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Crouch nets hat-trick for clinical Spurs

<strong>PRESTON (1) </strong>vs<strong> TOTTENHAM (5)<br /><br /></strong>TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp praised his side&rsquo;s new-found ruthlessness after Peter Crouch smashed a hat-trick in a rout at Deepdale.<br /><br />Fellow strikers Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane also hit the target as Spurs booked their place in the last 16, with Chris Brown responding for Preston.<br /><br />And Redknapp, who took over at White Hart Lane 11 months ago, pointed to the emphatic win as proof his side have developed a more clinical edge under his stewardship.<br /><br />&ldquo;Preston is never an easy place to come and I felt it would be a tough game,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;A year ago we would never have won a game like this, but we took our goals well and always looked dangerous.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Championship side took a five-month unbeaten home record into the game and tested Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes early on. But the visitors looked more dangerous in the final third, and Crouch volleyed the opener from Gareth Bale&rsquo;s cross on 14 minutes.<br /><br />Defoe doubled the advantage, finishing a mesmerising dribble at the second attempt, before half time and it looked set to stay 2-0 until a late flurry of goals. Aaron Lennon set up Crouch for an easy third on 77 minutes and, after substitute Brown had pulled one back, Keane gathered Tom Huddlestone&rsquo;s pass and finished.<br /><br />England star Crouch crowned his hat-trick with an audacious fifth of the night for the north Londoners, a volleyed back-heel from another Lennon delivery.<br />