Andreas Weimann broke Aston Villa’s 5-match goal drought in the 16th minute, but Christian Benteke was sent off in the second half and the visitors grabbed two goals in the final six minutes to secure a huge three points.
The towering Villa striker was controversially given the straight red when a scuffle saw him push Ryan Mason in the face, causing referee Neil Swarbrick to go for his back pocket and reduce Villa to 10 men.
That gave Spurs a way back in, and Nacer Chadli leveled with six minutes to go before a Harry Kane free kick with a minute left in regulation secured the win for Spurs. It’s just the second in their last eight for Mauricio Pochettino, who celebrated enthusiastically on the go-ahead goal.
Benteke looked the most dangerous early on, and with Spurs committing incredible amounts of numbers forward, they struggled to deal with Benteke on his own on the other end.
The big Belgian used a bit of skill to nearly bag a worldly, but he clashed the top corner of the post.
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But the home side would bag the opener as Andreas Weimann cut home a Charles N’Zogbia cross and Spurs yet again conceded a soft goal with holes in defense. The goal was Aston Villa’s first in six matches, a drought which spanned 456 game minutes and 50 calendar days.
Spurs looked to be on their heels for much of the first half-hour, but had a big chance to equalize on the break. Emmanuel Adebayor was through on goal but Brad Guzan made an outstanding one-on-one save to deny the big Spurs striker. Guzan nearly made a deadly blunder as he spilled a shot by , but Adebayor couldn’t touch home the rebound under heavy pressure and the ball squirted out of play wide.
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Things got testy when Jan Vertonghen appeared to go clumsily into a challenge on 61 minutes, and while Aston Villa argued he should be sent off for a two-footed lunge, but he just receives yellow from referee Neil Swarbrick.
Unfortunately, the referee’s ability to control the players’ tempers failed, and failure to caution players throughout the match caused it to reach a boiling point. Benteke bodied Erik Lamela off the ball strongly on just after the half-hour mark, and a few vain attempts to retain possession angered the Spurs players. Ryan Mason butted into Benteke’s face, and the Belgian’s shove to his cheek eventually produced a red card.
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That card didn’t come before a massive scrum on the pitch, but despite plenty of contact between a number of players no other cards were produced.
Villa struggled to deal with tiring legs and the man disadvantage, and slowly Spurs broke them down. Nacer Chadli was the man to pull Spurs level on a corner in the 84th minute when the ball swung over the pack in the box and fell to Chadli at the far post who poked home with his left foot.
Spurs then pressed for the winner, and they got it from one of the Premier League’s most in-form strikers. Harry Kane lined up a free kick and poked home a cheeky chip with Brad Guzan missing the ball completely.
The win leaps Spurs all the way from 14th to 8th in the table, pushing them level with Liverpool on points, just one behind on goal differential. For Villa, their failure to hold onto the lead sees them wallow in 15th despite breaking the goal drought.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Cissokho (Bent 90′); Westwood, Cleverley, Sanchez, Weimann (Richardson 86′); N’Zogbia (Agbonlahor 74′), Benteke.
Goals: Weimann 16′
Tottenham: Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose; Capoue (Townsend 72′), Chadli, Eriksen (Lamela 46′), Mason; Adebayor (Kane 58′), Soldado.
Goals: Chadli 84′, Kane 89′