For a team seemingly sent out to defend, Aston Villa were alarmingly fragile at the back, especially when faced with Gareth Bale. It was his cross in the 40th minute that caused a mix-up, with James Collins allowing Emmanuel Adebayor to tap in the second.

It was a bad night for a few of our players; they know they owe me and the fans a performance in the next game. We can't concede goals like that and expect to do well in the Premier League.

On a night of several outstanding Tottenham performers – Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Adebayor, Younes Kaboul – it was Bale who shone brightest. The highlight of his evening was a burst through the middle that showcased his strength and balance as much as it did his searing pace. The current PFA player of the year may not quite be at the heights he hit early last season, when he terrorised Inter Milan, but he is not far off.