x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Spurs win as Villa's poor form continues

Jermaine Jenas and Darren Bent deal another blow to Aston Villa's Champions League hopes as Tottenham chalk up their fourth away win of the season at Villa Park.

Jermaine Jenas and Darren Bent dealt another blow to Aston Villa's Champions League hopes as Tottenham chalked up their fourth away win of the season at Villa Park. Spurs, who climbed up to 11th in the Premier League, took the lead after only five minutes. Aaron Lennon crossed from the right and, after the Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel could only get one hand to the ball, Jermaine Jenas headed home.

After the visitors survived a long spell of Villa pressure, Tottenham should have gone further ahead before half-time but Friedel blocked a shot from Luka Modric. Emile Heskey almost equalised in first-half injury time, but his header hit the Spurs bar. After Friedel had blocked a low shot from Wilson Palacios in the 50th minute, Robbie Keane's angled follow up shot appeared be to going in but Darren Bent made sure by sliding in at the far post to push the ball over the line. The substitute John Carew hit back for Villa in the 85th minute, but Spurs held on to move into their highest position of the season.

"We've been battling all season and we've no reason to give it up," the Villa manager Martin O'Neill said. "We're still there. The players have done terrifically well. Now they've got to try and get over the disappointments that we've had in recent weeks and fight on until the end and I think we are capable of doing that." When manager Harry Redknapp replaced the fired Juande Ramos, Spurs were last in the standings with only two points. Now they are up to 11th and six points clear of the relegation zone.

"We're playing well," Redknapp said. "To come to Villa, which is one of the most difficult places to come, and win is superb." Arsenal beat Blackburn 4-0 Saturday to climb into fourth and are now ahead of Villa on goal difference. *AP