Pavlyuchenko on mark again but injury sours Spurs’ day

TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp is facing a central midfield injury crisis that threatens to derail their challenge for a top-four finish. Goals from Roman Pavlyuchenko and Luka Modric earned victory over in-form Everton and ensured Spurs climbed back above Manchester City into fourth place.

But the win came at a cost, with Tom Huddlestone joining an injured list that already includes Jermaine Jenas. Redknapp’s other central midfielder, Wilson Palacios, is one booking away from a ban.

“We are running out of central midfield players,” he said. “We’ve only got three anyway: Palacios, Tom and Jermaine Jenas. It’s an area we’ve been light on all year.”

Injuries aside, Spurs were also hit by a viral outbreak last week but were quick out of the blocks, Pavlyuchenko sliding in to convert Jermain Defoe’s cross. It was the Russian’s fifth goal in three games, having forced his way back into the side, and Modric clipped a superb second in off the bar.

Yakubu pulled one back after goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes blundered and Landon Donovan should have equalised but missed an open goal.