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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 May, 2005, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Tottenham 5-1 Aston Villa
Ledley King, Michael Carrick and Frederic Kanoute
Tottenham boosted their Uefa Cup qualifying hopes with a stylish win.

Frederic Kanoute gave Spurs an early lead with a low shot past Stefan Postma, though Villa were livid they were denied a penalty just beforehand.

Villa's failure to deal with a couple of corners led to Ledley King firing in and then Kanoute claiming a second with a shot into the roof of the net.

Gareth Barry's penalty reduced the deficit but Andy Reid's rising shot and a Stephen Kelly goal capped a fine win.

The result pushed Spurs into seventh place above Middlesbrough on goal difference.

The victory was deserved but Spurs owed a huge debt to some excellent goalkeeping from Paul Robinson, who midway through the second half had to go off with a shin injury after bravely denying Darius Vassell.

Villa thought they should have had a penalty early on when Mark Delaney tumbled under pressure from Erik Edman.

But referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on and with a huge swathe of Villa players stranded in and around the Spurs box Robinson launched a huge kick down the pitch.

Kanoute managed to get himself in front of Liam Ridgewell and after controlling Robinson's punt on his chest drilled the ball past Stefan Postma.

Some indecisive Villa defending enabled Spurs to further extend their lead with barely a third of the game played.

First Villa failed to clear a Reid effort that rebounded off the upright, allowing King to thump a shot into the net.

Nolberto Solano also failed to clear his lines after another Spurs corner and Kanoute gleefully scooped the ball home.

Villa were struggling, with Reid pulling the strings for the hosts in midfield, but the visitors were given a glimmer of hope when Dawson raised his arms to a Juan Pablo Angel shot to concede the spotkick.

Barry drilled the penalty into the centre of the goal as Robinson dived to his left.

Five minutes after the restart Robinson produced a superb reaction save to tip over Vassell's rising volley after Barry's clever lob sent the England international clear.

Robinson got the better of Vassell just before the hour when he raced out to dive at the Villa striker's feet, but the England goalkeeper injured himself in making the challenge and he soon had to be replaced by Radek Cerny.

Given the agility and bravery of his goalkeeping Robinson's departure might have unsettled Spurs.

Instead minutes later Martin Jol's side restored their three-goal advantage, Simon Davies and Sean Davis combining to feed the ball to Reid, who hit a superb rising shot from outside the box that fizzed into the net.

Jol introduced Jermain Defoe who immediately threatened more goals.

Defoe rattled the crossbar and his low shot also tested Postma.

But the fifth Spurs goal came from an unlikely source - right-back Kelly.

Released by a Davis' backheel, Kelly finished with some style, flicking the ball past Postma.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Aston Villa boss David O'Leary


Interview: Tottenham manager Martin Jol




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