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October 20, 2013
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 35391
A. Townsend 31'
Once again I'd say that Townsend has own man of the match and more exposure on the back pages, but he was accompanied by great performances from Soldado, Paulinho and Sandro, whose rock steady midfield displayed neutralised Villa's chances. I have been Hayden Gribble and I thank you for keeping me company this afternoon. Until next time, adios!
FULLTIME: ASTON VILLA 0-2 TOTTENHAM. Andros Townsend is the hero yet again as Spurs leave Villa Park with all three points and equal their best start to a Premier League season. The England hero opened the scoring with a cross that confused the Villa defence and nestled in Brad Guzan's right-hand corner. Despite a slight improvement in the second half when Christian Benteke made his bow, the home side were blown apart again when the impressive Paulinho set up Roberto Soldado for his first Premier League goal in open play. All in all, it's a convincing three points for Andre Villas-Boas men but Paul Lambert will be left worried at his side's inconsistent displays this season.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Aaron Lennon
90' + 3'
...Now Lennon goes into the book for a foul on Weimann after his colleague Townsend is brought down again. It's handbags in injury time!
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Fabian Delph
90' + 2'
A rash challenge from Delph earns him a yellow card for a foul on Townsend. Spurs win a free-kick on the right-hand-side...
There will be FOUR minutes of added on time.
Yellow Card Kyle Walker
That was an unnecessary booking for Walker. The right-back argues with the referee over a throw-in and makes himself look a fool with only a couple of minutes to go.
STAT ATTACK: Villa have not won successive Premier League home games in a single season since August 2010. (BBCSport)
CHANCE! Tonev hits a tame shot straight at Lloris, who if truth be told has had an easy game today. Five minutes to go...
CHANCE! Well...a half chance for Villa as Weimann fails to reach a low cross/shot across goal. Goal kick to Spurs.
CHANCE! It's Kyle Walker's turn to have a shot now as he meets Townsend's lay-off but his shot is off target and into the Holte End.
CHANCE! With ten minutes to go, Townsend has the better of Luna again. He raises to the byeline but his cross cannot be met by an onrushing Paulinho. The Brazilian deserves a goal for his performance today.
SHOWBOAT! Soldado is overflowing with confidence now and even attempts a backheel to find Paulinho in the penalty area. Nice stuff from Tottenham's number 9.
CHANCE! Townsend is given far too much space by Luna as he cuts inside again and rasps a shot over a despairing Guzan but his effort is just too high to hit the net. We have 15 minutes to go...
That goal has taken all the wind out of Aston Villa's sails. It's all Spurs as they look to make this game safe. Andre Villas-Boas will be very pleased with how his side have turned out in the second half.
Karim El Ahmadi
CHANCE! It's nearly another for Spurs as Nathan Baker gives the ball away to Soldado, who finds Townsend out wide, but the young England starlet puts a high ball across goal and is unable to meet his fellow goalscorer.
Goal Roberto Soldado
GOAL! Roberto Soldado strikes! The Spaniard is put through in a beautiful passage of link-up play involving Holtby and Paulinho and lifts the ball over the oncoming Guzan. That's his first Premier League goal in open play and there is daylight now for Tottenham!
Aaron Lennon has joined the fold to make his first appearance since the opening game of the season. With he and Townsend on the flanks, who'd be a Villa full-back!?
How can the introduction of one man lift a whole stadium of expectant fans? Benteke is the main threat now and Villa are piling the pressure on Spurs. Can the visitors weather the storm?
CHANCE! Luna finds space out wide and drifts a ball into the box. Benteke rises highest, but is unable to steer his effort towards goal. A warning shot, perhaps?
CHANCE! A Spurs corner finds Holtby at the back post, but his effort is far too high to trouble Guzan. We have half an hour to go.
Meanwhile...Benteke is getting ready to come on. That'll lift the home fans!
Yellow Card Gabriel Agbonlahor
Not quite sure why Kyle Walker went down there. The right-back made contact with Agbonglahor and goes down clutching his mouth. On replay, it looks like the Villa man's left hand hit Walker and is booked.
It's the away side who are playing some lovely football at the moment. The Villa faithful are becoming frustrated. Is it time for Benteke to tip the balance?
Yellow Card Michael Dawson
Dawson is booked for following through with a tackle on Weimann. Westwood line the free-kick up about 25-yards away from goal but the free-kick is weak and cleared by Spurs.
CHANCE! This time it is Paulinho's turn to have a pop at goal. Soldado lays the ball off to the Brazilian International, who fires a shot at goal, only for Guzan to tip it away for a corner. Good stuff this, from Spurs.
CHANCE! The link play between Soldado and Holtby has been fantastic and again the duo have joy against the Villa back four. Soldado runs through but Vlaar gets a touch on the ball but it falls at the feet of...you've guessed it...Townsend who shoots straight at Guzan.
Spurs get us back underway at Villa Park, kicking from left to right.
The players are remerging from the tunnel. The second half is moments away.
STAT ATTACK: That goal from Andros Townsend was his first in the Premier League for Tottenham.
So, what will Paul Lambert do to get his Villans back on level terms. So far, they have failed to register a shot on target. Then again, he does have a certain Christian Benteke on the bench, should he need him...
STAT ATTACK: All three of Tottenham's away fixtures this season have ended 1-0 (W2, L1). (BBCSport)
HALFTIME: ASTON VILLA 0-1 TOTTENHAM. A funny old half, that one. Spurs head in at the break a goal to the good but in fairness Villa have looked the better organised side. The North London side have found it hard to break their hosts down and will be relieved that golden boy, Andros Townsend, struck when he did. Since then, Tottenham have looked more daring but Andre Villas-Boas will be expecting more.
45' + 2'
CHANCE! Spurs manage to keep the ball alive on the edge of the area and Townsend plays a one-two with Paulinho and then lashes a low shot which is met by Guzan's strong hand.
There will be TWO minutes of added on time.
CHANCE! Ah, so close for Villa to equalise! Weimann pounces on a chance from 18-yards but his shot is narrowly wide of goal, close and it had Lloris clambering to reach that one!
I have been told that the offender who threw the flare at the linesman is being dealt with by security. Good.
Spurs are piling bodies forward but they lose out to Weimann, who cuts the ball across the box looking for Kozak, only for Michael Dawson to slide in and put it out for a corner with a captain's challenge!
CHANCE! Villa have a chance to equalise with a free-kick in line with the left edge of the area. Bacuna steps up...and slashes it over.
Yellow Card Paulinho
CHANCE! Delph takes a swipe from 25-yards and the ball sails into the stands. Heads up!
CHANCE! Soldado runs onto a good through ball and manages to flick it back to Townsend, who tees up another shot from the edge of the box. He strikes...and it is blocked by Vlaar, who clears. Spurs are on the up!
Unfortunately the celebrations have been soured by an incident involving the linesman. A flare appears to have been thrown from the away end and strike the referee's assistant. Stupid. The linesman is fine and carries on.
Assist Roberto Soldado
Goal Andros Townsend
GOAL! You just can't keep him out of the headlines, can you? Andros Townsend celebrates his dream week by floating a cross in from 20-yards, which illudes Soldado and Holtby and nestles in Guzan's bottom corner of the net. First blood, Tottenham!
Villa have clearly got a game plan for their visitors today as the Lilywhites continue to be as predicatable as a Bruce Forsyth joke. Andre Villas-Boas is frustrated on the bench as there is next to none penetration from his side so far today.
CHANCE! Tottenham lose possession outside their own box and the ball falls freely to Weimann, who smashes the ball over Lloris' untroubled goal. That woke us up, didn't it!
STAT ATTACK: Villa have not kept a clean sheet in their last 14 Premier League home games, conceding 25 goals in that run. (BBCSport)
CHANCE! A free-kick on the left flank is floated in by Westwood and the slippery ball bounces just in front of Hugo Lloris, who does well to get down and palm away.
The home support are getting incredibly tetchy with Phil Dowd's decisions so far in this game. A 50/50 challenge from Paulinho on Fabian Delph leads only to a throw-in but Paul Lambert explodes with frustration on the sidelines.
CHANCE! There has been little goalmouth action in the first half so far. Tottenham are keeping the ball well but are perhaps being just a little too conservative at the moment. They need to take more risks - whilst Villa are happy to soak up the play. Sandro come forward and hits it from distance - but Guzan is right behind the timid shot.
Spurs need to find Soldado more in these opening exchanges. There is chasm of space between the frontman and his midfield, who are huddling the centre circle as the visitors look to play it tight all over the park.
Yellow Card Ashley Westwood
Westwood is booked for a late challenge on Holtby. The German midfielder's first touch was heavy as the ball skidded off the wet surface, hinting that the weather conditions will play a big part here today.
A Spurs corner on the right leads to a breakaway for the Villans and Agbonglahor is held back by Chiriches just inside the visitors half. The Romanian walks sheepishly away escaping any further punishment.
It has been a fiesty start as both sides have looked to attack at the earliest opportunity. Spurs captain Dawson has been clattered twice - firstly by his own player Sandro and then by Vlaar. But the skipper is fine and plays on.
CHANCE! The ball squirms through to the box from a cross on the right where Agbonglahor pounces but his shot flies over the bar under pressure from Vertonghen.
And we are underway with Villa kicking from left to right.
The players are out and are greeted by a very wet Villa Park. If this continues then the Holte End might become the deep end!
STAT ATTACK: The Villans have only won 10 of the 41 league matches at Villa Park since the start of 2011-12, barely averaging a point per game in that time (W10, D12, L19, Pts 42). (BBCSport)
So, who will come up trumps today at Villa Park? It's bucketing it down but let's not put a dampner on what should be a great game. Ten minutes to go...
Meanwhile, Andre Villas-Boas has handed a Premier League debut to Romanian defender Vlad Chiriches as Jan Vertonghen moves to left-back at the expense of Kyle Naughton, who drops to the bench. Sandro makes his first league start since January whilse Lewis Holtby comes in for Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado takes his place up front as the North London side ring the changes and look to get their season back up and running after a 3-0 home drubbing to rivals West Ham.
Paul Lambert will be relieved to see star man Christian Benteke return to the Villa squad as he takes his place on the bench, whilst Nathan Baker is a late change to the team sheet in place of Ciaran Clark.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen; Paulinho, Sandro; Townsend, Holtby, Sigurdsson; Soldado. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Dembele, Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon, Defoe.Match Referee: Phil Dowd.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Luna, Delph, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Kozak. Subs: Steer, Benteke, Herd, Bennett, Bowery, Tonev, Sylla.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of Aston Villa versus Tottenham. My name is Hayden Gribble and let me take you through all the action of yet another crucial Premier League match. But before we go any further, let's take a look at the team news...
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