It was a happy return to White Hart Lane for Tim Sherwood as Aston Villa ground out 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday to keep their hopes of retaining their English Premier League status intact. Goal scoring opportunities were few and far between in the early stages as both teams were guilty of sloppy passing in the final third. Nonetheless it was the hosts who threatened first from a corner in the 26th minute as Federico Fazio found himself unmarked in the box but he couldn’t keep his header down.
Brad Guzan made his first save of the match as he kept out a shot from Danny Rose as the home team began to mount sustained pressure on Villa’s goal. However it was the visitors who opened the scoring through Christian Benteke as he rose highest to head in Leandro Bacuna’s cross to give Tim Sherwood’s men the lead in the 35th minute. Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen had decent opportunities to level matters for Spurs but neither could apply the finish required.
Gabriel Agbonlahor had a great chance in first half added on time to double the visitors’ lead but his shot hit the post as Spurs were fortunate to go into the break only a goal down. Mauricio Pochettino’s men had the lion’s share possession but hardly threatened the Villa goal in the second half, with their best chance coming in the 59th minute as Kane created space for himself in the box but his curling effort went over the bar. Villa always looked dangerous on the counter and substitute Andy Weimann had a good chance to score in the 84th minute but his tame shot was easily collected by Michel Vorm.
Vorm was at hand again to save Fabian Delph’s shot a minute later to keep Spurs in the match. A late sending off for Carlos Sanchez deep in added time proved insignificant as Sherwood’s charges held on to secure the win.