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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tottenham slump to home defeat against Villa

Tottenham slump to home defeat against Villa

September 16, 2008 10:54 IST

Aston Villa kept Tottenham Hotspur bottom of the Premier League on Monday with a deserved 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane.

Villa scored after five minutes through Nigel Reo-Coker and again early in the second half when Ashley Young's shot squirmed under Tottenham's Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Darren Bent deflected in a consolation late on for Tottenham who gave a debut to Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, one of several big-money signings in the summer transfer window.

Tottenham applied some late pressure but Villa could have added to their lead on the break with substitute Marlon Harewood denied by a goal line clearance.

Defeat for Tottenham means they have made their worst start to a season for 34 years, having picked up just one point from their first four games. Villa moved up to fourth spot with seven points from four games.

"We were exceptional tonight and a delight to watch when we play like that," Villa manager Martin O'Neil told Setanta Sports.

"I was a little bit on edge when they got back to 2-1 because we threw away a substantial lead here last year."

Tottenham, who came back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with Villa last season, made a sluggish start and went behind when Gabriel Agbonlahor was allowed to cross from the left and the ball reached the unmarked Reo-Coker who side-footed past Gomes.

The Brazilian keeper was forced into action to keep his side in the game but the former PSV Eindhoven stopper was badly at fault after 54 minutes when Young's well-struck shot went through his grasp and into the net.

There were few signs of a Tottenham revival although second half substitute Giovanni dos Santos did look lively.

Bent, who wasted one good chance to score, gave Tottenham a glimmer of hope when Jermaine Jenas's shot hit his knee and flew into the net past Villa's American keeper Brad Friedel.

To add to Tottenham's problems Croatian midfielder Luka Modric limped off injured in the first half.

Martyn Herman
Source:
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