Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa: Adebayor Wasteful & Brilliant
Tottenham produced a superb display to blow Aston Villa away 2-0 at White Hart Lane. Adebayor scored two but could have had six. Watch the goals here.
Harry Redknapp was welcomed back to the lane last night with a wonderful all round dominant display against a weak and abject Aston Villa side that apart from five minutes at the start of each half were never in the game.
Before the action got underway, members of the 1st and 4th Battalions of the Rifles regiment led the teams out on Tickets For Troops night at the Lane. The British Legion also received a cheque for £40k at half time from the sales of the poppy shirt Spurs wore against Fulham which is a great effort for a very worthy cause.
Spurs showed true class during the game and there were magnificent displays from all but in particular Modric, Bale and Adebayor ran the Villa team ragged all night and I’ll doubt you would see a better display from a centre back than how Kaboul played. Yet I walked away from White Hart Lane with something missing, when surely I should have been buzzing and singing we’re going to win the league.
Don’t get me wrong it was a truly awesome display as we played keep ball and never let Villa settle or mount a challenge but maybe it was too easy for me and I was expecting the Jekyll and Hyde performances we have showed on occasions this season. It could be that I live on my nerves and felt uncomfortable with how calm Spurs made me last night but in any case the fact is that Spurs are a brilliant footballing team and showed the country how dangerous they are becoming.
Harry had the luxury of naming an unchanged team as Van der Vaart was passed fit. Aston Villa put out six defenders in their team with Hutton seemingly playing on the right wing and Chris Herd in centre midfield. How Stephen Ireland and Charles N’Zogbia didn’t make it into the team let alone get on the pitch is unknown to me. They feared us and rightly so.
For the first five minutes Spurs started slowly and Villa had the possession and they were looking to get at us. The usual outcries from the stands as a pass was misplaced or someone didn’t make a run were heard. That didn’t last long though as after that almost insignificant period of play was over the rest of the half was all Spurs.
We started to keep possession very well, something we did all evening, and Villa were being moved from side to side as we looked to carve them open. It didn’t take long for that to happen as Assou-Ekotto spread a glorious ball out to Lennon on the right, he skinned Warnock with ease and sent in a perfect cross for Adebayor to bullet a header in the back of the net from about 8 yards out. Well that was what should have happened but didn’t, as the big man didn’t connect properly and it drifted wide. He like the rest of us couldn’t quite believe he missed it.
It wasn’t long before he rectified that miss though and what a goal it was. Just before it Kaboul thought he himself had opened the scoring as his shot from the edge of the box after a corner was deflected inches wide. From that resulting corner, the ball was deliberately floated to Bale on the edge of the box, he volleyed it into the ground and it looped up perfectly to Adebayor all alone on the 6 yard box, who spectacularly bicycle kicked it into the net. Why score the easy ones eh?
From then on in to the half time whistle, Villa couldn’t get a real touch of the ball as Spurs played around them, as there players were mere spectators to the delicious football that was going on. Van Der Vaart tried his own spectacular effort after a neat corner routine with Lennon but hit the side netting, then Rafa tried to play in Adebayor with a superb ball over the top that the Togo man reactively tried a first time volley but didn’t connect properly and it went wide. Adebayor returned the favour and sent Van Der Vaart through and he saw Given off his line and tried the instant chip but that went over the bar. Villa’s only chance of the half came around the half hour mark as Heskey found room in the box but was reluctant to shoot and tried to play in Bent but because of his indecision the cross/shot evaded everyone and went well wide.
Spurs deserved a second goal for their efforts and it duly came on 40 minutes. Modric started the move as he shifted the ball out to Bale. Bale turned on the afterburners and breezed past Cuellar, as he had done all half and whipped in a dangerous cross that somehow evaded both Collins and Given and left Ade with a tap in from one yard out. His two goals a complete contrast. The half time whistle went with us very good value for our lead and another half of football to drool over.
2-0 at half time? Now where have a heard that before? This time though we built on and backed up our first half display. Villa had their five minutes at the start of the half with Bent having a header saved but once we woke up again the pattern of the first half returned with us almost toying with Villa at certain times. After all it’s very difficult to get back into a game of football if you don’t have the ball! Spurs passed the life out of them whilst making chances that really should have been taken.
The first of these chances came when Modric received the ball and turned and burst forward. Is there a better midfield player in the league with his back to goal? I doubt it. He then played an exquisite ball through for Adebayor, who look at tad offside, to run on to clean through on goal. Given didn’t commit himself and Ade put the ball wide when he should have completed his hat-trick. Kyle Walker then tried his luck from 25 yards out from a corner routine but his shot was always curling wide. Spurs continued to press for a third goal and the irrepressible Bale went on a run down the middle of the pitch, touched the ball out to Adebayor on the edge of the 18 yard line and his side footed curler went agonisingly wide. As he hit it I thought it was in. Breath-taking stuff! Adebayor had one last chance to complete his hat-trick after a goal mouth scramble but Given spread himself to deny him. Parker and Defoe, on for the trying Van Der Vaart, tried their luck from distance but their efforts went over or wide of the target.
The final whistle went and we made it 8 wins out of the last 9 games and climbed to third in the table. A fantastic night at the office. Aston Villa went home having been show how to play the beautiful game but their minds had probably been gone a while as they looked disheartened and uninterested for a lot of the game. Maybe I am doing Spurs a disservice though.
Spurs are growing as a side without doubt. We have the best all round midfield in the league, Sir Ledley is grooming Kaboul well and their own partnership is developing. Rafa and Ade are gelling as an attacking force and we have one of the best squads that we have ever had. Harry has also got them playing with such freedom and style but has also installed determination, self-belief and a winning mentality. So why have I got my cautious head on? Answers on a post card. For the time being though I will enjoy the ride we are on for however long it lasts.
Watch the goals here
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