Anti-Semitism mustn’t detract from Spurs win, says Villas-Boas

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 vs WEST HAM UNITED 1

TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas refused to dwell on apparent anti-Semitic chanting from West Ham fans after Jermain Defoe’s brace sunk the striker’s old club at White Hart Lane.

Winger Gareth Bale scored in between Defoe’s goals, while a late Andy Carroll header for the visitors could not prevent Spurs ending a four-match domestic losing run and climbing to seventh in the Premier League.

The match was tainted by chants of “Viva Lazio”, just days after a Tottenham fan was stabbed in Rome in an apparent anti-Semitic attack, and gas chamber-mimicking hisses among the away end.

But Villas-Boas said: “I prefer not to mar the performance with a situation like this. You know the animosity there is between Tottenham and West Ham and as long as it doesn’t reach stupidity it is a great, great rivalry of two London clubs.

“It would be extremely unfair for me to mar the performance of the players but understanding that a couple of situations are avoidable but we can’t decipher the true meaning of what they were saying.”

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said he had not heard the chants, adding: “They shouldn't be doing things like that. It is the least of my worries at the minute.”

Defoe brought a drab first half to life in the 44th minute when he drove in from the right wing, turned Mark Noble and lashed a dipping low shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen from 18 yards.

Clint Dempsey’s clever scooped pass set up Bale to convert the second after 58 minutes, and moments later Dempsey freed Aaron Lennon to streak clear and square for former Hammers star Defoe’s second.