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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
26 December 2010
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 39411
M. Albrighton 82'
R. van der Vaart 23', 68'
Thank you for joining us here at Goal.com tonight - a fantastic game of football was played this boxing day evening, with Tottenham emerging as rightous victors!
90' + 5'
A last gasp of air for Spurs as they nearly concede after some dodgy goalkeeping from Gomes. The final whistle goes and Tottenham record a double win over Villa this season, but this time with ten men! Van der Vaart makes it eight for the season, and looks like a force to be reckoned with. Great defending from Harry's back four, keeping Villa abay.
90' + 4'
90' + 4'
Marc Albrighton has been a ray of sunshine for Villa tonight, providing endless suplies of crosses for the rest to latch onto - and does so again, but this time for Lichaj, yet bounces awkwardly and forces the lad to fire unluckily into the side-netting!
90' + 3'
90' + 2'
Yellow CardLuka Modric
Tension rises between the two sides, with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp clashing and exchanging profanities with ex-Arsenal winger Robert Pires, after the veteran tripped close to Redknapp on the far side.
GARETH BALE! the 21-year-old takes a free-kick from a dangerous position and looks to polish the game off for Spurs as he curls a beauty around the wall, only for it to clatter the side netting.
Yellow CardGabriel Agbonlahor
Pressure is on Spurs now as they have everything to lose. 5 minutes plus a fair share of added time due to the Gomes's injury, and play is stopped again as Petrov has blood coming out of his eye after clashing in the air with substitute Peter Crouch. Play continues.
GOAL! Albrighton twists and turns again on the left hand side, and provides a curling cross into Collins, who dives head-first but misses, which confuses Gomes and watches Albrighton's cross curl into the back of the net! 2-1.
Aston Villa really need to push up the pitch here, they have most of the possesion but fail to produce the good offensively. Tottenham look to break again with Palacios.
Yellow CardAlan Hutton
Gomes is back up with Villa fans booing him from every angle - Hutton picks up a deserved yellow card as he lunges dangerously into Albrighton.
Gones is down with medics all around him, after punching a cross clear. Looks as if he might have dislocated a finger or two.
What we in the football world call 'money in the bank' for Fabian Delph, who gets 75 decent minutes of Premier League football under his belt as he makes way for a touch of French finesse - veteran Robert Pires.
Rafael van der Vaart
Villa back to pressurising Spurs, who look to keep a respectable 10-man clean sheet, with Albrighton on the left flank consistantly swiping balls into the box for Spurs to clear.
GoalRafael van der Vaart
Villa completely caught on the counter as Bale powers through the entire pitch, just as he did against Inter yet this time on the right hand side, and easily beats the remainding Villa defender, cutting into the middle and threading in Lennon, who reverts back to Van der Vaart who curls it across Friedel.
GOAL TOTTENHAM! VAN DER VAART AGAIN!
Talking about the Birmingham boy, he cuts through on the left flank and rifles his shot into Gomes at his near post. Corner reverts into Delph providing a weak header.
Second-half possession: Aston Villa 60% - 40% Tottenham. More of the ball from the Villa, looking to get at least one point out of this game, if not all three. Who doesn't like a local hero like Nathan Delfouneso!?
CARLOS CUELLAR! Oh how close for Villa! Downing whips a ball in from the left and Cuellar jumps high and forces the ball back down for it to bounce jinches wide past Gomes's right post.
Plenty of time for Villa to turn this around, and have a real chance to take points from a weakened Tottenham side. Gary McAllister is seen on the sidelines waving his hands around trying to egg his Villa players on!
Yellow CardFabian Delph
Delph twists and turns on the edge of Gomes's box, yet loses it luckily for it to fall back to Albrighton on the right hand side, who supplies a decent ball into the box and Delfouneso attempt to loosely bicycle-kick it, despite Collins lurking behind.
For those who just joined us, Tottenham are indeed 1-0 up and are playing as if they wern't down to ten men. It looks like Redknapp has managed to keep his Champions League side together during the interval - still early doors though in this second half.
Houllier's half-time team talk has certainly some effect as Villa look dangerous on their way forward. Delfouneso latches on to a lovely through ball and makes Gomes get low to block what looked to be a leg-stinging shot!
Hutton presses down the pitch and wins a throw in the Villa halfm but Houllier's men regain possesion and flank pressure down the right wing for Albrighton to win a corner - which is whipped in and Agbonlahor gets a flick on towards Gomes. Not enough power.
Aston Villa kick-off, making only the one change - Sylvain Petrov on for Jonathan Hogg, who was on a yellow card.
45' + 2'
The half time whistle goes and Tottenham lead 1-0 thanks to a point blank finish from Van der Vaart, yet a controversial decision saw the referee show a red card to Jermaine Defoe, reducing Spurs to ten men and bringing Villa back into their sights.
45' + 1'
Reknapp's side are portraying a 'keep-ball' training session, and have been running rings around Villa for the last 5 minutes.
Gareth Bale makes his way into the commentary after 44 minutes of play, with a fine typical Bale sprint down the left wing, pushing it past the Villa defence but fails to cut it back from the by-line.
Dawson tackles Delfouneso on the right hand side, as the substitute tries to hatch onto Hogg's through ball.
Aston Villa proving the worhthyness of their youth system as Hesky makes way for another young-gun Nathan Delfouneso - it's nice to see young talent get the chance to show their worth in the Premier League.
Albrighton in the middle of it all again as he goes down in Spurs's box, pleeding to Martin Atkinson that Assou-Ekotto hauled him down. Replays show that there wasn't much in it and definatly not worthy of a penalty.
Tottenham push forward and the Villa defence looks vunerable as Modric and Palacios combine going forward, but Friedel gets a small touch on Palacios's shot to nab it into the side netting. No corner though.
Yellow CardJonathan Hogg
Short one-two between the dutchman and Kaboul, but it comes to nothing.
Assou-Ekotto wins a free-kick - both Van der Vaart and Kaboul look eager.
The game looks to have calmed a tad since the goal and the sending off, but the Villa are pressuring Spurs - trying to take advantage of 10-men Tottenham.
Tottenham's last red card was in October 2009, when Defoe was red-carded against Portsmouth.
Red CardJermain Defoe
Defoe tried to reach a long and high ball, yet clobbered James Collins in the face without touching any of it - that looked harsh, but I've seen worse. Talk about an open game, that's just turned this game on it's heels!
RED CARD FOR JERMAINE DEFOE!
GoalRafael van der Vaart
GOAL! Rafael Van der Vaart is in the right place at the right time as Alan Hutton pulls in a decent cross into the dutchman infront of James Collins, who slips, and slams it low into the back of the net for his 7th Premier League goal of the season!
A fantastic opening 20 minutes from both sides, quick in pace and a handful of opportunities each to take the lead! Could be 2-0 either way!
GREAT double save from Gomes, a mixed start for the Spurs stopper, but manages to get down low from Hesky's flick-on to Agbonlahor then gets back up to save a tight shot at his near post! Corner.
Younes Kaboul finds the back of the net, but the assistant referee on the far side decided that Hutton's cross into the box had already gone out of play, and the goal is ruled out. Replays show that the decision was close but nevertheless the wrong one!
Assou-Ekotto does well to shut down Albrighton on the wing, and blocks the cross before he tries to get a second one underway.
It looked as if Gomes was looking to prevent to corner, but managed to clumbsily take down the Villa striker at the same time. Maybe not a goal scoring opportunity but outside of the box, that would definatly been given!
Emile Hesky recieves a trhough ball into the box and Gomes gets nowhere near the balls and clobbers the former England striker. Surely it must be a penalty! But referee Matin Atkinson waves for play to continue! Shocking.
Referee under all sorts of pressure here as Hogg comes in late on Van der Vaart with both feet in ther air! Was late and wreckless from the youngster!
Modric and Van der Vaart combine to thread a ball through to Defoe, but Friedel comes out to block with his feet.
Palacios goes down after taking a hefty challenge from Albrighton - maybe a little too eager from the youngster.
An early chance from England starlet Marc Albrighton see's the youngster miskick an early delivery into the box straight at the keeper. Replays show that he should have done better with that as he seems to scuff it stright to Gomes!
And we're off here at Villa Park!
The referee this evening is Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Other news reads that striker Robbie Keane has not even made the bench, which put even further doubt on the Irishman's future as the club prepare to sell the 30-year-old in January.
It is indeed a young Villa side here tonight who face a scarce Tottenham attack, including some of Europe's elite - England's Jermaine Defoe and Rafael Van der Vaart.
Our correspondant Ian Murphy is at Villa Park this evening and explains Gerard Houllier's gamble on including Fabian Delph upon his return from a serious knee injury.
Tottenham: Gomes, Hutton, Kaboul, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Defoe Subs: Cudicini, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Crouch, Bassong, Kranjcar, Corluka
Aston Villa: Friedel, Warnock, Collins, Cuellar, Lichaj, Downing, Delph, Hogg, Albrighton, Heskey, Agbonlahor Subs: Guzan, Pires, Delfouneso, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Clark, Bannan
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's Boxing Day coverage of Aston Villa vs Tottenham!
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