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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Ginola was more popular with the Spurs fans than his own"
 real 14k

Saturday, 18 August, 2001, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Spurs held by Villa
Alan Wright and Poyet
Poyet was a constant threat to the Villa defence
Spurs 0-0 Aston Villa

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Glenn Hoddle's new look Tottenham began the season with a goalless draw in a tight game with Uefa Cup hopefuls Aston Villa.

I think they should have been glad to see David Ginola coming on because the game was crying out for him with about 30 minutes to go
Aston Villa manager John Gregory

Gary Doherty had the best chance of the game but his flicked-volley from a Sergei Rebrov cross two minutes from time cannoned off the bar.

Spurs, who included three new signings in their side, made a bright start to the match with Gustavo Poyet and Rebrov both looking lively.

A neat interception by Mauricio Taricco helped set up an early opening for the home side.

Lee Hendrie and Les Ferdinand
Ferdinand: Injured early on

He laid the ball into the path of Poyet who duly found Les Ferdinand but the former England international's shot was blocked by Olof Mellberg.

Ferdinand, who has struggled with injury in the last few seasons, was forced off with knee problems following a clash with Alan Wright in the early exchanges.

His substitution appeared to disrupt the Spurs ranks, allowing Villa, most notably Paul Merson, to show some semblance of form midway through the first half.

John Gregory's side could have taken the lead if the lively Merson's stinging drive had not deflected off Goran Bunjevcevic for a corner.

And, as Spurs reorganised their troops, Poyet should have put the hosts in front five minutes before half-time - but he faile to get full contact after a cute ball from Mauricio Tarricco.

Spurs were denied a penalty in the 57th minute by referee Dermot Gallagher when the busy Taricco was hacked down by Hassan Kachloul.

Gus Poyet looked very bright and I'm sure he'll get goals for us although he's disappointed with the outcome
Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle

The visiting fans taunted their own David Ginola after he was introduced at his former club as a substitute for the ineffective Juan Pablo Angel.

The livewire winger, criticised in pre-season by Gregory for his shapely figure, had his only shot easily saved by Sullivan.

But, apart from a looping header which grazed the bar from Mellberg, neither side deserved to take three points - ensuring a dour stalemate for both sets of fans.

Tottenham: Sullivan, Taricco, Ziege, Doherty, Bunjevcevic, Clemence, King, Freund, Poyet, Ferdinand, Rebrov. Subs: Keller, Perry, Anderton, Steffen Iversen, Davies.

Aston Villa: Schmeichel, Delaney, Wright, Mellberg, Alpay, Boateng, Kachloul, Hendrie, Merson, Vassell, Angel. Subs: Ginola, Barry, Stone, Hadji, Enckelman.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).

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