English Premiership

Adebayor sends Spurs to third

2011-11-22 07:01
Emmanuel Adebayor (AFP)
London - A double by Togolese international striker Emmanuel Adebayor handed Spurs a deserved 2-0 win over Aston Villa here on Monday and lifted them up to third place in the Premier League.

Adebayor - on loan from Manchester City - struck in the 14th and 40th minutes to give manager Harry Redknapp a pleasant return to the dugout after recovering from minor heart surgery.

Spurs went above Newcastle on goal difference and trail Manchester City by nine points and Manchester United by four, though, the London club have a game in hand.

There was little fuss when Redknapp took his seat on the bench just before kick-off.

He had missed the Europa League defeat to Rubin Kazan and the win over Fulham just before the international break when they extended their unbeaten run in the league to eight matches.

"I enjoyed the way we played tonight, I think the fans enjoyed it as well," said Redknapp.

"They've seen lots of great teams over the years and they're enjoying the way this team's playing.

"It's great to be back tonight - I wouldn't want to watch it at home again, that was nerve-wracking."

Redknapp was especially complimentary about Croatian playmaker Luka Modric, who has returned to his best form after a troubled start to the season when he appeared distracted by Chelsea making several multi-million pound bids which were all rejected.

"Luka was fantastic, he and Scott Parker have been outstanding together," Redknapp said.

"I love Luka, I love the way he plays his football and he's an absolutely top-class fella."

Adebayor - who took his total haul for the season to five in the Premier League - scored with a superb overhead kick and then a close range effort, both times being set up by Welsh star Gareth Bale.

Ex-Spurs striker Darren Bent had a header saved early in the first half, but it hardly broke the momentum of the hosts.

Bale was rampant throughout making a mockery of Villa manager Alex McLeish's decision to start with two right backs - including former Spurs defender Alan Hutton - to try and neutralise the Welshman.

Adebayor - who was sent out on loan to Real Madrid last season as he fell down the pecking order at City - could easily have had a hat-trick.

However, he spurned the three second-half chances that fell his way and also had a strike disallowed for offside.

A nice curling effort from the edge of the box drifting just wide, while 12 minutes from the end Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, who had earlier come off best in a one on one, dived bravely at his feet.

Spurs could have had a hatful as Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart went close with a chip and a shot from a tight angle went into the side netting.

Kyle Walker, who was on loan at Villa last season, also went close when his drive from 25 yards went just wide.

Brad Friedel, who left Villa at the end of the last campaign, went largely untroubled and the visitors never looked likely to win their first away match in the league this season.

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