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English Premiership

Spurs fightback sets up Pompey clash

LONDON, March 24 – Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp will take on his old club Portsmouth at Wembley after a second-half comeback earned his team a 3-1 win against Fulham in Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay.The visitors to White Hart Lane led at half-time thanks to a Bobby Zamora strike but goals from David Bentley, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Eidur Gudjohnsen ensured Spurs’ passage to the semi-final.

The much-travelled manager won the Cup with Pompey in 2008 but will be desperate to get one over his former employers, who now find themselves in dire financial straits, when they meet on April 11.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will not be too despondent as his team are already in the Europa League quarter-finals following an amazing comeback against Italian giants Juventus last Thursday.

Former Inter Milan manager Hodgson named five ex-Spurs players, full-backs Stephen Kelly and Paul Konchesky, midfielders Simon Davies and Danny Murphy and striker Zamora in his starting side after a goalless draw in the original tie.

The Cottagers, buoyed by last week’s famous win, were extremely assured from the off and reaped the reward in the 18th minute.

Midfielder Damien Duff surged unchallenged down the centre of the pitch before slipping a perfectly weighted pass inside full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto for Zamora who stroked the ball calmly past Mark Schwarzer into the goal.

Tottenham had a strong claim for a penalty turned down 10 minutes later when Kelly handled as Crouch attempted to control a throw in but referee Martin Atkinson dismissed the appeals.

Even then the danger wasn’t over as Gudjohnsen improvised a smart backheel in the resultant scramble which Schwarzer got down sharply to smother.

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Despite the hosts’ pressure it was Fulham who twice came closest to grabbing the next goal.

Giant defender Breder Hangeland powered a header over the bar from Duff’s corner before a cross from midfielder Zoltan Gera found Zamora in space at the far post but the England hopeful couldn’t direct his header on goal.

A clearly unimpressed Redknapp made two changes at the break, taking off Assou-Ekotto and midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who were replaced by Tom Huddlestone and Bentley.

Redknapp couldn’t have wished for a better result as Bentley equalised with his first contribution, scoring directly from a free-kick after Duff brought down Modric on the left wing.

The former Blackburn man sent in a vicious inswinging cross which flew past Australia international Scwharzer, who was rooted to the spot in anticipation of a goalward deflection.

The former Arsenal man now had the wind in his sails and it came as no surprise when he created Spurs’s second goal for fellow substitute Pavlyuchenko shortly before the hour mark.

The midfielder teased Konchesky on the right wing before delivering a deep ball to the far post where Pavlyuchenko anticipated superbly to guide a controlled volley past Schwarzer.

The turnaround was completed five minutes later when a slick move put Iceland striker Gudjohnsen in to score his second goal in five days.

Gudjohnsen started the move, passing to Crouch who moved the ball swiftly on to playmaker Modric.

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The diminutive midfielder played a precise pass through the backline to Gudjohnsen who stumbled past Schwarzer before poking home into an empty net.

Fulham refused to give in and should have set up a frantic finale but Gomes saved superbly from Duff’s point-blank volley.

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