FT: Tottenham 3 Reading 1

And that's it! Tottenham record three very comfortable points in the end to climb to third, above Chelsea who play 24 hours later. It's an eighth defeat in 10 for Reading, who could find themselves back in the basement by the end of play on Sunday. Well, I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm Ryan Gordon wishing you all a very prosperous 2013 and a great rest of your week! Cheers all!

It's more of the same in the closing stages of this game, with Spurs completely dominating possession and continually threatening down the wing through Lennon.

An excellent save from Adam Federici denies Scott Parker his first goal for Tottenham, the keeper acrobatically diving to his left to just tip the midfielder's 30-yard drive around the up-right. Meanwhile, there will be four minutes of added time for Reading to get through today.

We're into the final minute of normal time, and some of the home fans are confident that this game is over and are heading to the exits.

And here comes the final change from Tottenham, Jake Livermore making his first Premier League appearance from November as he comes on for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Lennon has been a real wizard down the wing today and again he skins his marker before sending his delivery to the far-post, but two Spurs players get in each other's way to send the ball behind the goal.

Defoe had a great chance before that change as he ran through into the area without much trouble, but he can't beat Federici who gets down well to save from the striker's shot.

Third and final change for Reading now, with Noel Hunt coming on for Pavel Pogrebnyak.

I've lost count of how many corners Spurs have had, but they have another one now as Parker's shot is deflected behind. The set-piece is played short before eventually being delivered into the area, but Reading can deal with the danger before eventually marshalling the ball out for a goal-kick.

Spurs press for a fourth now, with Lennon continuing to enjoy the freedom of the right wing before clipping his delivery to the far-post, but Alex Pearce is there to head behind with Adebayor waiting just behind him.

Clint Dempsey's first three touches since coming on lead to Tottenham's third, although it's harsh on Reading as the United States midfielder controls, turns and shoots, with his effort taking a wicked deflection off Mikele Leigertwood to loop over Adam Federici and into the back of the net.

GOAL! Tottenham 3-1 Reading! Clint Dempsey!

Reading are getting closer. The second corner is whipped into a really dangerous area where Danny Guthrie heads at goal, but a combination of goalkeeper and defender somehow keeps Pavel Pogrebnyak's header from going over the line.

Massive chance for Reading, but they can't take it. Jimmy Kebe manages to get between two defenders to run onto a loose ball, but Federici is out quickly and deflects the midfielder's shot out for a corner. That delivery is cleared straight out for another Reading corner, this one from the other side.

Changes coming thick and fast now, with Tottenham bringing on Clint Dempsey at the expense of Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Reading make another change, with Jobi McAnuff coming off for Adam Le Fondre.

As I write that Reading work their best chance of the second-half, with Pavel Pogrebnyak's initial shot being saved by Lloris, while he can only steer his follow-up header wide of the mark.

Reading just cannot hold onto the ball for more than a couple of passes, and when they give it away Spurs break with real purpose, and one would be forgiven for expecting more than just the two Spurs goals.

Kyle Naughton, in full flight, picks up the ball on the edge of the area before unleashing a stinging drive, but his effort is always rising and won't trouble Federici in the Reading goal.

First change for Tottenham now, with Mousa Dembele coming off for Scott Parker.

Patient approach from Spurs at the moment as they pass the ball around with real confidence, while Lennon tries to slide the ball behind for Adebayor, but Adrian Mariappa makes a vital interception inside the area.

Here come the hosts again, with Lennon finding Defoe in the area, but the striker can't get the proper connection on his shot and fires wide of the mark.

There doesn't seem to be much of a change in Reading's approach, with the midfield still sitting very deep in their own half, which is allowing Spurs to win the ball back every time it is cleared up field.

Spurs' fifth corner of the game doesn't quite find its mark as the Reading defenders mark well and are able to head clear.

With Tottenham now in the lead, Sky Bet have Reading at a massive 33/1 to comeback for the victory, while Spurs are 1/12 to hold on for the win.

Chris Little says: It's nice to see an improved, defensive minded approach from Reading; playing erratic ,attacking football has only left too much pressure on the back line.

Powerful burst of pace from Robson-Kanu sets Reading on their way, but the eventual delivery into the area is a poor one and Dawson comfortable heads clear.

Reading win the ball back in their own half, but Adrian Mariappa needlessly hoofs the ball up field and back to the hosts.

First change of the afternoon from Reading as Jem Karacan makes way for Hal Robson-Kanu.

Spurs turning on the style now, and Aaron Lennon does really well as he dinks his way into a great shooting opportunity, although his shot is well blocked. The ball falls to Adebayor inside the area, and he turns it on to Lennon, but once more the winger's shot is blocked and Reading survive.

Sandro wiggles his way past two markers before getting his shot away from the edge of the area, but it won't trouble Federici as the ball spins out for a goal-kick.

The way Spurs are keeping the ball here could mean a very long afternoon for Reading, who are chasing shadows at the moment.

Just six minutes after the restart and Spurs take the lead for the first time. It's Aaron Lennon doing all of the good work again as he cuts into the box from out wide before clipping his cross to the far post where Emmanuel Adebayor towers above the defence to place his header into the back of the net. That's his first league goal at White Hart Lane this season.

GOAL! Tottenham 2-1 Reading! Emmanuel Adebayor!

Before that, Adebayor tees up Sandro with a delightful flick, but the midfielder completely misses his swing and the Royals can clear the danger.

Stephen Dolan disagrees with some of our readers, saying: Hello everyone, I have to say I really do not totally agree with Riff because we have a great partnership between Defoe and Ade I think we need more creativity in the centre we have dembele but if we had Moutinho with dembele in the centre more goals would come because we also have Dempsey on the bench too.

Spurs pick up in the second-half where they left off in the first and are dominating possession, playing some really neat football on the edge of the area. Jermain Defoe has the first shot of the second period, but Federici does well to save the striker's curling effort.

Jamie Sadler writes in: Agree with jonathan rifflart about been sayin it all season we need another top striker for chance conversions, when defoe is on his game he gets one chance and he will score unfortunately adebayor needs three or four before he will turn in a chance take the sunderland game as an example.

We're back up and running for the second-half!

Martin shares his thoughts with us, saying: Thanks for your commentary....a life saver for a royals fan in cold Minnesota, USA...currently -22'f here. Seems to be a lot of spurs and royals sitting back and defending....but this is the way they have to play to grind out anything. You make it sound as though they are at least battling in midfield which is I feel their main weakness, so that is encouraging.

The referee brings the first-half to a close, with Reading having done really well to keep Tottenham largely at bay. They'll need to keep it up in the second-half though as Spurs know a win would take them above Chelsea into third, with the Blues only playing 24 hours later. Join me after the break to see how this one ends.

Jonathan Rifflart emails in: Hi Ryan, Riff from Cardiff here. Im a big spurs fan and happy so far with how the season is panning out but we desperately need to by another striker, we have the flare but we need some more goal poaching skills!

Some confusion between goalkeeper and defender almost allows McAnuff to steal in, but Lloris is just able to get their ahead of the striker before hoofing the ball up field.

Another chance now for Spurs now as Federici fumbles Dembele's fierce drive, but the goalkeeper's able to react quickly to regain possession ahead of the on-rushing Emmanuel Adebayor.

More delightful interplay from Tottenham which ends in Defoe breaking into the area before getting his shot away, but Federici does really well to get down low and just get a glove on the striker's goal-bound effort.

Five minutes plus stoppages left in what has been a thoroughly entertaining first-half of Premier League football.

Don't forget you can get involved by simply emailing ryan.gordon@teamtalkmedia.com and I'll share your thoughts here for all to see.

Dawson tries to lift one over the top for Adebayor, but the defender gets too much purchase on his cross and the ball runs through to the goalkeeper.

Now Defoe has a dig from well outside the area, and although Federici is rooted to the spot, the striker's effort flashes just wide of the post.

Sigurdsson curls in a sumptuous delivery into a really dangerous area, but Federici is out quickly to punch clear.

Defoe wins Spurs a free-kick in a wide area following another lengthy spell of possession for the hosts.

Sandro collects the ball from out wide before cutting in and looking to curl one into the top corner, and although he's not too far off he won't challenge the keeper, who watches the ball sail behind for a goal-kick.

Kyle Walker has all the time in the world to pick out a delivery from out wide following some superb build-up from Spurs, but it's a woeful delivery from the full-back as he can't even clear the first man.

Decent build-up play from Reading now as they string together several passes around the Spurs box, but the lineswoman's flag brings the move to an end as Pavel Pogrebnyak had just strayed off-side.

The hosts are enjoying the lion's share of possession today, and Reading will know they cannot allow Spurs to completely dominate proceedings. It's a very tight midfield though, resulting in a number of miss-placed passes recently.

Spurs seem to be building up a real head of steam here, but it comes to an end as Sandro is adjudged to have fouled Alex Pearce on the edge of the area after rolling his defender to open up a shooting space.

Lennon's looking lively on the right wing and cuts past his man before laying the ball back for Sandro, but his shot from the edge of the area is blocked point-blank.

Aaron Lennon drives at Iain Harte from out wide, but the defender just manages to get a toe on the ball to rob the winger of possession. Spurs have a corner, but the delivery needs to be much better as the Royals defence easily clears.

Hugo Lloris dawdles with his clearance before pumping the ball straight to Danny Guthrie, who wins his side a corner. The set-piece is not a good one though and Spurs win back possession.

Dembele picks up the ball in the middle of the field before breaking through on goal, and although Jem Karacan looks to be tugging at his shirt, the referee allows play to go on but the Spurs man can only rifle his shot wide of the post.

Michael Dawson takes a blow to the nose and appears to be bleeding, but the Spurs medical team are on the case and should have the defender back out in no time.

Jimmy Kebe gets himself into trouble and looses possession to Sigurdsson, but he's let off the hook as the Spurs man's attempted back-heel doesn't find the run of Dembele on the wing.

Leigertwood looks to release Jobi McAnuff with a ball over the top, but Kyle Walker does well to track his run and is able to get there ahead of the forward.

After a bright start to the game, Sky Bet go 15/8 that Spurs lead 2-1 before the break.

Roger Holmes writes in: Hi, In my 30 years involved in football, I have never before seen a manager rotate his defence the way AVB does, and manage (pardon the pun) to get results. It defies all logic...not changing a winning team, having a solid settled back 5 etc. I dont know how or why he does it,but it seems to work.

Sigurdsson has a pop at goal from the edge of the area, but his shot is deflected out for a corner, which Reading deal with easily enough.

Reading's lead doesn't last long, and it's a bit of a surprise scorer for Spurs as Michael Dawson heads home his first goal at the Lane in four years, wonderfully flicking his effort into the far corner of the net.

GOAL! Tottenham 1-1 Reading! Michael Dawson!

Corner to Spurs now as Adam Federici is forced to tip Lennon's cross behind with Adebayor lurking once more.

Adebayor is down now and clutching his right left thigh after being crumpled in an aerial challenge in the middle of the park. He's up and about now and should be okay to soldier on.

Tottenham have kicked it up a gear since going behind, and they've just come within a whisker of going level, but Adebayor can only head his effort just the wrong side of the up-right after Lennon had hung up a brilliant cross to the far-post.

Dream start for Reading! Ian Harte's delicious free-kick crashes back off the crossbar, and Pavel Pogrebnyak is the quickest to react as he tucks away the rebound.

GOAL! Tottenham 0-1 Reading! Pavel Pogrebnyak!

Much better from Reading now as Pavel Pogrebnyak dances his way through the heart of the Tottenham defence before being felled right on the edge of the area.

Not too much to tell you about in the opening minute-and-a-half, with Aaron Lennon being pulled back for off-side following a break down the wing from Emmanuel Adebayor.

We're up and running at White Hart Lane!

And here they come, Tottenham in their traditional all-white kit while Reading are in their away strip of all-yellow.

We're around 10 minutes away from the kick-off now and the two sets of players are lining up in the White Hart Lane tunnel, where referee Howard Webb will lead them out onto the pitch shortly.

For Reading, boss Brian McDermott names an unchanged side for the third successive match, the current XI having given the Royals a huge survival boost with four points from their last two league matches.

So, Tottenham have to do without the influential Gareth Bale today as he misses out through suspension, but that means Reading old boy Gylfi Sigurdsson comes in to face his former employers. Only one other change from the side that beat the Black Cats, with Jan Vertonghen replacing Steven Caulker, who drops to the bench.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Adebayor, Defoe Subs: Friedel, Dempsey, Huddlestone, Parker, Falque, Livermore, Caulker

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, Guthrie, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak Subs: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, Morrison, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Cummings

As promised, the teams...

The team sheets have come across my desk, but why not first take the time to get involved by emailing your thoughts, predictions, rants or even crazy/silly/mad New Year's Eve stories to ryan.gordon@teamtalkmedia.com.

Plenty at stake for both sides today then, but how about making it a little more interesting by heading over to our friends at Sky Bet, who have Tottenham at 1/3 to take the points today, while Reading are the long-shot at 8/1. A draw, meanwhile, is at 4/1, so good luck!

For Reading, things could not be more different. Following their unbridled joy at securing their return to the top-flight last term, the Royals have endured a nightmare run in the Premier League, with the 1-0 success over West Ham last time out only their second win of the campaign. That run of results has left Brian McDermott's men second-last in the standings, five points from safety with 20 games having already been played, but possibly on the up, having kept clean sheets in their last two matches.

It was a great 2012 for Spurs, who only narrowly missed out on a place in the Champions League last season, despite having finished the campaign in fourth. They're right up there again this term, with last week's win over Sunderland leaving Andre Villas-Boas' side in fourth, although fifth-placed Arsenal have a game in hand over their bitter rivals and sit only three points adrift.

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and a very happy new year to you all! It's a time for reflection and resolutions, although for two very different reasons for today's sides. I'm Ryan Gordon and I'll be taking you through all the action as Tottenham take on Reading at White Hart Lane. Kick-off is at 15:00 GMT.

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