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Defoe scores as Spurs crawl out of last place

JERMAIN Defoe fired an equalizer against his former club as Tottenham drew 1-1 with Portsmouth on Sunday to climb out of last place in the Premier League.

After David Nugent had given Pompey the lead, Defoe, who returned to Tottenham nine days ago, captured a point that sent Spurs up four places in the crowded bottom half of the standings. Portsmouth also moved up three places to 12th after facing former manager Harry Redknapp for the first time since he left Pompey for Spurs in late October.

The draw sent West Bromwich Albion, which beat Middlesbrough 3-0 on Saturday, back into last place on goal difference. Five clubs are tied for the fewest points at 21.

In the league's only other game on Sunday, West Ham defeated Fulham 3-1.

Nugent gave Portsmouth a 59th minute lead with a low angled shot from a breakaway after Pompey goalkeeper James had made a reflex save at the other end of the field. Aaron Lennon's shot took a big deflection but James managed to change direction and save at the foot of the post before the ball was swept up field.

It was one of a series of top-quality saves by James, who also acrobatically tipped a header from Defoe over the bar in the first half.

Darren Bent was on for injured striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who was carried off with a leg injury in the 29th minute. Spurs also lost defender Ledley King before halftime.

In a thrilling, end-to-end game, Defoe leveled in the 70th with a low, left-foot, 20-meter shot from a layoff by Luka Modric.

Bent should have added a second in the 79th minute but headed wide of the far post while unmarked.

Carlton Cole scored for the fifth game in a row as West Ham beat Fulham to climb to eighth and end the Cottagers nine game unbeaten run.

David Di Michele punished a blunder by John Pantsil to give the Hammers a seventh-minute lead.

Paul Konchesky equalized in the 22nd minute with a 25-meter shot that curved and flew inside the near post.

But Mark Noble restored West Ham's lead with a 60th-minute penalty awarded when Konchesky tripped Cole as the West Ham striker was about to shoot. Cole added the third in the 75th.


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