Aston Villa (Away)
Premier League

Tuesday 1st January 2008


With all the festivities and having to try and keep count with all the goals Spurs have been scoring, there hasn't been too much time for a preview.

Last time out it was 4-4 at the Lane, a draw at Villa the time before that, so I can't foresee too much more different this time and a point will be a good result for Tottenham, as Villa are in a  good run of form at the moment.

PREDICTION : -  Aston Villa  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


ASTON VILLA :  - (-);

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Anthony Gardner (ankle); Gareth Bale (foot); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Darren Bent (thigh); - (-); - (-); 


Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Tuesday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.10 - 23.20 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Aston Villa   2   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League
Venue : -  Villa Park
Tuesday 1st January 2008
Kick Off :  5.20 p.m.
Crowd :   41,609
Referee :  Steve Tanner (Somerset)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Holte End end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Chilly, damp in the air
Teams : - 
Aston Villa :

Unused subs: 
13 Taylor
  9 Harewood
16 Knight

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1 Robinson (c)

  4 Zokora     
  6 Kaboul (24 O'Hara 57)
20 Dawson      
  3 Lee

  8 Jenas
15 Malbranque     
17 Boateng (22 Huddlestone 46)
25 Lennon (10 Keane 54)

  9 Berbatov
18 Defoe

Unused subs: 
12 Cerny
19 Taarabt

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Aston Villa

Mellberg 41
Laursen 85

Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe 79

Cards : -  
Aston Villa




Tottenham Hotspur 

  (foul) 24
  (foul) 33
  (foul) 88


Match Report : -  
Goals four minutes from the end of each half gave Aston Villa the three points in this match at Villa Park, but once more it was Tottenham's lack of concentration at set-pieces that cost them the lack of return on a game they should have got a point out of.

While the home team created the better chances, Spurs controlled long sessions of the game with their passing, but it has to have some end product, otherwise it can lead to a goal against, as was proved here.

Spurs took to the field with a changed team from the one who scored six against Reading just four days before.  With Chimbonda sick and Ledley King being rested so that he isn't burned out, Michael Dawson returned alongside Younes Kaboul, while Didier Zokora came back in from suspension at right back to counter the pace of Ashley Young.  In attack, it was Jermain Defoe's turn to partner Dimitar Berbatov and Boateng replaced Huddlestone in the middle of the team.

There was a disjointed look about the side for a lot of the game, with the passing off target and the movement not as useful as it should have been.  Thus most of the chances fell to Villa in the first half especially.  Luke Moore took the ball on the turn on the edge of the six yard box, but struck his shot wide after just eight minutes.  As the Villains threw crosses into the box, Paul Robinson dealt with them well, opting to punch away rather than try to hold them.  Not all punches went as far as he might have liked, but there was a more determined effort to get to them in the first place and to get the punch right.

It was a little strange that rookie ref Tanner chose to book three Spurs players, while not cautioning one Villa player.  He pointed out that Dawson's second tackle was responsible for his booking, although I lost count of some of the fouls perpetrated by some of the Villa team.  I think he was attempting to establish his authority in the first third of the game and then forgot about his cards until near the end.

Having knocked in two goals in the first meeting this season, Martin Laursen popped up in the penalty area once more when a low ball into the near post by Petrov was scrambled away by the Tottenham defence.  He was about eight yards out and central in front of goal, halfway through the half, but could not keep his shot down and it somehow cleared the bar.

Tottenham's best opening came when Jenas produced a neat little chipped pass over the defence and Aaron Lennon's shoulder, but the ball ran off the glistening turf before the winger could reach it.  At the other end, Robinson had to be sharp off his line to thwart Moore running through, then plunged to his right to stop a low, skidding drive from Petrov. 

Having been denied of possession, when he had to run around the referee to get the ball, Kevin-Prince Boateng raced back to push Young over on the left wing.  It was an unnecessary free-kick to give away and the lack of history in defending such situations meant it would be a dangerous thing to do four minutes before half-time.  Young played a pacy ball in, Dawson lost Mellberg, as he tried to play him offside, then the ball was in the net from the Swede's head, as he had the easiest chance to score with an unchallenged header.

Spurs did hit back before the break, as an attack produced a free-kick of our own, with Jenas putting the ball into the area and without Chimbonda in the side, it was won by the defence, but hit a player and dropped right of the goal to Berbatov, who struck a first time shot and it slammed into Carson's chest without him having a chance to react.  As the whistle was poised to be blown, Agbonlahor raced away down the left and as he went into the box, Zokora, who had tracked him back, fell onto him and the ref only awarded a goal-kick.

As the teams re-emerged, Hud was lined up to take over from Boateng and within four minutes, he raced onto his own free-kick which had been cleared and he hit it with great power, but the direction did not match.  Ramos brought on Keane for Aaron Lennon, who had not received a lot of supply that was in the position that he wanted it.  A few minutes after, Spurs lost Kaboul with the injury he picked up in the first ten minutes of the match and O'Hara came on as the team had already swapped to a back three.

O'Hara managed to get on the end of a deep cross from Jenas and he hit the ball early, although it was Berbatov that stopped it when the ball hit him.  Meanwhile, Moore had a couple of chances which he hit wide before he was subbed.  After 71 minutes, Keane burst into the box and he went down under challenge from Bouma, but the referee failed to signal for a spot-kick.  The game moved on and Steed Malbranque tried to curl one in, but missed.

Then Tottenham scored out of nothing.  An attack across the box by Keane was forced out to Dawson, who lifted the ball into Defoe, but he was never going to win a header.  It was headed out and Berbatov reacted to get a head to it and knock it back into the danger area, where Defoe threw himself into the air to scissors-kick it past Carson, who stood no chance and didn't move.

The equaliser came in a period when Spurs were passing the ball around neatly and Villa looked to sit back and try to defend what they already had.  Now things had to change.

Villa made on last effort to go forward and the ball came off Zokora for a corner.  It was like watching a film in slow-motion, as you just knew what was going to happen.  At previous set-pieces, O'Hara was now being left to pick up Laursen and from this corner it was his man who ran off him and was left with nobody to put him off as he jumped to head past Robinson from a coupe of yards out.  It was just like Ingimarsson's goal on Saturday and Tottenham will need to put this right quickly otherwise, any good work done at the other end of the pitch will be completely wasted.

There was no real opportunity to get back into the match and Villa took the three points, when perhaps a fairer result might have been a share of them.  It is annoying that we have been so slack at marking from free-kicks and corners, as the goals we have conceded have cost us enough points to be in the top six, where Villa currently reside.

Maybe the whole Berbatov situation will be resolved with him being sold to shore up the back line.  Perhaps things will be better of King can play regularly.  Perhaps things will get batter if we can get the same four defenders out week in week out.

But the lack of concentration at the most basic level is costing us.  Just get goal-side of your man and run with him.  It's taught to kids when they start playing the game.

If things don't change, we will be into another Ossie Ardiles like reign.





Reaction : -



Read Wyart Lane's take on the Villa match by clicking here.






Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 2 West Ham United 0 Tuesday
Fulham 1 Chelsea 2 Tuesday
Middlesbrough 0 Everton 2 Tuesday
Manchester United 1 Birmingham City 0 Tuesday
Reading 0 Portsmouth 2 Tuesday
Blackburn Rovers 1 Sunderland 0 Wednesday
Bolton Wanderers 1 Derby County 0 Wednesday
Liverpool 1 Wigan Athletic 1 Wednesday
Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 2 Wednesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 21 15 5 1 42 16 50 +26
2 Manchester United 21 15 3 3 38 11 48 +28
3 Chelsea 21 13 5 3 33 16 44 +17
4 Liverpool 20 10 8 2 34 13 38 +21
5 Everton 21 11 3 7 37 22 36 +16
6 Manchester City 21 11 6 4 29 22 39 +7
7 Aston Villa 21 10 6 5 37 27 36 +10
8 Portsmouth 21 9 7 5 31 20 34 +11
9 Blackburn Rovers 21 9 6 6 28 28 33 0
10 West Ham United 20 8 5 7 25 19 29 +6
11 Newcastle United 21 7 5 9 27 33 26 -7
12 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 21 6 6 9 42 38 24 +4
13 Reading 21 6 4 11 29 44 22 -15
14 Bolton Wanderers 21 5 5 11 23 32 20 -9
15 Middlesbrough 21 5 5 11 18 35 20 -17
16 Birmingham City 21 5 4 12 22 32 19 -10
17 Wigan Athletic 21 4 5 13 21 37 17 -16
18 Sunderland 21 4 5 12 20 40 17 -20
19 Fulham 21 2 9 10 22 36 15 -14
20 Derby County 21 1 4 16 10 46 7 -36


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