast amount of chances throughout the match and instead succumbing to goals by home captain Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell and Brett Ormerod.
The home side had plenty of worries in terms of injuries ahead of the game including key players such as Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Stephen Crainey. However, they were able to give Sergey Kornilenko his first start for the club since joining on loan from Zenit St Petersburg after doubts about his fitness.
Tottenham found themselves with something of a defensive crisis for the game at Bloomfield Road with Jonathan Woodgate, Vedran Corluka and Alan Hutton all missing out, Sebastian Bassong coming into the centre-back position. More importantly to Harry Redknapp was the absence of Rafael Van Der Vaart who missed out after struggling with a calf injury.
The early stages of the game failed to whet the appetite of the spectators with both teams failing to cement any solid periods of possession, the best piece of play in the first few minutes coming from a great run by Adam after retrieving a stray Luka Modric backheel, advancing up the pitch as he passed the Tottenham defenders, but his searching ball for Ludovic Sylvestre was hit too hard for the Frenchman.
Steven Pienaar was the first of the visitors to threaten Richard Kingson’s goal after his corner was beaten away by the Ghanaian, but eventually found its way back to the former Everton man who weaved in and out between the Blackpool defenders on the edge of the area and got off a shot that failed to capitalise on his previous hard work, hitting the ball wide of the goal.
Then Blackpool took the lead. Campbell found his way into the Spurs area and whilst dribbling the ball across the face of goal Bassong, in a moment of madness, struck Campbell on the leg with his own and the forward fell straight to the deck.
With no hesitation from the referee Chris Foy or appeal from the defender himself, the penalty kick was awarded. The hosts' captain confidently stepped up and blasted the ball into the left-side of Heurelho Gomes’ goal, with the keeper beaten only by the speed of the shot as the Brazilian dived the right way.
Redknapp’s side tried their best to equalise right after Adam’s opener, but the Spurs players just couldn’t find that final ball. Pienaar seemed to have most of the chances in the first minutes following the goal, but his shots were either halted by the Blackpool defenders or the South African simply couldn’t find the target.
Jermaine Defoe found Tottenham’s best chance of the game so far after a breakaway with the ball down the right-hand channel and cut inside the Blackpool area and with players from both sides hot on his tail, the England international, whilst drawing out Kingson, attempted the lob over the keeper which was heading towards the goal, but was headed off the line by Craig Cathcart.
Spurs continued to press as the first half drew to a close, and had their second shot cleared of the line after a failed clearance by the Seasiders' defence found Defoe who got off a powerful effort, but once again the ball was cleared off the line by Cathcart.
In sensational style and slightly against the run of play, Blackpool then found themselves two up. A break down the middle of the park reached its way to new signing Kornilenko who made a delicious backheel to fellow Bloomfield Road newcomer James Beattie, who dashed into the Spurs area and was able to cross the ball across the face of goal, eliminating Gomes, and finding Campbell who struck it first time into a free target at the far post, albeit from what looked an offside position.
Entering the second half, Spurs continued to push forward. Roman Pavlyuchenko should have brought his side back into the game less than five minutes into the second period of the game after Aaron Lennon squirmed into the Blackpool area to get a short-range cross over to the penalty spot where the Russian had got himself into space and met the ball with his head, but through lack of power and commitment, the effort failed to properly test Kingson who was easily able to smother the attempt.
The game heated up with the addition of Niko Kranjcar who was able to give Tottenham the ammunition they needed to get a hold on the game and had a great deal of involvement in the visitors' attacking play. However, both the Croatian’s shots and the rest of his team-mates couldn’t test Kingson to the full, having to settle for overhit efforts or face the dogged Blackpool defence as Holloway’s men remained solid.
Defoe was next to fail to get Spurs back into it after a Pavlyuchenko effort was saved brilliantly by Kingson, but the ball found its way back to Defoe who looked certain to score from short distance, only for the keeper amazingly to end up with the ball in his hand.
The game was put beyond doubt on the 80th minute as substitute Ormerod made it 3-0 to the hosts. Assou-Ekotto failed miserably to run with the ball out of his own area and gifted the ball to Ormerod, who couldn't miss from six yards.
Tottenham managed a consolation in magnificent style. Pavlyuchenko struck from all of 30 yards out in the dying minutes of the game, grabbing a deflection on the way and into the top left corner of the goal.