Tottenham’s hopes of overtaking Arsenal in the Premier League table were dashed as the club was held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
Spurs dominated proceedings, but a deflected Ciaran Clark goal put Villa ahead as the home side defended strongly against a barrage of attacks from the visitors.
Danny Rose was sent off early in the second half after a two-footed lunge on Alan Hutton before Emmanuel Adebayor slotted home a penalty to equalize, but Spurs couldn’t find the all-important winner and the team stays in fourth behind Arsenal.
Chris Herd started for Aston Villa despite being fined after a nightclub fracas involving two other players, while Alex McLeish welcomed back Stephen Ireland from injury, but Gabriel Agbonlahor missed out due to a bruised rib.
Kyle Walker broke a toe in the 4-1 midweek win over Bolton but managed to start in an unchanged Tottenham lineup, while Scott Parker returned to the bench after missing the last two games with an achilles problem.
Villa made a bright start to the game, dominating the early possession, but the first half-chance fell to Spurs. Adebayor was found on the right side of the area by Gareth Bale, and the Togo international flashed an effort wide across goal.
Lone striker Emile Heskey had a glorious opportunity to give Villa the lead. He latched on to a through ball from Ireland, and only a superbly-timed Younes Kaboul tackle could stop the former England international opening the scoring.
Tottenham were dominating territory and possession, but Villa was defending stoically, and the bravery was rewarded on 34 minutes. The ball was worked to Clark in midfield, and he unleashed a speculative long-range effort which deflected off William Gallas and looped over a helpless Brad Friedel.
The visitors nearly drew level almost immediately. Another cross fell to Gareth Bale, and the Wales international’s effort was bound for the top corner before Shay Given produced an excellent save to tip wide.
Spurs continued to dominate possession but couldn’t break through the Villa defense. A short corner was worked to Van de Vaart on the edge of the box, where he let fly with a superb volley that whistled inches wide.
The second half carried on from where the first left off, with Tottenham pressing a Villa defense which had proved impenetrable so far.
Things went from bad to worse for the visiting side as it was reduced to 10 men only five minutes into the second half. Rose picked up a straight red after jumping into a challenge with Hutton and catching the fullback square in the shin.
Adebayor had a superb chance to level after he was put through by a quick Luka Modric free kick, but the Spurs striker‘s effort tamely rolled into Given’s arms.
Sandro drilled an effort from the edge of the box which deflected wide for a corner. The Brazil international then won the ball in the area and was brought down by Richard Dunne to give the home side a penalty, which Adebayor dispatched coolly into the right corner.
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