Defoe’s got it licked for Spurs

JERMAIN DEFOE rediscovered his scoring touch with a stunning hat-trick as Tottenham finally saw off FA Cup giant-killers Leeds at Elland Road.

Defoe had scored just once in five games before last night but ruthlessly cut through Leeds with a clinical treble to take his goal tally for the season to 20 and earn his side a fifth round date with Bolton.

The England striker gave Spurs a deserved lead with a mis-hit shot on 37 minutes, only for Luciano Becchio to equalise for the League One side just before the break.

Defoe then had time to see a goal ruled off for offside and miss two more glorious chances before finally slotting home David Bentley’s 73rd-minute cross.

Just as in the first game, Leeds pushed for a late leveller, but this time it was Tottenham who benefited as Defoe sprinted away on the counter attack to secure his third hat-trick of the season.

“That was a difficult game,” Defoe admitted afterwards. “A cup tie is always difficult. Away from home it was a great performance from the lads, I’m pleased with the win. We stuck in an passed the ball.”

Defoe, however, was forced to share his plaudits with team-mate Bentley, who justified the recent faith placed in him by boss Harry Redknapp with a man-of-the-match display.

Redknapp admitted: “He has come back and taken his opportunity. He has shown what a good player he is in the last couple of games and he needs to keep on doing that.

Of Defoe, Redknapp added: “He’s got to keep working hard. They [Defoe and Peter Crouch] were a good pair tonight. It was a good all-found performance.”

Leeds took the scalp of Manchester United in the previous round, and boss Simon Grayson was proud of his side’s achievements.

“We’ve got to take a lot positives,” he added. “We have given Tottenham two good games. Our main aim is to get promotion and play in front of 30,000 every week.”