December 10 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent, at Villa Park
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Capital One Cup third round: Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 4
Tottenham provided further evidence of the strength of their squad as a much-changed team triumphed 4-0 at Villa Park in the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Andre Villas-Boas had expressed his dismay that Spurs were required to play this cup tie just two days after Sunday’s trip to Cardiff, increasing the risk of injuries, and he consequently made eight changes to his side.
However, there was no detrimental effect to Spurs’ run of results, and Jermain Defoe scored his fifth and sixth goals in six games while Paulinho netted his third of the campaign before substitute Nacer Chadli opened his account for the club.
Those efforts were combined with an eighth clean sheet from nine games this season as the Lilywhites defied their hectic fixture schedule to emerge victorious for the third time in six days and extend their winning run to four games in all competitions.
Brad Friedel came into the team to face his former club, while Vlad Chiriches made his debut and left-back Zeki Fryers was given his first start.
Sandro lined up with his countryman Paulinho in the centre of midfield, with Harry Kane on the left and Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela also supporting the frontman Defoe.
Chiriches made a nervy start, launching a crossfield ball that was intercepted inside his own half, and Fryers then brought down Marc Albrighton.
Chiriches tossed the ball away again moments later with an over-ambitious long ball – but Spurs created a good early chance as Lamela chipped the ball over the defence for Kane, whose shot was well blocked by Ron Vlaar.
Lamela was soon threatening again, dancing through the middle and finding Kane but then watching as the 20-year-old, Defoe and Holtby got in each other’s way on the edge of the box.
The Argentine then took matters into his own hands, finding some space on the edge of the box and curling a left-footed effort wide.
However, Villa then created a good opening of their own as Albrighton burst through into the box and unleashed a low strike, with Friedel getting down to make a fine save.
Soon it was Villa keeper Jed Steer’s turn to earn his money as he palmed away Defoe’s powerful left-footed drive – but he then escaped a heart-stopping moment as Defoe charged down his clearance, with the ball rebounding just over the bar.
The game then entered a messy period, with both sides struggling to keep possession, but Lamela nearly produced a moment of magic in the 39th minute, bursting through the middle, playing a neat one-two with Holtby and then being denied by an excellent reaction save from Steer.
Kane then drifted infield from the left flank and fed a neat ball through to Defoe, who attempted to place his low finish into the bottom corner but was frustrated by Steer.
The forward was not to be denied for long though and, as the clock ticked into injury-time, Holtby chipped over the top of the defence for Defoe, who raced into no-man’s land in front of the Villa keeper, beat him to the ball and nodded home.
There was a frenetic start to the second half and Villa nearly scored within moments of the restart as Nicklas Helenius latched onto a long ball and got in behind Vertonghen, who fell over and, hilariously, reached out to pull his opponent‘s shorts down to his knees, resulting in a shot that was skied over the bar.
It was an incredible moment, but Villa boss Paul Lambert failed to see the funny side on the touch-line, incredulously questioning why referee Jonathan Moss had declined to award a penalty – and Tottenham compounded their hosts’ frustration by immediately doubling their lead.
Lamela’s free-kick hit the wall and span just beyond the far post and, when Holtby sent the ensuing set piece into the box, Paulinho arrived at the near post and scored with an improvised karate kick.
Paulinho tested Steer again with a 25-yard strike shortly afterwards, but there was little to trouble either goalkeeper in the ensuing 25 minutes and Villas-Boas turned his attention to his bench, introducing Mousa Dembele, Chadli and Michael Dawson in place of Paulinho, Kane and Kyle Walker.
Friedel was eventually forced into action to defend Aleksandar Tonev’s stinging 25-yard strike, but Tottenham finished with a flourish, scoring twice in the dying minutes.
In the 86th minute Defoe slid the ball through to Chadli, who unleashed a low drive from the left channel of the box and saw his effort beat Steer at the near post.
Then, in injury-time, Holtby won the ball in the midfield and played a perfect through ball to Defoe, who rounded Steer and tapped into the empty net.
Villas-Boas will happily reflect that his side have now scored 10 goals without reply since the international break as they prepare for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea on Saturday.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker (Dawson 80), Vertonghen, Chiriches, Fryers, Paulinho (Dembele 64), Sandro, Lamela, Holtby, Kane (Chadli 74), Defoe
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs