England striker remains in scoring form for Tottenham as he bags brace at Reading.
England striker Jermain Defoe
was hailed by Andre Villas-Boas after an inspiring double at Reading helped Spurs to a classy 3-1 win on Sunday.
The 29-year-old, who scored against Moldova
and had one ruled out against Ukraine
last week, maintained his sparkling form with a brace at the Madejski.
First, he latched on to Aaron Lennon
’s cut-back before a stylish finish from 15 yards. Then, in the second half, he carried the ball from the halfway line before planting a fine strike past Alex McCarthy to wrap up Villas-Boas’ first victory in charge.
The manager said: "I am extremely happy for him. He is such a prolific srriker for club and country. He is amazing at sniffing out goal scoring opportunities.
“It is not only that, but he makes the most of the small opportunities he has. I am happy for him of course because I know there were questions being raised about him being played up front on his own.
“On his own or with [Emmanuel] Adebayor on his side I think Jermain can continue to produce attacking opportunities.”
As well as Defoe and Lennon, right-back Kyle Walker
shone for Spurs, providing Bale with his goal thanks to a brilliant low cross.
At Tottenham’s north London rivals Arsenal, more England internationals shone as Arsene Wenger’s side thrashed Southampton 6-1 on Saturday.
impressed as he played 90 minutes for the Gunners while Theo Walcott
punctuated a 16-minute substitute appearance with a goal.
Left-back Kieran Gibbs
was also in good form and set up two of Arsenal’s six goals against unfortunate Southampton, whose team boasted England new boy Adam Lallana.
Goals were harder to come by at Loftus Road in the goalless west London derby between QPR and Chelsea, where Roy Hodgson
was in attendance.
As well as England regulars Ashley Cole
, John Terry
and Frank Lampard
, the England Manager had a chance to run the rule over a couple of Blues’ rising stars. Ryan Bertrand
, who made his Three Lions debut against Italy last month, and Daniel Sturridge
, who was a subsitute against Ukraine last Tuesday.
Hodgson, sitting alongside FA Chairman David Bernstein, was also able to check out the form of QPR's Bobby Zamora, whom he knows well from their Fulham days.
With the World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino
and Poland coming up next month, Hodgson is certain to be checking all his striking options.
And there was positive news in that department from Carrow Road, where Norwich and West Ham drew 0-0 on Saturday.
After the game Hammers boss Sam Allardyce revealed that loan signing Andy Carroll
is making good progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The England forward picked up the injury on his debut against Fulham and was expected to face up to six weeks on the sidelines.
But Allardyce said: "He is happy to be here and the leg is improving rapidly. We will assess the situation and the minute we can get him back we will obviously."
Tickets for England's next qualifier versus San Marino at Wembley on Friday 12 October are on sale, click here to buy online.