Premier League – Clinical Tottenham out-gun Villa


Tottenham eased their Premier League relegation fears with a clinical 2-1 victory against stuttering Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Jermaine Jenas and Darren Bent scored the goals for Harry Redknapp’s resurgent side, who are now unbeaten in five league matches and up to 11th in the table after a smash-and-grab raid in the midlands.

Substitute John Carew gave Villa hope late on with a towering header, but Tottenham held on to deny Martin O’Neill’s team – who dominated for long periods, but failed to convert their possession into goals.

Defeat for Villa means they have harvested just one point from their last four league matches and slipped outside the coveted top-four.

Jenas put Spurs ahead inside five minutes, heading home from six yards after Brad Friedel could only parry Aaron Lennon‘s fizzing right-wing cross.

Villa responded well to the early shock and proceeded to completely control the remainder of the first half.

Ashley Young terrorised Didier Zokora on the left flank and set up Villa’s first genuine chance on 12 minutes – but Heurelho Gomes made a sharp save to deny Gareth Barry.

Such was Young’s threat that Redknapp replaced Zokora with Vedran Corluka on 35 minutes.

Emile Heskey hit the bar with a firm header from Gareth Barry’s left-wing centre in first-half injury time, to end a frustrating first period for the home side.

Bent added a second for Spurs against the run of play on 50 minutes, sliding home after Robbie Keane shot across Friedel following good work from Jenas and Lennon.

Once again Villa reacted well, but for all their possession clear-cut chances were not forthcoming.

Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King were on inspired form for Tottenham expertly marshalled the threat of Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Villa eventually found a breakthrough on 84 minutes, however, when Carew leapt highest to meet James Milner‘s cross and crash home a header via the crossbar.

A grandstand finish followed, but Spurs held firm to seal victory and inflict another blow to Villa’s hopes of Champions League qualification.

Will Tidey / Eurosport