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Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Saturday, 28 November 2009

Aston Villa   1 - 1   Tottenham

Gabriel Agbonlahor scores Aston Villa's opening goal
Agbonlahor scored his sixth Premier League goal of the season

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Villa Park

Michael Dawson's late equaliser gave Tottenham a fully deserved point at Aston Villa in the battle between two sides with sights set on the Champions League places.

Gabriel Agbonlahor scrambled home the opener for Villa in the 10th minute after Benoit Assou-Ekotto cleared Carlos Cuellar's header off the line.

But Spurs - who started sluggishly before dominating in the second half - crowned a period of sustained pressure on the Villa goal when Dawson fired an emphatic finish high past Brad Friedel with 13 minutes remaining.

Dawson's goal was just reward for the supremacy shown by Spurs and Harry Redknapp will draw far more encouragement in the battle to gatecrash the Premier League's established top four than his Villa counterpart Martin O'Neill.

Villa barely troubled Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes after the early exchanges, while Friedel twice saved well from Niko Kranjcar - and they also had a double escape in the first half when the keeper saved from Jermain Defoe and Cuellar cleared Dawson's follow-up effort off the line.

606: DEBATE
Lilywhite_Army

The result keeps Spurs in third place ahead of Arsenal's meeting with Chelsea on Sunday and in the game's closing stages it was the visitors, more adventurous and composed than Villa, who looked more likely to snatch all three points.

Villa boss O'Neill resisted the temptation to give a first start to summer signing Stewart Downing - leaving his £12m summer purchase from Middlesbrough on the bench after his brief appearance as a substitute at Burnley last Saturday.

Tottenham were first to threaten when Kranjcar's rising shot tested Friedel, but the Villa keeper was well positioned to turn his effort over the top in some comfort.

Villa's power in the air at set-pieces was going to pose an obvious problem for Spurs and it reaped a swift reward as they went ahead after only 10 minutes.

O'Neill 'happy not to lose'

Assou-Ekotto scrambled Cuellar's header off the line and Agbonlahor reacted quicker than Wilson Palacios and Dawson to bundle the ball home.

The Londoners were slow to get into their stride, but twice came close to equalising within seconds after 20 minutes. Defoe's close-range effort was palmed away by Friedel and Cuellar was on hand to clear Dawson's effort off the line from the rebound.

And as Spurs finally posed a threat, Tom Huddlestone's shot brought another competent save from Friedel and Defoe's instinctive volley flew on to the roof of the net as Villa lived dangerously.

Villa's trademark pace and power were troubling Tottenham on the counter, but the visitors were carving out more chances and Kranjcar was once again denied by Friedel three minutes after the break when he dived to his left to save the Croatian's crisply struck drive.

Spurs boss Redknapp made a change after 65 minutes, sending on Jermaine Jenas for Palacios and counterpart O'Neill quickly followed suit as he replaced Nigel Reo-Coker with Steve Sidwell.

Spurs good enough for top four - Redknapp

The midfielder almost made an instant impact with a shot that swerved wide - and seconds later the visitors saw their hopes of an equaliser dashed by referee Phil Dowd.

Defoe turned the ball in from six yards after Huddlestone's effort bounced off Sidwell, but Dowd saw that the striker had handled before applying the crucial final touch.

Spurs did not have to wait long to deservedly draw level, and it came courtesy of a spectacular finish from defender Dawson, who chested the ball down before crashing a right-foot shot high past Friedel after Assou-Ekotto's cross was only partially cleared by Richard Dunne.

Villa substitute Emile Heskey almost gave them a victory they barely merited, but Defoe nearly did likewise as Tottenham came forward one last time with a low shot that fizzed inches wide.


Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
"We played very well in the first half and tried to close them down as quickly as we could.

"In the second half they got to grips with the midfield but we also lost momentum and rhythm and couldn't get out of defence quickly enough.

"But overall I was pleased with our defenders considering we had to change it around."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"Villa are going to be up there (challenging for a top four place). The top two will probably be Chelsea and Manchester United, then will come Arsenal and Liverpool.

"Then it is Manchester City, Aston Villa and ourselves.

"One of us might break into the top four. It's not impossible for us. It'll be hard but we have very good players."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Agbonlahor 10
  • Dawson 77

Aston Villa

Substitutes

Tottenham

Substitutes

Ref: DowdAtt: 39,866
ASTON VILLA
TOTTENHAM

Possession

  • Aston Villa 54%
  • Tottenham 46%

Attempts on target

  • Aston Villa 4
  • Tottenham 17

Attempts off target

  • Aston Villa 8
  • Tottenham 6

Corners

  • Aston Villa 7
  • Tottenham 9

Fouls

  • Aston Villa 10
  • Tottenham 8
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:04 The referee ends the match.
  • 90:00+2:30 Effort from outside the penalty box by Jermain Defoe goes wide right of the goal.
  • 90:00+1:51 The ball is swung over by Ashley Young, Header from deep inside the area by Emile Heskey goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
  • 90:00+1:23 James Milner takes a shot. Blocked by Jermaine Jenas.
  • 89:56 Peter Crouch challenges Carlos Cuellar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
  • 83:26 Tom Huddlestone has a drilled shot. Blocked by Carlos Cuellar. Tom Huddlestone takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Habib Beye.
  • 81:28 Richard Dunne takes the direct free kick.
  • 81:28 Booking Tom Huddlestone goes into the referee's book.
  • 81:26 Tom Huddlestone gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey.
  • 79:51 Outswinging corner taken by Tom Huddlestone from the right by-line, Header on goal by Sebastien Bassong from just inside the area goes over the target.
  • 77:47 Effort on goal by Emile Heskey from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 77:47 Substitution Robbie Keane joins the action as a substitute, replacing Niko Kranjcar.
  • 76:47 GOAL - Michael DawsonAston Villa 1 - 1 Tottenham Michael Dawson finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham.
  • 76:08 Outswinging corner taken by Tom Huddlestone from the right by-line, Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in.
  • 74:55 Substitution Emile Heskey joins the action as a substitute, replacing John Carew.
  • 73:09 Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in. Jermain Defoe is adjudged to have handled the ball. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
  • 71:42 Steve Sidwell produces a right-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.
  • 71:01 Niko Kranjcar takes a long range shot clearing the bar.
  • 70:10 Substitution Nigel Reo-Coker goes off and Steve Sidwell comes on.
  • 69:29 Aaron Lennon sends in a cross, Carlos Cuellar makes a clearance.
  • 67:56 Effort on goal by Nigel Reo-Coker from 25 yards. Sebastien Bassong gets a block in. Shot by James Milner from outside the box goes over the target.
  • 67:30 Ashley Young fouled by Tom Huddlestone, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ashley Young. Centre by Ashley Young, clearance by Peter Crouch.
  • 66:15 Niko Kranjcar takes a shot. Stiliyan Petrov gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Niko Kranjcar, Sebastien Bassong produces a overhead kick right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 65:05 Substitution Jermaine Jenas on for Wilson Palacios.
  • 63:44 Jermain Defoe takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Habib Beye gets a block in.
  • 62:01 Outswinging corner taken by Niko Kranjcar, Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Blocked by Stiliyan Petrov.
  • 61:02 Centre by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
  • 60:26 Foul by James Milner on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Niko Kranjcar, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
  • 60:00 Benoit Assou-Ekotto fouled by Stiliyan Petrov, the ref awards a free kick. Wilson Palacios restarts play with the free kick.
  • 58:54 Niko Kranjcar produces a volleyed right-footed shot from 18 yards. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in.
  • 54:48 Vedran Corluka produces a cross, clearance by Habib Beye. Corner taken by Niko Kranjcar from the left by-line to the near post.
  • 53:01 Luke Young concedes a free kick for a foul on Aaron Lennon. Niko Kranjcar crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Luke Young.
  • 52:26 A cross is delivered by James Milner.
  • 51:07 Centre by Ashley Young, Close range header by John Carew misses to the right of the goal.
  • 48:58 Shot from 30 yards from Niko Kranjcar. Save by Brad Friedel. Short corner taken by Aaron Lennon from the right by-line, Niko Kranjcar produces a cross, Luke Young gets a block in.
  • 48:07 The referee penalises Peter Crouch for handball. Stiliyan Petrov restarts play with the free kick.
  • 46:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Wilson Palacios. James Milner crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.
  • 46:13 Foul by Richard Dunne on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Tom Huddlestone takes the free kick.
  • 45:37 Peter Crouch is caught offside. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:27 It is the end of the first-half.
  • 45:00+0:34 Ashley Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon. The ball is crossed by Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
  • 41:02 Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Niko Kranjcar, free kick awarded. Shot comes in from Niko Kranjcar from the free kick. Niko Kranjcar takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
  • 38:13 Corner taken short by Ashley Young, James Milner produces a cross, clearance by Wilson Palacios.
  • 37:24 Foul by Wilson Palacios on Stiliyan Petrov, free kick awarded. James Milner crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, Peter Crouch manages to make a clearance.
  • 36:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luke Young by Peter Crouch. Richard Dunne takes the free kick.
  • 34:33 Nigel Reo-Coker challenges Niko Kranjcar unfairly and gives away a free kick. Niko Kranjcar takes the free kick.
  • 33:38 Habib Beye fouled by Niko Kranjcar, the ref awards a free kick. Habib Beye takes the direct free kick.
  • 32:28 John Carew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Huddlestone. Heurelho Gomes takes the free kick.
  • 29:07 Vedran Corluka fouled by Ashley Young, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Dawson.
  • 27:46 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Niko Kranjcar, clearance made by Carlos Cuellar. Effort on goal by Jermain Defoe from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 26:43 Nigel Reo-Coker produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.
  • 25:09 James Milner produces a cross, save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 22:57 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young, clearance made by Michael Dawson.
  • 21:44 Shot from just outside the area by Gabriel Agbonlahor misses to the right of the target.
  • 21:02 Centre by Niko Kranjcar, save made by Brad Friedel.
  • 19:33 Foul by Nigel Reo-Coker on Niko Kranjcar, free kick awarded. Tom Huddlestone has an effort direct from the free kick. Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. Michael Dawson takes a shot. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in.
  • 18:46 Tom Huddlestone has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
  • 15:11 Corner taken by Ashley Young played to the near post, Tom Huddlestone makes a clearance.
  • 14:34 Corner taken by Ashley Young, save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 9:23 Assist on the goal came from Carlos Cuellar.
  • 9:23 GOAL - Gabriel AgbonlahorAston Villa 1 - 0 Tottenham Gabriel Agbonlahor grabs a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Aston Villa 1-0 Tottenham.
  • 8:57 John Carew sends in a cross, Sebastien Bassong gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner played to the near post, Carlos Cuellar takes a shot. Blocked by Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
  • 7:50 Effort on goal by John Carew from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
  • 6:54 Stiliyan Petrov fouled by Niko Kranjcar, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Ashley Young, save by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 5:56 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young played to the near post, Peter Crouch makes a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line to the near post, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.
  • 3:55 Niko Kranjcar takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Brad Friedel. Corner taken right-footed by Niko Kranjcar, Carlos Cuellar manages to make a clearance.
  • 1:12 John Carew is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the match started.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 28 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 13 25 33
2 Man Utd 14 17 31
3 Tottenham 14 14 26
4 Arsenal 12 21 25
5 Aston Villa 14 8 23
6 Man City 13 7 22
7 Liverpool 13 9 20
8 Sunderland 14 1 20
9 Stoke 14 -2 20
10 Fulham 14 2 19
11 Burnley 14 -12 17
12 Blackburn 14 -12 17
13 Wigan 14 -16 17
14 Hull 15 -14 16
15 Birmingham 13 -3 15
16 Everton 13 -6 15
17 West Ham 14 -2 14
18 Bolton 13 -11 12
19 Wolverhampton 13 -14 10
20 Portsmouth 14 -12 7

Premier League results

28 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham R
Blackburn 0-0 Stoke R
Fulham 1-1 Bolton R
Man City 1-1 Hull R
Portsmouth 1-4 Man Utd R
West Ham 5-3 Burnley R
Wigan 1-0 Sunderland R

see also
Saturday's football photos
28 Nov 09 |  Football
Saturday football as it happened
28 Nov 09 |  Football



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