Spurs break Hearts to whet Defoe appetite for top four


STRIKER Jermain Defoe insists Tottenham can get back into the top four after all but booking their place in the Europa League group stage.

Defoe, Rafael van der Vaart, Jake Livermore, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon all struck as Spurs romped to victory in their first competitive match of the season.

And he believes they can qualify for the Champions League, despite what is expected to be a fiercely contested Premier League top six.

“It’s a big season for everyone,” said Defoe. “We’re looking at getting into that top four and tonight was the first game of the season. It was important to be professional and we’ve done that.”

Tottenham might have been forgiven rustiness in this play-off first leg, but they took the lead in the fifth minute, Van der Vaart capitalising on pinball in the Hearts defence to slot past goalkeeper Marian Kello.

Defoe doubled the lead when he took Livermore’s pass in his stride and finished low before returning the favour to set up the youngster with a one-two.

Bale continued the rout after half-time, darting through the centre to meet Tom Huddlestone’s pass and round Kello, before Lennon tapped in Defoe’s cross 13 minutes from time.