Jermain Defoe maintained his season’s record of two goals per game as Tottenham hit four against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup. Defoe is now 5th on Spurs’ all-time goalscoring list with 138 goals.
Aston Villa 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4
Scorers: Defoe (2), Paulinho, Chadli
Team: Friedel; Walker (Dawson), Vertonghen, Chiriches, Fryers; Paulinho (Dembele), Sandro; Lamela, Holtby, Kane (Chadli); Defoe
Subs: (unused) Gomes, Soldado, Naughton, Townsend
A headed goal by Jermain Defoe on the stroke of half-time put Spurs ahead in a match which had gone from end to end but had been rather scrappy as would be expected from two sides much changed from last weekend’s games. An early goal in the second half from Paulinho put Spurs in control and they added two late goals from Nacer Chadli and Defoe.
Andre Villas-Boas made eight changes from the team which started against Cardiff – with only Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho retained against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup tie. Vlad Chiriches started his first game beside Vertonghen with Zeki Fryers also making his debut at left back. Sandro came into central midfield and the three substitutes on Sunday, Lewis Holtby, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane started across midfield. Jermain Defoe had recovered from injury to play. AVB has a strong bench which included Nacer Chadli after being out with injury and Heurelho Gomes.
In spite of the many changes, it was a strong team that Spurs put out while Villa were badly hit by injuries in what was virtually a reserve side although included a number of players with Premier League experience and Kozak who scored Villa’s winner at Norwich shortly after replacing the injured Christian Benteke.
The match started at a lively pace from both sides and an early run and shot from Villa went wide. Spurs responded when Lamela played the ball forward to Kane but he delayed his strike and the ball was cleared. Albrighton troubled Fryers but the young left back recovered to clear. For the opening fifteen minutes neither side really threatened although a good run and pass from Lamela to Kane to Holtby ended with Defoe’s shot blocked.
Lamela went forward and linked with Kane but on getting a return pass, he shot wide. Sandro worked hard all round the pitch and on a forward run he linked with Defoe whose shot was blocked as the Brazilain waited for a return pass.
On 15 minutes Friedel who was captaining the Spurs side against his former team, made a good save low to his left as Villa broke after a mistake from Spurs. In the early stages Tottenham played the ball longer than usual but Villa were able to defend it easily – it was when Spurs ran with the ball that they troubled Villa.
Walker who had looked as if he was injured recovered to go on a run and from his link up with Defoe, Fryers and back to the striker, the goalkeeper made a good save to deny Defoe. The young goalkeeper was relieved later when his clearance which Defoe closed down went over the bar to save his blushes.
Holtby and Sandro were hard-working in midfield and there was good movement and inter-changing of position by all the midfield players. Kane won the ball on the left and cut in but shot past.
Spurs built up the pressure in the final ten minutes of the half, forcing Villa back. A good run by Lamela who linked with Holtby and took a return pass to bring a good save from the goalkeeper who touched the ball over. With three minutes to the interval Kane played in Defoe and his low shot was pushed wide by Jed Steer. A minute later, Defoe made no mistake when Paulinho laid the ball back to Holtby who chipped the ball over the defence to Defoe who deftly headed beyond Steer – his 138th Tottenham goal to put him 5th on Tottenham’s all-time goalscoring list.
At half-time Villa made two changes and one Helenius almost made Spurs pay when he got behind Vertonghen. As the defender ran back into the area he stumbled and as he fell he pulled the striker’s shorts but Helenius got in his shot with his shorts around his ankles, as play was waved on.
In the 49th minute, a Lamela free-kick deflected off the wall for a corner. Holtby took the kick which Paulinho got his foot to at the near post to double Spurs’ lead. There was a touch of good fortune to the goal as the ball had struck a defender and deflected onto Paulinho before going into the net.
The second goal more or less settled the match with Spurs controlling the game which continued to be competitive but no matter what Villa tried Spurs were comfortably in control. Paulinho received the ball from Defoe and had a shot held by the goalkeeper and then Kane had a good run but couldn’t get in a shot. A dangerous cross by Albrighton was well cleared by Walker and as Villa tried to get back into the game Spurs held firm. With 14 minutes to play, Friedel made a good save from a powerful shot from 35 yards as Villa made a last desperate attempt to get back into the game.
Spurs rebuffed their challenge and in the final minutes secured victory with two late goals. After 85 minutes, Defoe fed substitute Nacer Chadli in the box who beat the goalkeeper with a powerful shot at his near post and in the final minute of added time Defoe added the fourth.
Holtby won the ball in a challenge on the half-way line and fed Defoe who went one-on-one with the goalkeeper. With a striker’s touch he beat the keeper and put the ball in to the empty net – his 6th goal of the season and his 139th Tottenham goal.
Spurs played well, controlled the game, kept a clean sheet and took their goals well with Villa never really troubling them. It was a worthwhile workout for Spurs’ fringe players who have had limited opportunities so far this season.