Relatively little to do for the Villa ‘keeper in the first half but did extremely well to tip a Palacios shot wide with his fingertips – even if a goal kick was given. Could do nothing about Van der Vaart’s close range finishes.
An impressive performance from Collins. Caused problems in the Spur’s box from set pieces and was just centimetres away from heading in when Albrighton’s cross snuck in at the far post anyway. Rarely troubled defensively as Spurs were forced to mainly defend.
Dealt with Bale well, helped brilliantly by Albrighton. Was not fazed when the Welsh winger ran at him, muscling out of play for a goal-kick on a few occasions when it looked as if Bale might get past him.
Solid as ever from Cuellar, who looks at home as centre back. Made some crucial interceptions and did well to cover for Lichaj and nullifying the threat of Bale. Won most headers and looked comfortable.
Rarely troubled by Lennon but went missing for Spurs opening goal when Hutton had the freedom of the right flank to cross for Van der Vaart. Fed Downing well and was not afraid to support the winger but is far from a solid defender.
Given time and space down the Villa left, Downing supplied cross after cross into the Spurs box. His delivery was excellent and the back-pedalling Dawson and Kaboul had Gomes to thank for plucking several pinpoint balls off the head of Emile Heskey in the first half.
Energetic in the centre of midfield, Hogg did his job with minimal fuss. Moved the ball quickly and accurately, allowing Villa to attack from both flanks. Showed he likes a tackle and wasn’t afraid to hassle Van der Vaart off the ball. Perhaps could have been tighter to Modric on occasions. Unlucky to be taken off at half-time for the return of Stiliyan Petrov.
A lively performance from the young academy graduate who more than deserved his goal. Did well to cut in from the left and although he probably crossed the ball, the accuracy of the delivery showed his class. Albrighton was unable to beat Assou-Ekotto at will but troubled the Spurs left-back. The winger showed he has good technical ability with some accurate crosses and he showed his high-energy levels when forced to help Lichaj deal with Bale.
An impressive return after seven months on the sidelines for Delph. Signalled his intentions with a strong tackle on Modric in the first ten minutes and did not show the Spurs midfield any respect. Not afraid to run with the ball and get forward. Not the finished article but a promising young player.
The former England striker looked dangerous and Villa will be disappointed he was forced off after just 38 minutes with an injury. Heskey looked dangerous in the air, forcing Gomes into a number of crucial punches when he looked certain to beat Dawson or Kaboul to the ball.
The forward caused the Spurs defence problems with his electric pace. Showed he has a surprising amount of power to go with his speed, often outmuscling Kaboul. Needs to improve his finishing if he is to become a top class Premier League striker though – shooting straight at Gomes when put through on goal in the first half. Quiet in the second half, needs to improve his consistency.
Far busy than his opposite number, Gomes showed why Harry Redknapp keeps the faith with his number one, despite the occasional howler looking like it is about to come any moment. Gomes showed his impressive shot-stopping abilities and had to be at his best when Emile Heskey was on the pitch, punching clear when it looked as if the striker was going to score.
Faired slightly better than his partner against Agbonlahor, covering Hutton well when Villa tried to set the striker free. Defended solidly with some good clearing headers, but did not get close enough to Heskey in the first half, allowing the big forward to cause havoc in the Spurs box
Struggled to deal with Agbonlahor’s pace on his return to the starting eleven. Often outmuscled by the striker, Kaboul found himself the wrong side of the Villa forward. Improved as the game went on but never looked solid.
Gave Downing far too much space and allowed the winger to get plenty of crosses into his team’s penalty box. Showed his strengths going forward however, setting up Van der Vaart’s opener with an accurate low cross after a lung-busting run down the right flank.
A solid performance by the left-back who put up a good fight against the pacey Albrighton. Was beaten on occasions by the winger but also prevented him going past him on others. Reluctant to get forward as Spurs were down to ten men for a large chunk of the game
– Showed both the good and bad sides of his game once again. Swept up in front of his back four well and made some crucial blocks when Villa were pushing forward. Started the game well, moving the ball swiftly to Modric or Van der Vaart and even pushing forward himself on occasions. But seems liable to panic at crucial moments, often misplacing simple passes or making a hash of a clearance.
Showed his class in the build up to the Spurs opener when he fired a 60 yard cross-field pass perfectly into Hutton’s path with the right-back in acres of space on the right flank. Looked comfortable in possession and always seemed to know where his next pass was before he got the ball. Found it difficult in the second half as Spurs struggled with ten men but was a calming influence on the few occasions they did have possession. Limped off with just seconds remaining.
Unable to dominate Lichaj as he would have possibly expected, Bale’s attacking threat diminished as Spurs played two-thirds of the game with ten men. Unlucky Lennon, Bale did not shy away from the action when things were tough and his strong running proved crucial when Spurs surprised Villa with their second goal. Bale ran 60yards down the Spurs right as they counter-attacked before cutting inside two defenders effortlessly.
R. van der Vaart
What more can you say about this man? Another stunning performance from the Dutchman who scored both of Spurs goals. The playmaker’s timing was perfect on both occasions and although they were not difficult finishes, he passed them past Friedel with the ease that only world class players are able to do. Even when Spurs were down to ten men and Van der Vaart found himself as the focal point of the Spurs attack, he did not panic. He was always calm in possession and looked a class above anyone else on the pitch.
Quiet throughout the game, especially once Spurs went down to ten men and were on the back foot. Didn’t get the chance to run at Warnock and was reluctant to track back and help Hutton deal with Downing. Outshone by his opposite number Albrighton on the Villa right. Replaced by Jenas as Spurs looked to hang on.
The pintsized striker looked dangerous in the short time he was on the field but his performance was marred by a red card halfway through the first half. Defoe was chasing a clearance from the Spurs defence and clearly leant with his elbow when he jumped with Collins for the ball. He might not be that kind of player but the striker can have no arguments about the decision.
- 22 B. Guzan
- 21 C. Clark
Replaced Delph with Villa 2-0 down and 20 minutes to play. Couldn’t get into the game as Villa chased an equaliser.
- 25 B. Bannan
The club captain replaced Hogg at half-time as Villa looked to experience to turn the game around. Desperately tried to re-energise Villa and looked solid in front of his back four. Passed the ball wide quickly, just as Hogg had done in the first half. Villa will be glad to have their skipper back in action.
- 20 N. Reo-Coker
Replaced the injured Heskey after 38 minutes. Villa missed Heskey’s aerial ability and Dawson was able to dominate Delfouneso easily. Looked a bit like a boy playing a man’s game, the striker showed glimpses of his pace and ability but was afraid to shoot when the opportunity arose.
- 23 C. Cudicini
Replaced Modric with seconds left.
- 19 S. Bassong
Replaced Lennon as Spurs ran down clock.
- 21 N. Kranjčar
- 9 R. Pavlyuchenko
Replaced Van der Vaart with 20 minutes left. Didn’t see the England striker going forward, Crouch spent more time in his own penalty box than in Villa’s.