Game #5146

Season | 2010-11 |

Matchday | #23 |
League Game | #18 |
Premier League Match-week | #18 |  
Manager Game | #16 |
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Premier League | Home | Tottenham Hotspur | Villa Park | 39,411 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Gérard Houllier |

KO | 17.30 |
Referee | Martin Atkinson | 

HT Score | 0-1 |
FT Score | 1-2 |

FT Result | Lost |

Last 5 Games | LLLWL | 

Scorers | Marc Albrighton | 82’ |

Assists | Stephen Warnock | 82’ |

League Position | 15th | -1 |

Line Up |

GK Brad Friedel |
LB Stephen Warnock |
ASSIST | 82' |
CB James Collins |
D Eric Lichaj |
CB Carlos Cuéllar |
M Barry Bannan |
M Jonathan Hogg |
BOOKED | 36' | SUB OFF | 46' | FINAL |
M Fabian Delph | BOOKED | 56' | SUB OFF | 74' |
W Stewart Downing |
W Marc Albrighton |
GOAL | 82' |
CF Emile Heskey | SUB OFF | 39' |
F Gabriel Agbonlahor | BOOKED | 88' |

Substitutes |

F Nathan Delfouneso for CF Emile Heskey | 39’ | 
M Stiliyan Petrov for M Jonathan Hogg | 46’ | 
M Robert Pirès for M Fabian Delph | 74’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Brad Guzan
M Nigel Reo-Coker 
CB Ciaran Clark
M Barry Bannan

Cards |

 Yellow | Jonathan Hogg | 35’ |

 Yellow | Fabian Delph | 56’ |

 Yellow | Gabriel Agbonlahor | 88’ | 

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 26.86 | 

Oldest Player | GK Brad Friedel | 39.64 |

Youngest Player | M Fabian Delph | 21.11 |

Unavailable |

Injury |

F Andreas Weimann | 

W Ashley Young |

Bomb Squad |

M Moustapha Salifou |

RB Habib Beye | 

Loaned Out |

CB Curtis Davies | Leicester City | 15 October 2010 - 1 January 2011 | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 63
Possession A | 37
Shots F | 26
Shots A | 13
Shots on Target F | 15
Shots on Target A | 8
Corners F | 8
Corners A | 4
Fouls F | 13
Fouls A | 11

 On this day 26 December 2010 

Midfielder Jonathan Hogg made his final appearance for Villa aged 22 before moving on to Watford on a free transfer in August 2011. Hogg had made his debut earlier in the season and in total made 7 appearances during his 4 months in first team contention.

Match Report


BBC Sport

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Ten-man Tottenham held off Aston Villa for more than an hour and maintained their pursuit of the Premier League pace-setters as Rafael van der Vaart inspired them to an impressive victory.*

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp insists the north Londoners can mount a serious title challenge this season - and they added weight to his argument by surviving the first-half sending off of Jermain Defoe to demonstrate the character and quality required to secure three vital points.

Van der Vaart, back after injury, was the catalyst as he climaxed a sweeping move from the visitors involving Luka Modric and Alan Hutton to give them the lead after 23 minutes.

Defoe was shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson four minutes later after he caught Villa defender James Collins with his elbow as they challenged for a high ball, the striker vehemently protesting his innocence to no avail.

Spurs made light of their numerical disadvantage and added a second midway through the second half with a classic counter-attack, Van der Vaart starting and finishing a fine move involving Gareth Bale’s storming run and Aaron Lennon’s neat pass.


Marc Albrighton’s cross drifted beyond Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes with eight minutes left to set up the prospect of a grandstand finish, but for all Villa’s effort they could not snatch an unlikely equaliser.

Villa manager Gerard Houllier’s youthful side showed plenty of endeavour but were desperately short on the class their opponents had at their disposal and were heavily punished as they continued the struggles the Frenchman has endured since succeeding Martin O’Neill in the Villa Park hot-seat.

Tottenham, in contrast, provided further evidence of their growing maturity and strength of squad that has enabled them to perform with such distinction domestically and in the Champions League. And the capture of Van der Vaart for a bargain £8m on deadline day looks more of a masterstroke with every passing game and every defining contribution from the Netherlands international.

Aston Villa were without Ashley Young because of a knee injury, while the visitors were able to recall Van der Vaart, out since going off early against Liverpool at White Hart Lane in November. And the Dutchman played a decisive part in a pulsating first 45 minutes that ended with Redknapp’s men holding an advantage their greater composure and cutting edge just about deserved.

In a flurry of activity in the opening moments, Gomes saved well from Albrighton’s deflected shot, while Villa keeper Brad Friedel rushed from his line to defy Defoe as he raced clear into the area.

The home side then had strong penalty appeals rejected as Emile Heskey clashed with Gomes in a tussle for possession, referee Atkinson ruling that the Spurs keeper had just got a touch to the loose ball before there was any contact between the pair.

Redknapp’s men then believed they were the victims of injustice when Younes Kaboul turned in Hutton’s pass as the referee’s assistant ruled the ball had already gone out of play - but they did not have to wait long to take the lead.

Modric was the creator with a diagonal pass of the highest calibre that exposed the left side of Villa’s defence and when Hutton sent in his cross Van der Vaart side-footed a precise finish low past Friedel into the bottom corner.

Spurs were still celebrating taking the lead when Defoe was sent off for making contact with Collins in an aerial tussle. Defoe clearly felt there was no intent, but referee Atkinson did not hesitate to produce the red card.

Redknapp’s side did not seem adversely affected by having only 10 men and Wilson Palacios was only inches away from adding a second with a rising drive from the edge of the area, a crucial touch from Friedel going unnoticed by the officials.

Houllier was forced into a reshuffle before the interval when Heskey limped off to be replaced by Nathan Delfouneso. The Villa boss made another alteration at the start of the second half, introducing the experienced Stilyan Petrov, fit after injury, for Jonathan Hogg.

Once again the home side were not short of possession, but they were short of quality - a brutal reality emphasised when Spurs broke brilliantly to add a second after 67 minutes, started and finished by Van der Vaart.

He released the rampaging Bale with a neat flick and, as he drove deep into Villa territory to release Lennon, Van der Vaart arrived with perfect timing to steer low past Friedel once more with his left foot.

It was Van der Vaart’s final contribution as he was replaced by Peter Crouch, with Villa replacing the tiring Fabian Delph with veteran Robert Pires.

Pires was soon in the thick of the action when he was involved in an altercation with Redknapp on the sidelines following a foul on the Frenchman.

Albrighton’s fortunate goal gave Spurs some anxious moments in the closing stages, but they held on to show once more that they could be contenders for the long haul in the Premier League this season.