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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
November 21, 2011
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 35818
E. Adebayor 14', 40'
Aston Villa never really threatened the Tottenham goal, and seemed resigned to sitting back and letting Spurs attack them but the class of Tottenham's midfield showed and they cracked the defence with two goals from Adebayor.
The referee blows the whistle and Tottenham wrap up an easy three points today to see them go into thrid in the table.
90' + 1'
Sandro's first touch of the game is an interception in the middle of the park, his touch is heavy but it finds Adebayor who passes across the field to Defoe, the strikers shot isn't great though and ends up in the crowd.
Yellow Card Stilian Petrov
Bale makes a run down the right, and dummies Warnock to cut inside, just before he enter the box he is bought down by Petrov with a cynical challenge. He recieves a yellow card for his foul. Petrov reads Modric's mind as he intercepts a pass destined for Assou-ekotto on the edge of the box.
Assou-ekotto is found by Bale on the left and cuts inside to try and pass the ball into the middle but Dunne gets in the way, and it defelcts wide. Nothing comes of the corner.
Modric battles to win the ball, he wins the ball but Heskey is a yard off the pace and brings him down just in range for a shot, but Modric reasons to swing the ball in. The ball is easily cleared by Bannan.
Modric gets away from his marker and fires in a low cross from the right, Given gets down to stop the ball put puts it into the danger area. Defoe finds himself with the ball but cant get it from under himself, he eventually shifts it to Adebayor who fires it from close range, but is blocked by Given with a top double save.
Agbonlahor fires in a low cross from deep into the six yard box, luckily Friedel is the first one to the ball but all it needed was a touch on the way in.
Rafael van der Vaart
Van der Vaart leaves the field for Defoe, the Dutchman will be happy with his shift but Redknapp brings him off early as he often does.
Bale runs out of options as he is confronted with most of the Villa side on the edge of the box, he gets the ball from under his feet and releases a good shot but Given is his equal.
Bale plays a wonderful ball from the half way line, cutting out 4 or 5 Villa defenders and finds Van der Vaart behind the defensive line. The linesman's flag is up though, and he was just offside.
Bale makes yet another storming run, this time down the middle of the park, he's closed down as he nears the box but he plays it to his left to Adebayor. He shapes to curl it into the bottom right hand corner but he is just off target.
Villa are really playing deep now, Heskey is almost playing at left-back at the minute. This is allowing Tottenham to keep the ball and are slowly working away at their defence
Van der Vaart plays a quick corner to Walker on the edge of the box, he touches it to the side and rifles a shot towards goal. Its close but just wide of the goal.
Adebayor squares it to Van der Vaart as Spurs counter, the Dutchman attempts to put through Lennon on his first touch but it has way to much power and Lennon has no chance of catching it, not even with his pace.
Adebayor is on for his hat-trick as he beats the offdside trap to get on the end of a Modric through ball, he tries to put it round Given but it is wide of the right hand post.
Hutton gets fouled by Assou-ekotto as he just manages to touch it past the Tottenham defender. Warnock lofts in a ball but it finds no Villa players and Friedel collects at the back post.
Lennon tries a back heel in his own half and it is intercepted. Villa cross the ball in and King can only head it out for a corner. The corner goes to the far post but is headed wide by Bent.
Aston Villa create an early chance, as Herd puts in a good cross to Bent. The striker rises above Kaboul to head the ball down towards floor, but its within Friedel's reach and he collects with relative ease.
Tottenham get the game back underway. McLeish chooses not to make any changes at the break, but if things carry on like the first half I wouldn't be surprised to see N'zogbia any time soon.
The quality of Tottenham in the final third with Van der Vaart, Bale, Lennon and Modric all supplying Adebayor is causing the Villa defence no end of problems, and I do not think this will change in the second half.
The reaction from Liam Twomey live at the game: Half time at White Hart Lane, and while Harry Redknapp has remained largely seated in the dugout during the opening half, he will have to be satisfied with his side’s display so far. Villa have been battered into submission thanks to the quality of Lennon and Bale’s crossing from the flanks, and it will take a vast improvement if McLeish’s men are to get back into this after the break.
The referee brings the first half to an end, Tottenham are well deserving of their lead tonight. Aston Villa have looked to defend deep and attack on the counter, but this tactic is not paying dividends at all. McLeish really needs a different approach if they are to get anything out of this game.
Yellow Card Chris Herd
Chris Herd upends Bale close to the byline. Van der Vaart switches the free kick to Parker on the right wing who plays it to Bale, who shoots into the crowded box. The shot comes straight back out to Modric, but his effort doesn't trouble Given and it goes out for a goal kick.
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor gets a second! Bale swings a great ball into the near post, and as Hutton slides in to block the ball he puts it past Given and into the feet of Adebayor who taps home from a yard out. 2-0.
Modric plays a good ball over the defence to Bale who is making a run down the middle of the park, but a good touch evades the Welshman and the ball goes to close to Given who collects.
Walker and Heskey both go up for a free ball, but Heskey's size overpowers Walker he seemed to land awkwardly, but after a little treatment he looks fine and is ready to rejoin the action.
Dunne brings down Van der Vaart midway in his own half and gives away a freekick. Van der Vaart's attempted cross is intercepted. As Villa look to break Kaboul comes storming from the Villa box to catch up with Agbonlahor and make the tackle, great pace from the defender.
Heskey gets the ball on the left on side of the box, but is seemingly caught in two minds whether to supply Bent or shoot himself, and its shows in his poor attempt to do either.
Adebayor collects yet another long ball from Assou-ekotto, he holds it up well and plays a ball through to Van der Vaart who is open. He tries a chip over Given but puts to much on it and it sails over the bar
Tottenham are definitely in the ascendency here, with Aston Villa camped in their half, it doesn't seem a wise tactic as Tottenham have shown they can find ways through the packed box.
Van der Vaart shows off his quality again as he curls in a beautiful cross from deep on the left straight into Adebayor. The Togo striker is watching it as it drops but mistimes his volley and GIven collects gratefully.
Van der Vaart plays a short corner to Lennon, who gives it back to the Dutchman who loops around him he fires a confident shot at goal, but unfortunately the ball goes straight into the side netting.
And we can again here from our man at the game: Aston Villa are rocking after that Adebayor strike, and Alex McLeish looks a tortured man on the edge of his technical area, frequently barking instructions to his struggling players. Villa would do well to go in at the interval trailing by just one goal, but in the lively movement of Bent and Agbonlahor up front they have some cause for optimism.
Warnock fires a long through ball into Agbonlahor who gets the run on Kaboul, but the defender manages to get a foot to the ball and put it out for a corner. The corner is fired into the near post but it comes off of Heskey's head and goes high and wide.
Assist Gareth Bale
Goal Emmanuel Adebayor
Goal!!! Adebayor was in need of a goal and he got one. Another corner is again is cleared to the edge of the box, and Van der Vaart chips in a ball to the unmarked Adebayor who pulls off an overhead kick, to slot the ball to the right of Shay Given.
An Adebayor run is stopped by Dunne who puts it out for a corner. The resultant corner is cleared only to Kaboul who volleys it in to the box, but its deflected wide.
A long ball to Lennon on the right wing from Assou-ekotto causes trouble for the VIlla defence, as Lennon jinks his way past Warnock. He finds the head of Adebayor with a good cross, but the striker fails to hit the target as he heads across Given.
Ledley King makes a poor touch whilst under no pressure, and Agbonlahor sees that as a challenge and looks to charge down the loose ball but King recovers just in time to play it to Assou-ekotto.
A long ball up to Heskey is helped on by the forward with a back heel in the air, but Hutton who is attempting to get on the end of the through ball is caught offside.
Bale makes a trademark run down the left wing leaving Hutton in his wake, but his cross finds Cuellar before Adebayor. The ball is cleared but Lennon retains possession on the half way line and plays it into Van der Vaart who turns well but his pass isn't great and it dribbles into Given's path.
Great start from Villa who work it into the right corner of the Tottenham half. Petrov swings in a great cross to Heskey at the back post but Kyle Walker does enough to put him off and the ball is cleared.
And Aston Villa get the game under way here at White Hart Lane, with five defenders on the pitch Aston Villa maybe taking a negative approach to the game, but it will be interesting to see how McLeish's formation pans out.
We can hear from our own Liam Twomey who is live from White Hart Lane tonight: We’re moments away from kickoff here at White Hart Lane, and the big screen just showed highlights of the hosts’ hard-fought victory over Fulham a fortnight ago. Harry Redknapp, perhaps more than most after recent events, will be hoping tonight proves to be a rather less stressful experience…
Tottenham are currently sitting top of the table in goals conceded since the start the Premier League, leaking 995 goals in the 744 games they've played. With Villa positioned 3rd with 110 less goals than Spurs.
Tottenham will be buoyed by the return to health of the manager Harry Redknapp tonight, as he returns to the dugout after missing the match against Fulham before the international break.
This is one of Tottenham's two games in hand on most of the league and if they pick up six points from this game and the postponed match against Everton they will only be one point behind second place Manchester United.
An interesting battle today will be between Brad Friedel and Darren Bent who will both be looking to put in a performance against their respective former clubs.
Both managers will be happy to be able to feature some of their stars today, with Rafael Van der Vaart and Gabriel Agbonlahor both coming through injuries in time for this clash.
Aston Villa's starting XI: Given, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock; Hutton, Petrov, Herd, Heskey; Agbonlahor, Bent. Subs: N’Zogbia, Guzan, Ireland, Bannan, Delph, Clark, Weimann.
Tottenham's starting XI: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-ekotto; Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Gallas, Dos Santos, Defoe, Bassong, Cudicini, Sandro, Pienaar.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Premier League clash between Tottenham and Aston Villa.
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