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Defoe reveals Chivers chat

ESPN staff
November 8, 2013 « Arsenal have got what it takes - Ramsey | Chartbeat test »
Defoe breaks Spurs' record


Jermain Defoe revealed he had been given words of encouragement by Martin Chivers before he surpassed his European goalscoring record in Tottenham's 2-1 win over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.

Defoe, 31, converted a penalty to claim his 23rd European goal for the club - one more than Chivers managed during his time at White Hart Lane.

It followed a first Tottenham goal for Erik Lamela as Spurs secured a safe passage into the knockout rounds, despite Ismail Isa grabbing a goal on 72 minutes to keep them on their toes.

All eyes were on Defoe to see if he could make a history, and he described after the game how he had bumped into Chivers at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.

"He's a legend," Defoe said. "I saw him at half-time and he said to me, 'keep it going you'll get it'. So it's nice for someone like Martin to say that.''

He added: "It was frustrating tonight, I couldn't really get much space. I just thought to myself stay patient. To go to the top of the list, I'm delighted. I was confident, and what an opportunity to do it.''

Defoe also had words of praise for Lamela, who has been used sparingly since his move from Roma.

He said: "Lamela was unbelievable tonight, good on the ball, strong. Sometimes it is difficult coming to a new club at such a young age. I'm delighted for him he got the goal.''

Of Spurs' progress to the knockout stages, the former West Ham forward added: "It was never going to be easy. The teams, they park the bus and hit us on the counter attack.''

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas admitted his relief at the team having already qualified for the knockout stages.

He insisted, though, that the team would give their all in their remaining two games.

He said: "It is a great pleasure, different from last year, we are already there with two games to go. We still have to make sure we honour the Tottenham shirt.''

The former Chelsea boss also praised Lamela, adding: "We were waiting for him to have a game like this. He was very creative, no fear to face the man and beat opponents and in the end he scored and created the situation for the penalty.''

Villas-Boas did, though, have his regrets, saying: "We could have gone on from there and scored more. But credit to them. But it was a great overall performance, it's good to be through.''

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