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Page last updated at 18:59 GMT, Monday, 21 November 2011

Tottenham v Aston Villa as it happened


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By Tom Rostance
BBC Sport

2230: So that's all from me for one night but there's no time for you lot to relax as Phil Dawkes will be here on Tuesday evening for a cracking night of action. We've got Manchester United v Benfica and Napoli v Manchester City in the Champions League as well as a host of FA Cup replays and a smattering of Championship action. Make sure you tune in. Cheers and good night.

Full time
Arindam Rej reports:
"Aston Villa offered very little again in the second half so Tottenham coasted to victory with Luka Modric orchestrating many of their best passages. Spurs even managed a rare clean sheet with a rock-solid, defensive effort."

2224: To recap then, a stroll at the Lane for a Spurs side who are looking the business when it comes to a top-four challenge. Just Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool to worry about though - not to mention Newcastle. Here's the full-time match report...

2222: Here's a dejected looking Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish: "We started well and were right at Spurs at the start of each half but we didn't retain the ball well enough. You can't do that against the top teams like Spurs. The goals were calamitous."

2215: Spurs boss Harry Redknapp: "It was great to be back - I wouldn't want to watch the games at home again. We played some great stuff, had some clear-cut chances and had opportunities to kill the game off. We controlled the tempo of the game."

2213: Villa boss Alex McLeish has called his side's defending "calamitous" and I for one am not going to argue. But first here's the reaction from a fit and healthy Harry Redknapp.

2211: Tottenham's next three Premier League games see them take on West Brom, Bolton and Stoke while Villa head to Swansea next weekend before hosting Manchester United. A tough run of games.

2210: Emmanuel Adebayor after scoring both goals: "I'm very happy to get two goals but what's important is that we won. I missed some but that's what being a striker is about. The most important thing is the three points. We know what the manager has been going through and it was a difficult moment for him. Today he's back with a victory so he's very good."

Luke Shirley on Twitter: Terrible tonight by Villa. Just seemed to accept defeat from the first whistle. Have to give it a go in every game. #bbcfootball"

Dave Herbert on Twitter: Dave Herbert on Twitter: "#bbcfootball Spurs are helped by knowing their best XI and playing it - the consistency brings familiarity and understanding and it shows."

2203: Spurs midfielder Scott Parker on manager Harry Redknapp's return to the dugout after heart surgery: "The manager has been superb and he's worked wonders since he's been here. It was a great lift for us to see him and his guidance is key."

2158: Infostrada Sports tell me that Darren Bent had all three of Aston Villa's shots (one on target and two off), with Villa failing to register a single goal attempt in the last 40 minutes. Evan allowing for the fact there are lies, damn lies and statistics, that's pretty grim.

2156: As for Aston Villa, that was a performance to forget. You have to question Alex McLeish's team selection and if the plan was to stifle Gareth Bale then it failed in catastrophic style. Bale ran the show.

2154: If Tottenham win their game in hand they would be just a point behind Manchester United. Great start to the season for Spurs, who as Steve Claridge says, look very well balanced with the additions of Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor looking the perfect pieces to finish the jigsaw.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC pundit Steve Claridge on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane: "This Villa team has been one that doesn't instil you with confidence. You would have thought before the game that Tottenham would dominate and that is exactly what happened, they've won this at a canter, and Villa got away with just a 2-0 defeat. The mix and the balance of the Spurs side is absolutely perfect."

2151: That was quite literally what the doctor ordered for the returning Harry Redknapp. Far, far too easy for his side who cruise into third place in the table.

Full time
2150: Full-time Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa

markavfc5594 on Twitter: "This is what I feared when McLeish took over. Negative football. Negative results #bbcfootball"

2148: Luka Modric gets a deservedly warm reception as he comes off to be replaced by Sandro. Further evidence of the size and quality of Harry Redknapp's squad. He's got Tom 'Hammer' Huddlestone to come back from injury yet as well.

TWoods34 on Twitter: "Tottenham's entire midfield was bought for £40 million. Andy Carroll cost £35. Football is amusing. #bbcfootball"

2144: For those of you concerned about a man of Brad Friedel's age standing motionless in this weather, he looks fine. He should have brought a flask of coffee out for the second half though. Fabian Delph comes on for Villa for a three-minute run-out.

Yellow card
2143: Ouch. Gareth Bale cuts right through Emile Heskey and Stephen Warnock with his umpteenth piece of trickery of the night and Stiliyan Petrov has had enough of it. Levels him with a crude challenge and is rightly booked. Bale is up and okay though but will have a few bruises in the morning.

2140: Must be 3-0! No! Gareth Bale is the architect again, setting free Diana Ross lookalike Benoit Assou-Ekotto inside the area. The left-back had three men to square it to but picks the wrong pass and Richard Dunne does well to hook it behind.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Dan Knights in Northampton on text: "I've got a 3-1 scorecast on the cards here Tom. For once I want spurs to concede. An Adebayor hat-trick and a 93rd-minute consolation will do please. Make it happen Mr. R!"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC pundit Steve Claridge on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane: "It's a game for Villa now where they have to decide whether to push forward to try and get back into it, or risk losing more goals."

2135: More chaotic defending from Aston Villa after Shay Given tips out a Luka Modric effort into the six-yard box, but the Republic of Ireland man then makes a fine point-blank stop to smother Emmanuel Adebayor's shot. No treble for the striker yet. He has 12 minutes left.

ronanbwithane on Twitter: "If Lennon beats Warnock once more he gets to keep him #bbcfootball"

Manchester United striker Michael Owen on Twitter: "Spurs looking very impressive in every area of the pitch. Harder than ever to predict the top four this year."

2130: We're into the last 20 minutes people and Harry Redknapp looks as cosy as you can be after heart surgery. There's still time for a tense ending though, but Villa have got to muster some sort of attack first. At the moment Harry's biggest dilemma looks like whether to go for the meat and potato or steak and kidney after the game.

2128: Emmanuel Adebayor stays on as Jermain Defoe replaces the silky Rafael van der Vaart. Another classy performance from the playmaker and now a different problem for Villa.

2126: Jermain Defoe is warming up, I wonder if Emmanuel Adebayor is going off before he can get his hat-trick? Spurs still totally in control by the way, as Gareth Bale has a go from range but it's a comfortable save for Shay Given.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Villa fan Andy Briggs on text, via 81111: "Villa are definitely on the slide. This team wasn't an attempt to have a go, it was a desperate attempt to steal a 0-0 draw that has fallen flat on its face."

AaronJohal on Twitter: "If Modric's move to Chelsea had gone through I think the two clubs would have swapped positions in the table #BBCFootball"

2123: A belated change for Aston Villa as Barry Bannan comes on for Carlos Cuellar.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC pundit Steve Claridge on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane: "It's a familiar story again. Villa start the opening half well, for the first few minutes, but Spurs come into the game and have had good opportunities."

2121: Wingplay at its very, very best. First Gareth Bale sets off on a run which sees him slalom past four defenders before teeing up Emmanuel Adebayor but the striker bends his shot just wide. And moments later Aaron Lennon combines beautifully with Luka Modric to cut through on the right but he is just offside.

2120: Is this poor showing a one-off or are Villa on the slide? And how good is this Spurs team? Can they make the Champions League again? Let me know by Tweeting the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @TJRostance or text in via 81111 (UK).

2118: Muted shout for a penalty as Emmanuel Adebayor decks it under a challenge from Stiliyan Petrov but Mark Halsey is uninterested. No foul. Absolute one-way traffic here though.

2115: Let's give Emile Heskey some credit, he is putting in a shift on that left wing. The big man tracks Aaron Lennon all the way into the area and just as a penalty looked likely pulls off a smart tackle. Kyle Walker whistles a swerving shot just wide from the corner.

2113: Richard Dunne momentarily thinks he is from Brazil and tries a Cruyff turn when the last man. Aaron Lennon strips him of the ball but a combination of Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart fail to capitalise. Two good chances to kill this game off spurned.

2112: Apparently the Prime Minister himself, Mr David Cameron, is at the game. He's as big a Villa fan as Tom Hanks don't you know. I wonder if he can do a job in midfield?

2110: Emmanuel Adebayor for the hat-trick... wide! Luka Modric springs a very square back four with a lovely run and pass and Adebayor is clean through. Richard Dunne makes up some ground to put the striker under pressure and he puts his shot just wide of the near post. A great chance for 3-0.

2107: Sloppy start this from Spurs. Ledley King has to be alert to head clear a dangerous Stephen Warnock cross but Villa waste the resultant corner.

2104: You feel the next goal will be crucial and Aston Villa have a decent effort right at the start of the second half as Darren Bent thumps a powerful header straight at Brad Friedel from Chris Herd's cross. Better from the visitors.

2103: Spurs kick-off and we are back under way with no changes for either side.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Adam in Uxbridge on text, via 81111: "Re: Diana Ross at 2050 - I still don't think she should take a penalty after the World Cup '94 fiasco."

dilsere920 on Twitter: "Bale looks like the man to go to Real Madrid sooner rather than later, he seems in same class as Ronaldo #bbcfootball"

2059: Adebayor hat-trick anyone?

AndyWhitt6 on Twitter: "Feel sorry for Alex McLeish, he tried something different and it didn't work, now he's going to get abuse for trying something! #BBCFootball"

eoingrainger on Twitter: "As an Arsenal fan, I really hope Harry Redknapp gets the England job, can't see Spurs getting a better manager! #BBCFootball"

2054: I've done a bit of half-time research for us all - well, looked on Wikipedia - and it appears John 'the flying postman' Williams - won £10,000 for winning the Rumbelows Sprint Contest in a time of 11.49 seconds in 1992. He beat amongst others Leigh Jenkinson and Efan Ekoku. 11.49 - not too shabby at all. What do we reckon Theo Walcott is at - sub 11 seconds?

Arsenes_Eyes on Twitter: "Not a big Diana Ross fan, but to still be playing left-back for Spurs at the age of 67 is extremely impressive. #bbcfootball #AFC #spurs"

2050: So Spurs cruising into third place at this rate - and they'd still have a game in hand. Aston Villa were quite frankly wretched in that half though and they must improve.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC pundit Steve Claridge on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane: "I looked at the teams before they set up. Villa were neither positive nor negative and it hasn't made sense. Hutton and Cuellar have made no impression on the right and the same with Warnock and Heskey on the other side. I don't know what path Alex McLeish has trod on to set his team up like this."

Half time
HALF-TIME Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa
Arindam Rej's HT snap-shot:
"Alex McLeish's overly-cautious, mish-mash of a Villa team are being dominated by Tottenham. Villa feared the threat from Gareth Bale on the left - but they are being cut apart down the right too. Rafael van der Vaart has been instrumental."

2048: Half-time Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa

Yellow card
2044: Pace. My word of the day again and Gareth Bale is making Aston Villa look silly, skipping around two players before being clattered by Chris Herd who is booked. Villa crying out for the whistle now.

Tottenham goal: In cooking parlance, this was one part Gareth Bale brilliance to three parts Aston Villa ineptitude. Great work from Bale to find a yard of space on the left and crack in a devilish cross, but from there on in it's a nightmare for Villa. James Collins slides in to clear but only succeeds in getting in the way of Shay Given, leaving Emmanuel Adebayor the task of converting from all of a yard out while Richard Dunne sprawls around on the floor. Terrible.

2040: GOALFLASH Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa (Emmanuel Adebayor)

2039: There it is again though. Luka Modric finds a bit of space in midfield, selects the lob wedge out of his bag of tricks and clips a fine ball over the top which Gareth Bale just can't quite reach.

2036: A nasty fall for Kyle Walker, as he goes up for a header with Emile Heskey and comes down flat on his face. He's soon up though and carries on. Spurs' momentum has just stalled for the minute.

Tom Woods on Twitter: "Parker hasn't come from 'nowhere' - he was our player of the year three years in a row. Been top quality for five years. #bbcfootball"

2033: Stupid from Richard Dunne who needlessly pulls Rafael van der Vaart's shirt and concedes a free-kick. Poor delivery though and Villa clear.

2031: Chance! And Emile Heskey's career in a nutshell. Gabriel Agbonlahor plays him in down the left and instead of shooting - albeit from a tight angle - he tries to square it for Darren Bent and ends up doing neither one thing or the other. A warning for Spurs though.

2029: You can set up to nullify a team all you like, but Spurs cut right through Villa there in two passes from Brad Friedel to Rafael van der Vaart. The forward tries an overly-ambitious chip from 25 yards and it sails over the top. Just a matter of time before the second goal at this rate.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Ian, from Manchester, on text via 81111: "No-one could beat the 'flying postman' John Williams in the 1992 Rumbelows challenge and I doubt they could beat him now although he must be knocking 50."

You have dredged a long-forgotten memory from the deep recesses of my brain there Ian. I remember watching that! Let's bring it back at the end of every season. The fastest eight in a 100m shoot-out. Great TV.

2024: And there's Scott Parker at the other end, appearing from nowhere to mug Darren Bent as he looked like breaking through. What an 18 months or so Parker has had. From nowhere to a certainty for the England team.

2022: One of my fast four - Kyle Walker - almost gets in on the end of a lovely pass from Scott Parker and from the short corner Rafael van der Vaart thunders a shot into the side netting from an impossible angle. Nice try, but you must put a cross in there young man.

2019: You wonder what Aston Villa's tactics will be now they have conceded so early on. Alex McLeish does have options on the bench in Charles N'Zogbia, Barry Bannan and Stephen Ireland, but I'll be surprised if any of them make an appearance before the hour mark.

IainFordyce17 on Twitter: "Aston Villa lack attacking quality in midfield tonight. Would have been nice to see Ireland play in the Modric role."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC pundit Steve Claridge on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart Lane: "I don't see how Villa can win this game of football. Tottenham are taking them apart and should already be 3-0 up. Heskey and Hutton aren't playing in their natural positions. It's a bits and pieces team from Alex McLeish tonight."

Tottenham goal: Moments after Younes Kaboul saw a shot deflected inches wide, Emmanuel Adebayor makes up for his earlier miss with an acrobatic finish. A Rafael van der Vaart corner is cleared to the edge of the box where Gareth Bale flicks it back in and Adebayor manages to swivel and plant a scissor kick past Shay Given. A deserved opener for the home side.

2014: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-0 Aston Villa 0 (Emmanuel Adebayor)

2012: Spurs should be ahead. Brilliant again from Aaron Lennon who ghosted past Stephen Warnock far, far too easily. The winger clips a ball in for Emmanuel Adebayor who can only head down and wide from eight yards. Bad miss from the former Arsenal man.

2008: Spurs settling into a rhythm now, passing it around nicely in midfield. No major scares for Villa yet though who look very organised.

2004: Spurs launch their first attack and it's almost glorious. Aaron Lennon skips away from Stephen Warnock before finding Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the box. The Dutchman breezes around a tackle with a ballet-style spin but his pass is just cut out. A glimpse of his quality there though. Bright start.

2003: Benoit Assou-Ekotto by the way is sporting a monstrous afro. A good eight inches of hair there.

2002: Looks like Villa are lining up in a 4-4-2 with Alan Hutton in midfield. And a real chance for the visitors! Stiliyan Petrov crosses from the right and Emile Heskey piles in at the back stick but can't quite force his header on target.

2000: Villa kick-off bang on time. Game on at the Lane.

1954: The teams are in the tunnel people, flanked by some troops. A quick shout out for Ledley King by the way, this will be his eighth Premier League start of the season, more than he managed all last year. Are we in for another 'shall we take King to a tournament' discussion this spring?

1952: A lot of Villa fans are feeling a bit down about the XI tonight. Too negative?

1947: Javier Hernandez the fastest player in the World Cup you say? A lot of texts and Tweets on that score. He is disqualified from my lists for having his nickname on his shirt though. Scandalous stuff. I remember when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink first came over and he wanted 'Floyd' on his shirt. Madness.

zachariatobias on Twitter: "My money would be on Walcott, Traore, SWP and Clichy in a Premier League relay race. #BBCFootball"

1942: It's great to see Harry Redknapp back and looking well. He thinks Villa are going to play three centre-backs with Alan Hutton and Stephen Warnock as wing backs. We'll find out in a few minutes. "I feel great to be back," he says. "I'm lucky to have great staff here and they've done most of the build-up for tonight. Villa are big, strong and athletic and they could be a top-six team without a doubt."

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, King, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale, Adebayor, Van der Vaart. Subs: Cudicini, Gallas, Giovani, Defoe, Bassong, Sandro, Pienaar.
Aston Villa: Given, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Hutton, Herd, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Bent, Heskey. Subs: Guzan, Ireland, N'Zogbia, Delph, Clark, Bannan, Weimann.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

WillHaynes7 on Twitter: "#BBCFootball McLeish plumps for the classic 5-2-3 formation, relying on Heskey to play the David Silva role feeding Bent and Agbonlahor..."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
George, in Clitheroe, on text via 81111: "Hard to disagree with your Prem pace men but here goes! Theo Walcott, Shaun Wright Phillips, Craig Bellamy, Nicolas Anelka, Junior Hoilett? Think I'm clutching at straws there but I've seen most of them live and they sure can shift!"

1933: A lot of you are nominating Nathan Dyer of Swansea as the fastest man in the Premier League. He is an absolute flyer, I concur.

1931: Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish confirms that Alan Hutton will start on the right wing in front of Carlos Cuellar to protect his side from Gareth Bale.

Tottenham v Aston Villa (2000)
Arindam Rej reports: "Spurs fans wouldn't swap Gareth Bale for their former full-back Alan Hutton. Villa right-back Hutton, returning to White Hart Lane for the first time, admits: "Last season Gareth was one of the best players in the world". Villa will have their work cut out defensively tonight, but Tottenham coach Joe Jordan says: "They are very quick on the counter-attack so we will have to be very conscious of that."

1925: There's goals everywhere you look today though. How about this for a stat and a half from our friends at Infostrada Sports: "Since Rafael van der Vaart made his debut for Tottenham Hotspur on 11 September last year, only two players have scored more Premier League goals than the Dutchman, who has bagged 19. His compatriot Robin van Persie has 31 in that period while Darren Bent has 20."

1924: Ah Darren Bent. It never really happened for him at Spurs but there's one thing for sure - he knows where the back of the net is. He's notched 46 league goals since he left Spurs in 2009, a record that can only be matched by Wayne Rooney. He's scored four goals in six league games against Tottenham as well. Gabriel Agbonlahor is in great nick as well. Worried Spurs fans?

Tottenham v Aston Villa (2000)
Arindam Rej reports: "Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is back after heart problems and should be calmed by his record against Aston Villa - he is unbeaten in his last 10 Premier League matches against them. Redknapp could be haunted though by Darren Bent - a striker who misses chances Redknapp's wife could score - in the opposition ranks. This game with in-form Spurs begins a tricky period for eighth-placed Villa, who have not won away this season."

NickHarden92 on Twitter: "Villa playing 3 right backs to deal with Gareth Bale by the looks of things. #THFC #BBCFootball"

Tottenham v Aston Villa team news
Arindam Rej reports: "Rafael van der Vaart, who scored all Spurs' goals in their two 2-1 wins over Villa last season, shakes off his hamstring injury so Spurs are unchanged. Vedran Corluka fails to overcome his ankle problem. There's good news for the visitors as forward Gabriel Agbonlahor is fit after his hamstring problem suffered on England duty. Captain Stiliyan Petrov is fit after a similar injury, but on-loan Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas is ineligible."

Michael John French on Twitter: "As a Spurs fan I don't want to admit it but I can only think of Walcott who is possibly quicker. But he is a poor Aaron Lennon" #bbcfootball

1916: Under new gaffer Alex McLeish, the boys from Birmingham have made a decent start. They've only lost twice and with four draws on the road already, they could be a tough side to break down at White Hart Lane. Are we going to see a parked claret bus tonight?

BREAKING TEAM NEWS: Spurs are unchanged which means Rafael van der Vaart is fit to start just off Emmanuel Adebayor.

1912: I'm sticking my neck out here and predicting goals, with my word of the day being pace. Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker, Gabby Agbonlahor. Find me four faster men in the top flight. Go on, do it. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @TJRostance or text in via 81111 (UK). Splendid.

BREAKING TEAM NEWS: Aston Villa look like they're pushing Alan Hutton into midfield as Carlos Cuellar starts at right back. Or it could be five at the back. Emile Heskey is in though, along with Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

1907: Although if we have anything like the barnstormer these two played out in 2007 - a frenetic 4-4 draw - then Harry may not be the only one needing a check on his heart. We'd like it though wouldn't we?

1903: Old 'Arry has had a bad time of it of late, missing the last two games thanks to a casual bit of heart surgery. But fear not, he's fine now and with Spurs beating Fulham in his absence, it's looking like rude health all round in the home changing room tonight.

1900: Evening all. After a weekend that saw Arsenal continue their climb and Chelsea slip to another loss, we're back in foggy London town for the forgotten men at the top of the Premier League. Yes, Spurs are back in action and - whisper it quietly - they can go third with a win over Aston Villa. Oh, and boss Harry Redknapp is only set to be back in the dugout. What more could you want on a Monday night?

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Premier League results

21 Nov 2011 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 21 Nov 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 12 31 34
2 Man Utd 12 17 29
3 Tottenham 11 8 25
4 Newcastle 12 7 25
5 Chelsea 12 8 22
6 Liverpool 12 5 22
7 Arsenal 12 3 22
8 Aston Villa 12 -1 15
9 QPR 12 -9 15
10 West Brom 12 -6 14
11 Norwich 12 -3 13
12 Everton 11 -3 13
13 Swansea 12 -4 13
14 Stoke 12 -12 12
15 Sunderland 12 1 11
16 Fulham 12 -1 11
17 Wolves 12 -7 11
18 Bolton 12 -10 9
19 Blackburn 12 -11 7
20 Wigan 12 -13 6

see also
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