Spurs cruise to victory - and up the Premier League table - thanks to a convincing second-half display against tame opponentsThis AVB character may not be so bad after all. Tottenham cruised past Aston Villa on Sunday to record their fourth Premier League victory in a row and continue their climb up the table.
Second-half goals from Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon sealed the points for Spurs, who remain unbeaten since their opening fixture of the season, are now level on points with fourth-placed Everton and increasingly playing in the style desired by Villas-Boas.
Solid in defence, tactically disciplined and, at times, breathtakingly quick in attack, Spurs were brimming with confidence in the second-half against a feeble Aston Villa side who have made their worst start to a season since 1986-87 and never looked like taking anything back to the Midlands.
Villas-Boas made brave but correct decisions, springing a surprise by starting summer signing Hugo Lloris in goal over Brad Friedel, ending the 41-year-old American’s run of 310 consecutive Premier League starts.
Tottenham started brightly, with Gareth Bale fizzing an effort just wide in the first minute before Jermain Defoe struck over the bar from 12 yards after meeting Jan Vertonghen’s cross.
Bale then angered the Villa bench when he went down under a challenge with goalkeeper Brad Guzan 30 yards from goal when there appeared to be no contact on the Welsh winger.
Defoe tested Guzan with a snapshot from 20 yards while at the other end, Lloris had to stay alert to bravely save at Gabriel Agbonlahor’s feet when the Villa forward was put through by an incisive pass from Brett Holman.
The Frenchman was less assured seven minutes after the re-start when his awful throw was intercepted, allowing Marc Albrighton to cross for Christian Benteke to head wide when he should have scored.
The visitors were deservedly punished for that miss six minutes later. Defoe superbly brought down Bale’s corner and shot towards goal, his effort heading off target before clipping Caulker’s ankle and nestling in the net.
Tottenham needed very little fortune for the goal that doubled their advantage in the 67th minute. A neat passing move ended with the ball finding Lennon, who shifted past Joe Bennett and fired across goal into the bottom corner to score his first goal since January.
Clint Dempsey headed wide from six yards when he really should have scored a third and Bale saw a shot tipped on to the post by Guzan, but by then Spurs were coasting home and conserving their energy.