Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Adebayor fires Spurs into third

Emmanuel Adebayor (centre)
Emmanuel Adebayor (centre)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Chris Herd of Aston Villa tackles Rafael Van Der Vaart of Spurs during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on November 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Alan Hutton of Aston Villa goes in for the tackle on Gareth Bale of Spurs during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on November 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Manager Alex Mcleish of Aston Villa and Manager Harry Redknapp of Spurs give instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on November 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Manager Harry Redknapp of Spurs gives instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on November 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Chris Herd of Aston Villa fights for the ball with Luka Modric of Spurs during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on November 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp enjoyed his winning return to the dugout as Aston Villa were comfortably dispatched at White Hart Lane last night.

Spurs triumphed with Emmanuel Adebayor scoring both goals, as they celebrated Redknapp's return to the fold following a minor heart procedure.

And the manager said afterwards: “I enjoyed the way we played tonight, I think the fans enjoyed it as well — 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.”

While Adebayor made the decisive contributions, playmaker Luka Modric and defender Younes Kaboul's performances also caught the eye in a dominant Spurs display.

“Luka was fantastic; him and Scott Parker have been outstanding together,” Redknapp continued.

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

“I thought defensively we were very strong as well, Kaboul was looking the player I thought he could be tonight.”

Parker paid tribute to his returning manager, and said: “The manager has been absolutely superb, he's done wonders and it's a great lift to see him and pleasing to have him back.

“His guidance for us is key and I think that was evident tonight.”

Frustrated Villa boss Alex McLeish said: “We started well, both halves, we went right at Spurs and had a couple of chances.

“But we didn't retain the ball well enough, we didn't pass it well enough and the goals we lost were calamitous - we've got to defend better than that.

“We did have one or two opportunities — Gabby (Agbonlahor) had a wee chance in the second half and Parker made a great tackle.

“But they were different class, they've got great players, their speed, their athleticism — with that 11 they can be a match for anyone.”

Adebayor scored his fourth and fifth goals of the campaign in a hugely one-sided affair that should have seen the former Arsenal striker take home the match ball.

The former Arsenal striker, who had not scored in his previous six games, put Spurs ahead with a brilliant scissor kick in the 14th minute before he took advantage of a mix-up between Shay Given and James Collins to stab home from less than a yard for his second five minutes before half-time.

The on-loan player wasted two gilt-edged opportunities for his hat-trick, but his failure to bag a third didn’t spoil the big man’s happiness.

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