Premier League
Aston Villa0Tottenham2

Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

England's man of the moment Andros Townsend helped Tottenham bounce back from their shock home loss to West Ham United with a convincing win at Aston Villa.

Townsend, outstanding in England's victories against Montenegro and Poland that secured their place at next summer's World Cup in Brazil, broke the deadlock with a fortunate first-half goal as his cross floated beyond Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Sadly the goal was overshadowed by an ugly incident as referee's assistant David Bryan was struck by a smoking flare thrown by a celebrating Spurs fan - although he recovered to continue.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Confident deserved win - Villas-Boas

As Aston Villa struggled to make on impact on Spurs' defence, manager Paul Lambert called on fit-again striker Christian Benteke as a substitute for the last 30 minutes but it was to no avail.

Roberto Soldado wrapped up the three points that takes Andre Villas-Boas' side up to fifth place in the Premier League when he rounded off a sweet passing move with a clinical finish after 69 minutes.

There will, however, be focus on that incident in which the referee's assistant could have been more seriously hurt - with the Football Association sure to want further details of events in the aftermath of Townsend's goal.

In a largely undistinguished first half it was, almost inevitably, Townsend who made the first decisive contribution after 31 minutes with a goal that contained more than an element of good fortune as his whipped cross from the right flank eluded everyone, including Guzan, and crept in.

Townsend's first Premier League goal for Spurs was followed by the incident in which the smoke bomb, hurled from among the visiting fans, struck the referee's assistant on the back. He took a few moments to regain his composure after the understandable shock and was fortunately able to carry on.

Villa, who had lacked serious threat, apart from when Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had to turn away Ashley Westwood's free-kick, had another opportunity when Andreas Weimann fired a shot into the side-netting from the edge of the area.

Spurs ended the half on top and Guzan did well to turn away another Townsend effort - and repeated his heroics four minutes after the break from Paulinho.

Villa fans had been chanting for the introduction of Benteke from the opening moments of the second half and they got their wish on the hour when he replaced Libor Kozak.

And the powerful Belgian striker almost made his mark inside three minutes when he headed just over from Leandro Bacuna's cross.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Lambert 'happy with Villa progress'

It was Spurs, however, who had the quality to put the game out of Villa's reach with the slickest of goals that hinted at the quality in their squad.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

"It was pretty tight. We had chances and there wasn't much in it. In the second half we came out and played really well.

"I thought they scored against the run of play in the second half. We were playing really well, with confidence and the crowd were really up for it.

"Starting with Christian Benteke was a big ask because he has only trained a couple of days in a month. He got 30 minutes and that will have done him the world of good."

To see a photo album of the Aston Villa-Tottenham Hotspur match go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 7Bacuna
  • 14Luna
  • 15WestwoodBooked at 10mins
  • 4Vlaar
  • 2Baker
  • 8El AhmadiSubstituted forSyllaat 72'minutes
  • 16DelphBooked at 90mins
  • 27KozákSubstituted forBentekeat 61'minutes
  • 10Weimann
  • 11AgbonlahorBooked at 58minsSubstituted forTonevat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Helenius
  • 13Steer
  • 18Sylla
  • 20Benteke
  • 21Bowery
  • 24Tonev
  • 34Lowton

Tottenham

  • 25Lloris
  • 2WalkerBooked at 89mins
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 30Sandro
  • 20DawsonBooked at 52mins
  • 6Chiriches
  • 17Townsend
  • 8PaulinhoBooked at 38mins
  • 9SoldadoSubstituted forDefoeat 87'minutes
  • 14HoltbySubstituted forDembéléat 73'minutes
  • 22SigurdssonSubstituted forLennonat 66'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 7Lennon
  • 11Lamela
  • 16Naughton
  • 18Defoe
  • 19Dembélé
  • 23Eriksen
  • 24Friedel
Referee:
Phil Dowd
Attendance:
35,391

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamTottenham
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home15
Away13
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.
Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

Booking

Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur).
Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fabian Delph (Aston Villa).
Attempt blocked. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Antonio Luna with a cross.
Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

Booking

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Jermain Defoe replaces Roberto Soldado.
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andreas Weimann.
Attempt missed. Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Andros Townsend.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Ashley Westwood.
Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).
Attempt missed. Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal8611919
2Chelsea8521917
3Liverpool8521617
4Man City85121116
5Tottenham8512316
6Southampton8431515
7Everton8431215
8Man Utd8323111
9Hull8323-211
10Newcastle8323-311
11Swansea8314110
12West Brom8242110
13Aston Villa8314-110
14West Ham822408
15Stoke8224-38
16Cardiff8224-58
17Fulham7214-47
18Norwich8215-77
19Crystal Palace7106-83
20Sunderland8017-151
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you:

For more ideas, information and inspiration, visit bbc.co.uk/getinspired