BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Villa Park, England

Attendance: 35391

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0 - 2

FT

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Andros Townsend 31'
  • Roberto Soldado 69'

Townsend continues dream run

Andros Townsend was the man of the moment again as Tottenham won 2-0 at Aston Villa.

Having starred for England during the international break, Townsend scored the opening goal, somewhat fortuitously, and claimed the man of the match honours at Villa Park.

The winger beat Brad Guzan before the break with a curling effort he admitted had been meant as a cross, and Roberto Soldado killed them off with his first Tottenham league goal from open play.

"Obviously scoring for my country on debut is one of the highlights of my career, but a first Premier League goal for my hometown club is pretty special too,'' Townsend told Sky Sports 1.

"The main thing for me is not to get carried away. I just need to keep putting in performances for Spurs when I get the chance."

Townsend found space in the 31st minute when he cut inside and a curling ball intended for Soldado bounced in at the far post.

He then produced several dangerous crosses in the second half only to see them go unconverted before Soldado finished a fine passing move.

"I had no space at all and every time I picked up the ball they had a couple of people around me and I turned it over a couple of times,'' Townsend said.

"In the second half, the game opened up a bit and that's when I'm at my best, on counter-attacks.''

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas said it was too early to compare Townsend to Gareth Bale, stressing: "Gareth's influence grew to be immense in the last season. It is early days for Andros.

"But I think it was a great performance. Alongside the team, it grew in the second half, and he really improved his performance.

"He gives us so many attacking options because he is able to take the team forward with his driving ability and link-up play, crossing, assisting. It was another great performance, like we saw for his country.

"He has to cope with the amount of attention he gets, but he is very grounded and down to earth."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert refused to be too downbeat about the defeat, which at least had the positive of seeing Benteke back in action as a second-half substitute following his injury lay-off.

The Belgium international headed a chance over just before Tottenham grabbed the second, and Lambert felt that was the turning point.

"I didn't think there was too much in the game," he said. "The first half was pretty tight.

"In the second half we started well and looked as if we might get the goal as well with Christian's header. If that was a goal... we were on top at the time. You can't fault our lads for their effort, and on another day we might have got something.

"Since the start of the season there has been progress. If we play like that, we'll win more games than not."

Villas-Boas said his side had claimed a deserved three-point haul, adding: "It was difficult in the first few minutes. Villa kept putting in long balls behind us, stretching us, and we needed to get our act together. We did, and in the 20th minute we got hold of the ball and started creating.

"The second half was really, really good and after it was 2-0 we could have scored more. The second goal is always important away from home. It takes pressure off and gave us a little bit more confidence.

"After a setback, particularly at home [against Wet Ham], we had to respond in good fashion to keep ourselves in touch with the top. This was the result we deserved.''

Scoring Summary

  • Aston Villa
  • Tottenham Hotspur
 

Match Stats

  • Aston Villa
  • Tottenham Hotspur
15(2) Shots (on goal) 13(6)
13 Fouls 12
4 Corner kicks 7
2 Offsides 1
37% Time of Possession 63%
3 Yellow Cards 4
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 2

Teams

  • Aston Villa
  • Tottenham Hotspur
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
Paulinho (38')
Michael Dawson (52')
Kyle Walker (89')
Aaron Lennon (90 + 3')