Gudjohnsen goal lifts Spurs spirits

LONDON - Eidur Gudjohnsen scored his first goal for Tottenham Hotspur as they beat Stoke City 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday to maintain their challenge for a place in the Champions League.

The Iceland international, 31, last found the net in the English top flight as a Chelsea player in January 2006 but had not scored a domestic league goal since Barcelona beat Valladolid 6-0 in La Liga in November 2008.

He failed to get on the scoresheet at Monaco in the first half of this season before joining Spurs on loan in January but ended that long barren spell after coming on as a first half substitute for injured Russia striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Gudjohnsen showed all his old predatory instincts when he lashed home 20 seconds after halftime as Spurs won a hard-fought game with a second from Niko Kranjcar after their former winger Matthew Etherington had equalised for Stoke with a penalty.

"It's great to have scored, because it has been a while, and help the team. It was a big result for us today," forward Gudjohnsen told Sky Sports.

"I was pleased with the goal, it was a good goal, but I am more pleased with the three points because it's not an easy place to come and you have to be ready for a real battle. We mixed it up and played well."

FANTASTIC GOAL

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp singled out Gudjohnsen afterwards for turning the game around.

"He scored a fantastic goal. He's been a bit unlucky since he has been here because Jermain (Defoe) has been scoring, Peter (Crouch) has been scoring and Pav has come in and done well, so he has been unlucky," he told Sky Sports.

"But he is a fantastic footballer - you don't play for Chelsea and Barcelona if you are not a great player and we are lucky to have him. He came on after half an hour and really turned the game around."

Spurs will hope Gudjohnsen maintains his scoring touch in the weeks ahead because Pavlyuchenko has a hamstring injury as does Defoe, who tore his in training earlier this week.

The victory maintained Tottenham's challenge for a first appearance in the Champions League, which could open up for them through the qualifiers if they hold on to fourth place until the end of the season.

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