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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
6 May 2012
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 36008
C. Clark 35'
E. Adebayor 61'
FULL TIME: Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham: The initiative is handed back to Arsenal as Spurs drop two vital points in the race for the third. Aston Villa defended admirably throughout but this game was there for the taking for Spurs.
90' + 6'
Yellow Card Sandro
90' + 5'
Stephen Ireland has the ball at the corner flag and Villa are seeing this game out it seems. Sandro then brings down Herd and Villa will be in no rush to take this free-kick. Only a minute of injury time to go!
90' + 4'
What a ball from Sandro into the area. It was crying out for someone to nod it it but Collins hurls his body at it and the resulting attack is also smothered by the sub and Given jumps on to the ball.
90' + 3'
What a waste, Villa win the ball in midfield and Delfouneso finds N'Zogbia who misplaces a routine pass meant for Ireland who was arriving in acres of space. Great chance to grab a winner or eat up some more vital seconds.
90' + 1'
As Villa find some rhythm with their passing Dunne needlessly gives it away and Spurs launch another assualt onto the Villa goal. The tension here is unbelievable.
Rafael van der Vaart
There will be a minimum of SIX minutes added on after the Hutton injury at the beginning of the half.
Adebayor rises high to meet Walker's cross but cannot direct his header anywhere near the goal. Parker does come on now, but in a bit of a strange move Van der Vaart has been hauled off. He doesn't look pleased.
Corner number 18 for Spurs is headed out by Collins. Villa are hanging on against ten men and the Villa fans are urging their team to step up the field. That being said, they are defending their six yard box like beavers!
What on earth is going on here? Scott Parker is the second substitute who has been told to take his seat on the bench again. There are five minutes left here but the stoppages have taken the urgency out of the game.
McLeish has made all three substitutions as N'Zogbia hobbles off the pitch. The Frenchman unwillingly it seems gets back on the pitch in order to maintain Villa's advantage.
Controversy as N'Zogbia goes down but Spurs carry on. Adebayor advances up the pitch and finds Bale who swivels in the box and fire a shot straight at Shay Given.
Time is running out for Spurs. Scott Parker will come on for the final 10 minutes as Spurs are probing for a goal which could launch them into third.
BIG CHANCE! Richard Dunne could have redeemed himself for that penalty he gave away just then. N'Zogbia's cross is met at the back post by Dunne whose header hits Kaboul and then comes back off Dunne for a goal kick. Great strength shown from Younes Kaboul.
Villa are slowly beginning to carry a threat but it seems if though McLeish is settling for a point here. Delfouneso curls a pass out wide to Cuellar who couldn't beat the first man with his cross as four Villa players were waiting for the cross.
Nice build up play from Spurs between Van der Vaart and Adebayor. The ball eventually comes to Lennon who checks onto his right foot and sends a tame shot wide.
We are into the final quarter of the match and the tension at Villa Park is mounting. Unfortunately for Weimann he is forced off only a few moments after coming on after that collision with Friedel. Nathan Delfouneso comes on to lead the line for the rest of the match.
Chance! Weimann is left up the pitch unmarked (think Torres vs Barcelona) and is found by a long ball from N'Zogbia. However the ball has a bit too much on it and Friedel comes rushing out to smother the youngster! This match is so delicately poised.
Worrying moments for the home side now, Spurs are sensing another goal here. You wouldn't be able to tell that they're a man down.
Penalty Goal Emmanuel Adebayor
GOAL! Emmanuel Adebayor equalises for Tottenham! Cool as you like, right-footed bent into the net. Redknapp has told Defoe to put his coat back on as the substitution is put off for the moment.
Yellow Card Richard Dunne
PENALTY FOR SPURS! Richard Dunne brings down Sandro at the edge of the area. The Brazilian was running across the box and Dunne lunged in and mistimed his tackle.
Redknapp has been scratching his head after that sending off. Finally he has decided he will introduce Jermain Defoe into the fray.
Adebayor tries to shape a right-footed effort into the bottom right hand corner but doesn't get enough on it. Lennon meanwhile throws his hands up after not being fed in by the Togo international.
Alan Hutton looks in pain here and it looks like the end of his afternoon. James Collins is getting ready to replace him. Presumably Cuellar will shift over to the right, with the sub joining Dunne in the centre of defense.
Red Card Danny Rose
It's a two footed challenge and the full-back has gone right over the ball and taken a chunk out of Alan Hutton there. He got the ball initially but the referee has no option but to show the red for a reckless lunge.
RED CARD! Danny Rose is sent off!
Only 50 seconds gone in the second half and Bale is already causing problems. His cross is right in the 'corridor of uncertainty' but with only Adebayor in the area, Villa clear easily.
Massive 45 minutes for both sides coming up. Can Villa hold on? Will Spurs squander a glorious chance to go third after yesterdays shock result? Villa get the second-half underway!
Goal.com's Jake Watson at Villa Park: Half-time at Villa Park and it is 1-0 to the home side. It has been a half starved of chances with the deadlock broken by a deflected speculative effort from Ciaran Clark that has given the home side a sense of belief. In truth, Tottenham have yet to get going and will feel hard done by to be going in at half-time behind. I’d expect Harry to demand a lot more from his players in the second-half if they are to move closer to securing their Champions League dream for next season.
45' + 4'
HALF-TIME: Aston Villa 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur.
45' + 2'
Tottenham's ninth corner of the first half is commandingly caught by Given.
Bit of a break for the players, Heskey and Sandro are down receiving treatment. We will have three additional minutes here.
Some great football from Spurs. The short corner is worked superbly, resulting in a shooting chance for Van der Vaart. The Dutchman is able to tee-up his shot and smacks a sweet effort just wide of the post. The look on his face shows that he expected to score that.
Villa need to hold on to half-time here, Spurs are pressing and earn another corner, which causes a bit of a panic in the Villa area and Cuellar in the end hoofs it up the pitch.
What a save! Shay Given denies Bale an instant equaliser. Bale collects a cross from the right, chests it down and swings a left footed volley which was heading into the top corner. Vital stop from the Irishman.
That goal will be wildly celebrated in the red half of North London!
Assist Charles N'Zogbia
Goal Ciaran Clark
GOAL!! A massive goal from Ciaran Clark who takes a pop shot from about 35 yards out, it takes a huge deflection and Brad Friedel is left without a hope. Out of nothing that, the Villa fans don't quite believe it but its 1-0 to VILLA.
Villa are living dangerously here. Bales drives in about 4 crosses in 15 seconds all of which are brilliantly defended by the hosts. Spurs are all over Villa at the moment.
Best opening of the match so far for Spurs! Heskey loses the ball in up the pitch and before you know it Bale is bearing down on the defense, he finds Van der Vaart on the left. The Dutchman tries to pick out Adebayor in the box but a great interception from Cuellar denies what would have been a great chance.
Villa are defending well here. Spurs are enjoying possession in dangerous areas but the hosts are holding a deep line at the back and dealing with the likes of Bale and Modric... for now.
Great play from Stephen Ireland there. Kaboul breaks with the ball and the counter-attack was on, but Ireland, credit to him, tracks the run deep into his own half and makes a fine tackle.
Problem here for Charles N'Zogbia, the winger gets caught with a knee on the side of his calf and hobbles off for some treatment. Villa need him at his best today if they are to have any chance of getting a result. McLeish looks far from pleased.
Jake Watson our man at Villa Park: After a slow 15 minutes here at Villa Park Tottenham are starting to assert their authority on the game, with the home side well and truly pinned back into their own half. Bale and Lennon were largely anonymous from the start but they are really starting to test the Villa backline with cross after cross being whipped in to dangerous affect.
Emotional scenes here at Villa Park as the 19th minute brings a round of applause for Stilian Petrov. It's put a spring in the step of the Villa players as well. Get well soon Stan.
Yellow Card Younes Kaboul
Kaboul brings down Heskey in a battle of the giants and is shown a yellow card.
Spurs are looking dangerous now, a couple of nicely shaped crosses by Rafa Van der Vaart caused a few problems for the hosts. Villa are defending in numbers here and we are not past the first 20 minutes.
Crunch! What a challenge from the skipper. Gareth Bale bursts down the left as he always does but Richard Dunne shuffles across and clatters the Welshman with a fine tackle. Biggest cheer so far at Villa Park.
Walker uses his pace to take two Villa defenders on and earns his side a corner. Van der Vaart takes it and it's cleared by a towering header from Dunne.
Big chance for Villa! Ireland releases Heskey with a perfect pass but the big man didn't have the pace and needed to get his shot away early. Unfortunately for Villa he didn't and Gallas was able to make a good recovery challenge. What a let off for Spurs!
That spell of possession is ended by an speculative effort from Alan Hutton, which is met by a groan or two from the Villa Park faithful.
Now it's Villa turn to knock the ball about with some swagger, Ireland and N'Zogbia look particularly up for this.
Some nice crisp passing from the visitors, culminating in Walker feeding the ball into Adebayor. The front man swivels on the ball and drags his shot wide wide of the post. Tottenham beginning to settle here.
Early corner for the hosts as N'Zogbia's effort is deflected behind. Marc Albrighton whips the cross in from the right and it's headed away by Gareth Bale.
What an afternoon for a game of football. Spurs kick-off and we are underway!
The tension is building at Villa Park, this is going to be a nail biting afternoon! Newcastle and Arsenal supporters will have one eye on this match hoping the Villa can get a result. Yesterdays 3-3 draw between the Gunners and Norwich has really thrown the Champions League into the open!
The omens are not good for Villa fans. Spurs have beaten Villa in their last three encounters, with the hosts now 8 games without a win, only the already doomed Wolves have a worse record. .
Our man at Villa Park today is Goal.com correspondent Jake Watson, here are his thoughts prior to kick-off: Aston Villa fans would not have predicted at the start of this season that they would be in need of a result this afternoon to be sure of safety, but that’s exactly what it has come down to. Villa have underwhelmed throughout the campaign and face a real test this afternoon as they host Champions League chasing Tottenham. The visitors suffered an alarming slump in form while their boss Harry Redknapp was under increasing speculation he could be the next England manager, though Hodgson took that post and Spurs are back in form and are hot favourites to take the points this afternoon.
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Modric, Sandro, Bale; Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Nelsen, Livermore, Parker, Defoe, Giovani, Saha.
Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Cuellar, Dunne, Lichaj, N’Zogbia, Herd, Clark, Warnock, Ireland, Heskey Subs: Guzan, Collins, Delfouneso, Bannan, Weimann, Gardner, Carruthers
Welcome to Goal.com UK's LIVE coverage of Aston Villa vs Tottenham. I'm Husmukh Kerai and I'll be guiding you through this afternoons action! First up, here are the line-ups for today's crucial game...
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