Dempsey scores goal, assists on winner in crucial Tottenham win

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Dempsey, Friedel narrowly miss out on Champions League berth
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Dempsey, Friedel narrowly miss out on Champions League berth

Clint Dempsey completed his transfer to Tottenham last summer with an eye on competing in the Champions League, and if Spurs are to complete a top-four Premier League finish they can look to Dempsey's performance Sunday as a major contribution.

Dempsey scored an equalizer and set up Emmanuel Adebayor for a late winner, as Tottenham defeated 10-man Stoke City 2-1 at Britannia Stadium. The win puts Tottenham ahead of Arsenal for fourth place by two points, with the Gunners holding a game in hand. Arsenal will play FA Cup winner Wigan on Tuesday with a chance to pull back in front in the race for the league's final Premier League berth.

Tottenham conceded an early goal off a set piece, but Dempsey struck back to bring the visitors on level pegging. With Asmir Begovic racing off his line to clear a ball, Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross beat his goalkeeper to the ball and made the clearance himself. The ball went directly to Dempsey, who lobbed it first time into the vacated net to even the score at 1-1 in the 20th minute.

With time ticking down and Dempsey about to be substituted out, he made one final key contribution. After receiving a ball deep in the Stoke box, Dempsey hit a ball across the goal mouth, where Adebayor tapped home for the vital 83rd-minute winner.

Dempsey threatened Stoke, which went down to 10 men early in the second half when Charlie Adam was sent off, for the duration of the match. Prior to his tally, he had a goal waved off for offside. In the second half he came close twice, once on a redirect of a Gareth Bale cross from close range and another on a blast from distance that Begovic tipped over the bar.

The goal was Dempsey's 12th in all competitions this season and his seventh in Premier League play.

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