Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Aston Villa 1 Tottenham 1

Tottenham’s Champions League hopes were left hanging in the balance after they missed the opportunity to go third in the Premier League as the 10 men were forced to settle for a draw against an Aston Villa side who all but guaranteed their own survival.

Ciaran Clark had given Villa the lead via a deflected first-half opener and their cause was aided further still when Spurs were reduced to 10 men when Danny Rose was sent off for a controversial challenge on Alan Hutton.

Harry Redknapp’s team soon responded, though, via Emmanuel Adebayor’s penalty, yet they were unable to force a winner, meaning they remain a point adrift of North London rivals Arsenal in fourth spot going into next weekend’s final round of fixtures.

It was a chance missed for Spurs after the Gunners’ draw on Saturday and their Champions League fate remains up in the air with fifth-placed Newcastle still just a point behind, while Chelsea could yet snatch the final spot for Europe’s elite competition from them should they beat Bayern Munich in this season’s final.

Alex McLeish’s team, meanwhile, are three points clear of 18th-placed Bolton and have a 17-goal advantage over the Trotters, making them virtually safe.

McLeish’s line-up included midfielder Chris Herd, who was one of a trio of Villa players disciplined this week after their involvement in a nightclub fracas during the early hours of Tuesday morning which followed the club’s annual awards dinner.

A golden opportunity came Villa’s way when a wayward pass from Kyle Walker, the former Villa loan player, was intercepted by Stephen Ireland, who

sent Emile Heskey clean through, however the striker’s hesitation allowed Younes Kaboul the time to make a recovery tackle which referee Lee Probert deemed fair.

Although Villa lacked a cutting edge in the final third, their commitment could not be questioned and they rewarded with a fortuitous goal in the 35th minute.

N’Zogbia fed Clark 25 yards from goal and his strike took a wicked deflection off the shoulder of William Gallas and sailed beyond the reach of the wrong-footed Brad Friedel.

Controversy arrived within four minutes of the restart when Rose was dismissed for his lunge on Alan Hutton which left the Scotland international in agony, bringing a premature end to his game.

James Collins, another of the Villa players caught up in controversy alongside Herd, was introduced in his place, while Heskey was replaced for the fresh legs of Andreas Weimann.

Redknapp’s team continued to attack but Villa only had themselves to blame for the visitors’ 62nd-minute equaliser after Richard Dunne dived in unnecessarily on Sandro inside the penalty area, with Adebayor sending Given the wrong way with the resulting spot kick.

Both sides had chances to win it with Dunne heading an N’Zogbia corner wide, while Bale turned three Villa defenders inside out before firing at Given.

Villa could ultimately depart the happier with their point, although it did not stop under-pressure McLeish being a target for abuse from his own fans at the final whistle.

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