Capital One Cup: Defoe double sparks Spurs romp and lifts recall hopes

TOTTENHAM boss Andre Villas-Boas admits the form of Jermain Defoe is becoming hard to ignore after the striker hit his sixth goal from three starts in last night’s Capital One Cup third round rout.

Defoe netted in each half with midfielders Paulinho and Nacer Chadli also on target at Villa Park, where Spurs are now unbeaten in six visits.

The 30-year-old is yet to start a Premier League game this season, with £26m summer signing Roberto Soldado preferred by Villas-Boas, but the Spurs boss admits Defoe is doing his future selection chances no harm.

“It was another superb performance from Jermain Defoe,” he said.

“He showed great desire. His performances have been excellent.”

Villas-Boas had said that Spurs’ task of winning was “impossible” having played 48 hours earlier at Cardiff and at home to Tromso on Thursday.

Only three players retained their place in the starting line-up and Villas-Boas was delighted with those who took their chance to impress.

“The players are buzzing for opportunities like this, so most of them really performed,” he added. “We have great strength in depth so it allows us to throw such a strong team on the pitch after playing just two days ago.”

Defoe broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time, heading in midfielder Lewis Holtby’s lofted pass.

Villa half-time substitute Nicklas Helenius was denied an immediate equaliser when Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen pulled the Dane’s shorts down and he blasted over.

No penalty was awarded and the home side were angered further three minutes later when Paulinho flicked in Holtby’s corner from six yards.

Defoe set up Chadli for his first Spurs goal on 86 minutes, before latching onto Holtby’s pass and rounding goalkeeper Jed Steer for the fourth.