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Page last updated at 19:40 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Tottenham   0 - 0   Aston Villa

Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch
Defoe and Crouch are unable to score the all-important goal against Villa

By Mark Ashenden

Tottenham and Aston Villa were unable to boost their hopes of a Champions League spot in a frustrating stalemate.

The hosts dominated the first half with goalkeeper Brad Friedel twice denying Ledley King, and a 30-yard thunderbolt from midfielder Tom Huddlestone.

Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes also impressed as he made a double save from James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Spurs pushed for a winner with Peter Crouch's deflected shot going wide and Jermain Defoe denied a late penalty.

The Tottenham players were left screaming for a spot-kick after a tackle from Stilian Petrov but the Bulgarian's challenge was deemed to be fair by referee Chris Foy.

Both teams continue to boast an impressive array of statistics. Villa are unbeaten in eight and Spurs with five successive clean sheets at White Hart Lane, but one point is a prize neither team will fully appreciate.

After Liverpool's earlier victory in the battle of Merseyside, it was crucial for Spurs and Villa, starting the clash in fifth and seventh respectively, to crank up the pressure on their rivals.

Battle on for fourth place - Redknapp

Despite having the league's meanest defence, Villa, unchanged from the side that beat Fulham, began in shaky fashion with a rejuvenated David Bentley enjoying freedom on the right wing.

The England midfielder almost created an early opener with the recalled King towering high to head the corner straight into the arms of Friedel.

Villa's attacking force was dealt a blow on 21 minutes when Emile Heskey limped off after a challenge with Wilson Palacios and was replaced by John Carew, in the squad again having missed the previous four games with a knee injury.

But it was Tottenham, eyeing only their second league win in 2010, who looked the hungrier and again went close when defender Richard Dunne and Friedel combined to shut out Crouch's toe-poke after a cute throughball from Luka Modric.

606: DEBATE
ginolaman

American Friedel was again on hand to push away a blistering 30-yard strike from Huddlestone, and just before the half-hour, it was time for Tottenham's number one to be called into action.

The Brazilian's reactions were instinctive as he smothered Milner's low shot before getting up to save from Agbonlahor with his legs.

Much of the battles continued in the middle as Villa's brilliant Dunne led from the back to keep the opponents at bay, but Spurs gave one big push before the break and almost grabbed the vital strike.

Bentley floated in a free-kick for Crouch to twist in mid-air and nod down for King, whose prod was well saved by Friedel before Defoe pounced to stab the ball over the bar.

Neither boss introduced any changes for the second half, and the defenders continued to dominate with Villa restricted to a pair of free-kicks from Stewart Downing and Ashley Young flying horribly over.

'Transformed' Villa delight O'Neill

With 10 minutes remaining, Modric burst forward to set up Crouch, whose shot from outside the box was deflected narrowly wide by Dunne.

O'Neill, looking determined to avoid defeat, urged his players to drop back, but it was a dangerous policy and Tottenham came agonisingly close to a winner three times in the dying minutes.

Defoe and Crouch had more chances but Villa's defence stood firm to clinch a hard-earned draw.


Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:
"Every time we pulled the trigger it seemed to take a deflection or hit somebody, but overall I thought we were terrific.

"It's going to be tight for fourth place, it's going to go all the way.

"Liverpool are in good form, it's one defeat in 12 games for us, so we've been in great form, Manchester City are going to be right there and so are Villa.

"There are four teams battling for that fourth spot and maybe even third, who knows? If somebody has a run, anything could happen."

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
"I'm delighted with my defenders. They also appreciate the players in front of them as well.

"In the second half, at times it was every man to the pump. But it's been a great effort and against a very strong Tottenham side."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Tottenham 0-0 Aston Villa FT
(HT 0-0)

      Tottenham

      Substitutes

      Aston Villa

      Substitutes

      Ref: FoyAtt: 35,899
      TOTTENHAM
      ASTON VILLA

      Possession

      • Tottenham 53%
      • Aston Villa 47%

      Attempts on target

      • Tottenham 15
      • Aston Villa 5

      Attempts off target

      • Tottenham 13
      • Aston Villa 5

      Corners

      • Tottenham 12
      • Aston Villa 4

      Fouls

      • Tottenham 10
      • Aston Villa 13
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+3:12 The referee brings the game to a close.
      • 90:00+2:05 David Bentley takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Stiliyan Petrov manages to make a clearance.
      • 90:00+1:51 David Bentley takes a shot. Luke Young gets a block in.
      • 90:00+0:55 Ashley Young takes a shot. Blocked by Ledley King.
      • 90:00+0:27 Peter Crouch has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
      • 89:31 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley, Michael Dawson takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Dunne.
      • 89:10 Shot by Gareth Bale. James Collins gets a block in.
      • 88:51 Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 87:45 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Steve Sidwell misses to the left of the target.
      • 86:59 Substitution Stewart Downing leaves the field to be replaced by Steve Sidwell.
      • 84:47 Headed effort from inside the area by Peter Crouch misses to the left of the target.
      • 83:13 Handball by James Milner. Michael Dawson takes the direct free kick.
      • 82:01 Unfair challenge on Gareth Bale by James Milner results in a free kick. Gareth Bale shoots direct from the free kick, blocked by James Collins.
      • 81:50 Shot by Gareth Bale from 25 yards. Blocked by James Collins.
      • 79:57 David Bentley takes the inswinging corner, Carlos Cuellar manages to make a clearance.
      • 79:40 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Richard Dunne gets a block in.
      • 79:18 Tom Huddlestone produces a volleyed left-footed shot from 18 yards. James Collins gets a block in.
      • 78:00 Outswinging corner taken by David Bentley from the right by-line, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
      • 76:51 Headed effort from inside the area by Michael Dawson misses to the left of the goal.
      • 76:30 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the left by-line.
      • 76:03 David Bentley takes a shot. Save made by Brad Friedel.
      • 74:46 Stewart Downing takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.
      • 74:22 The offside flag is raised against Jermain Defoe. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
      • 73:58 Michael Dawson fouled by John Carew, the ref awards a free kick. Vedran Corluka restarts play with the free kick.
      • 72:18 John Carew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Huddlestone. Wilson Palacios takes the direct free kick.
      • 71:42 Peter Crouch produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
      • 69:30 John Carew has an effort at goal. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
      • 69:12 Unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Wilson Palacios results in a free kick. Free kick taken by James Milner.
      • 68:57 John Carew takes a shot. Save made by Heurelho Gomes.
      • 64:00 Headed effort from deep inside the area by John Carew misses to the right of the goal.
      • 63:03 Unfair challenge on Michael Dawson by John Carew results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tom Huddlestone.
      • 62:19 Tom Huddlestone gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Milner. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
      • 61:35 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the left by-line.
      • 61:06 Luka Modric produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.
      • 60:23 John Carew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vedran Corluka. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Gareth Bale from right wing, James Milner manages to make a clearance.
      • 59:24 David Bentley takes the inswinging corner, save by Brad Friedel.
      • 59:09 Shot by Tom Huddlestone. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 57:41 Ledley King challenges John Carew unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ashley Young has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
      • 56:51 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Bentley on Richard Dunne. Direct free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
      • 55:30 Tom Huddlestone challenges James Collins unfairly and gives away a free kick. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.
      • 54:55 Gareth Bale takes a shot. Richard Dunne gets a block in.
      • 53:59 John Carew concedes a free kick for a foul on Wilson Palacios. Michael Dawson takes the free kick.
      • 53:49 The referee blows for offside. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
      • 48:22 Unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Ledley King results in a free kick. Stewart Downing produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
      • 47:49 Tom Huddlestone has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.
      • 45:20 Stewart Downing fouled by David Bentley, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Young crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Peter Crouch.
      • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+1:07 It is the end of the first-half.
      • Correction - 45:00+0:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Bale on Stiliyan Petrov. Direct free kick taken by Stiliyan Petrov.
      • 45:00+0:02 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Gareth Bale. Direct free kick taken by Carlos Cuellar.
      • 41:40 Ashley Young takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Tom Huddlestone.
      • 41:19 Shot from close range by Jermain Defoe clears the bar.
      • 41:01 Ledley King takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
      • 40:00 Unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by James Collins results in a free kick. David Bentley takes the free kick.
      • 38:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermain Defoe by Richard Dunne. Gareth Bale delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance made by Richard Dunne.
      • 37:21 John Carew challenges Wilson Palacios unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Heurelho Gomes.
      • 34:20 Gareth Bale has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Blocked by Richard Dunne.
      • 33:48 David Bentley takes a inswinging corner.
      • 32:08 Gareth Bale produces a cross, Richard Dunne makes a clearance.
      • 30:17 David Bentley takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Stiliyan Petrov.
      • 29:19 Foul by Carlos Cuellar on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. David Bentley crosses the ball in from the free kick.
      • 28:05 Corner from left by-line taken by Ashley Young.
      • 27:44 Gabriel Agbonlahor takes a shot. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
      • 27:30 Shot by James Milner. Save by Heurelho Gomes.
      • 25:34 Handball decision goes against David Bentley. Richard Dunne takes the free kick.
      • 24:00 Corner taken right-footed by David Bentley, Ledley King produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
      • 23:33 Tom Huddlestone takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 22:27 Jermain Defoe takes the chance to get an effort at goal. James Collins gets a block in.
      • 21:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Luke Young on David Bentley. Gareth Bale crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by John Carew.
      • 20:53 Substitution (Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with John Carew coming on for Emile Heskey.
      • 18:46 Richard Dunne has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
      • 18:28 Corner taken short by Stewart Downing.
      • 17:33 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Bentley from the left by-line, Luke Young makes a clearance.
      • 17:16 Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
      • 15:07 The ball is swung over by Gareth Bale, Richard Dunne manages to make a clearance.
      • 13:32 Outswinging corner taken by David Bentley from the right by-line played to the near post, Ledley King takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
      • 9:36 Long distance shot from David Bentley misses to the left of the target.
      • 8:22 Effort on goal by Luka Modric from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
      • 7:59 Foul by Stiliyan Petrov on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Luka Modric takes the direct free kick.
      • 4:40 Unfair challenge on David Bentley by Luke Young results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Bentley.
      • 3:47 Luka Modric takes a shot from 20 yards. Brad Friedel makes a save.
      • 2:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Milner by Tom Huddlestone. James Collins takes the free kick.
      • 1:47 Wilson Palacios concedes a free kick for a foul on James Milner. Richard Dunne takes the free kick.
      • 0:25 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jermain Defoe. Brad Friedel takes the indirect free kick.
      • 0:00 The referee gets the game underway.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 6 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Man Utd 25 41 56
      2 Chelsea 24 38 55
      3 Arsenal 24 32 49
      4 Liverpool 25 17 44
      5 Tottenham 25 20 43
      6 Man City 23 13 41
      7 Aston Villa 24 13 41
      8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
      9 Everton 24 -2 32
      10 Fulham 25 -1 31
      11 Stoke 23 -4 29
      12 Blackburn 25 -18 28
      13 Sunderland 24 -10 25
      14 Hull 25 -25 24
      15 Burnley 24 -22 23
      16 Wigan 23 -23 23
      17 Bolton 23 -15 22
      18 West Ham 24 -10 21
      19 Wolves 23 -21 21
      20 Portsmouth 24 -22 15

      see also
      Saturday football as it happened
      06 Feb 10 |  Football
      Saturday's football photos
      06 Feb 10 |  Football



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