Tottenham booked their placement in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup after beating Aston Villa away 4-0 thanks to goals from Jermain Defoe (x2), Paulinho and Nacer Chadli – his first for the club.
Tottenham began the half on the front foot. They won possession almost instantly and looked to dominate the opening stages. They did however find it difficult to break down a very condensed midfield. Sandro saw lots of the ball as did our back-four. It was an opening few minutes of constant passing between Chiriches and Vertonghen with little heading forward. El Ahamadi proved to be quite the nuisance as he continued to foul but evaded punishment. Albrighton carried the biggest threat from their perspective.
Erik Lamela looked very good in the first half. He saw lots of the ball and even managed a scoop in the path of Harry Kane however his shot was well blocked by Vlaar whom came sliding to Villa’s rescue. Harry Kane proved to be effective despite his unfamiliar left wing position including when he cut in from the flank to do a neat one-two with Lewis Holtby (at full stretch) but his ball to Defoe was just nicked away from him. Lamela had a chance after 15 minutes to put us ahead however his 25 yard strike curled wide. Brad Friedel managed to keep Albrighton from finishing his dynamic across goal shot with a fine save just after Sandro burst his way into Paul Lambert’s boys’ box but his ball to Jermain was blazed over.
Kyle Walker gave Spurs fans a fright as he went done after 18 minutes, after a bit of consultation with the medical staff he did return to the pitch to save AVB from an increasingly large injury list. Almost immediately after he ran off the injury with a slick nutmeg and run to set up Jermain Defoe in the box but his shot was well saved despite its dangerous nature. Sandro looked up for a fight as he continued to impress, his exchanged with El Ahamadi left the Brazilian no choice but to give him a swift knock when challenging for the ball. Two offsides were shown to JD and then Lamela whom had little platform to vent his frustration due to his little English knowledge.
The first half ended on a night note however. Lewis Holtby found himself on the edge of the area to scoop a stupendous effort over the back line to Jermain Defoe who headed home to make it 1-0 to the Visitors. This was much needed before the break as Spurs had worked too hard for their lead.
Paulinho doubled the lead not long after the interval. Lewis Holtby whipped in a stunning corner to which Paulinho karate chopped at and smashed it into the net. This was Paulinho’s second goal in three days. The Spurs boss was delighted and looked to be readying his subs not long after the Brazilian doubled the lead. Paulinho tried to add to his tally minutes later with an effort from 25 yards blazing over the Villa crossbar. Harry Kane showed his capability with some sparkling runs down the left flank. He intercepted a marvellous ball to spark some good passing play from Holtby.
Nacer Chadli returned from his injury to be brought on with 20 minutes remaining. He made an instant impact with some skilful touches on the left and some decent crosses as well. Villa however retaliated. They came at Tottenham with everything they had and continued to push into our area. Friedel was forced to keep out a long range effort from Tonev and made sure of his clean sheet. Chadli’s impact was complete just minutes towards the end. He intercepted a weighted pass from Jermain Defoe and broke into the box to smash a decent effort past the keeper and make it 3-0 to Spurs whilst securing his first for the club since joining in the summer.
With two minutes added the home crowd began to empty. However, they missed Spurs’ final effort. Lewis Holtby patiently weighted a pass to Jermain Defoe whom slipped round the keeper to make it 4-0 and secure his second of the night. The Holtby – Defoe partnership proving effective throughout our cup games this season. The game finished with little injury concern and a smiley little AVB rounded off proceedings.
Friedel – 9/10 – Some good saves and a clean sheet.
Walker – 9/10 – Battled through injury to play very well indeed.
Chiriches – 7/10 – A decent attacking debut and cautious defending.
Vertonghen – 8/10 – Escaped a penalty incident and made the moment of the night.
Fryers – 6/10 – A learning curve for the youngster.
Sandro – 9/10 – The Beast is completely back.
Holtby – 9/10 – Three more assists for the German.
Lamela – 8/10 – Still getting to grips but a decent 90 minutes.
Kane – 8/10 – Enjoyable performance from young Harry
Paulinho – 9/10 – Another fabulous goal
Defoe – 10/10 – Does AVB have some thinking to do?
MOTM – Sandro. What a performance, he is fully back to his best on a night which saw him absolutely everywhere.
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