TOTTENHAM 2 vs ASTON VILLA 0
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp described watching his team as “the best medicine” after enjoying a winning return to the dugout following heart surgery.
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored both goals – his first since September – as Spurs overwhelmed Aston Villa and climbed to third in the Premier League.
“I love how we feel play football. That’s the best medicine for me,” said the 64-year-old. “We started well and got on top of them and really dominated the game. The doctor said not to go back for four or five weeks, but I didn’t take a lot of notice of him, so I turned up tonight. I feel good, better than I did before.”
It was a sixth consecutive home win for Spurs and an eighth victory in the last nine league games, forcing Redknapp to concede that a title challenge remained a possibility.
“It’s not impossible. When I came I said I wanted to get in the Champions League and we did that,” he added. “If we keep performing like we are at the moment we’d end up winning the league, but that’s going to be difficult.”
Villa boss Alex McLeish selected two full-backs in Carlos Cuellar and Alan Hutton to patrol the right flank and nullify Spurs winger Gareth Bale, but the tactic failed miserably as the Welshman raided relentlessly.
Adebayor, too, looked in the mood, and should have scored in the 11th minute when Aaron Lennon raced to the bye-line and crossed for the Togo striker, who miscued his header.
It was not long before he made amends, however, and ended his two-month goal drought, hooking in an acrobatic effort after Bale’s mis-hit shot sent the ball back into the danger zone in the 13th minute.
Spurs were rampant, Villa disorientated, and the inevitable second goal came in the 40th minute when Bale whipped in a cross which James Collins made a hash of clearing at the near post. Goalkeeper Shay Given was foxed and allowed Adebayor to tap his fifth of the season.
Adebayor should have completed his hat-trick after the break but slotted wide when clean through and was later unlucky to see his curling shot bend inches off target.