Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa

By Arindam RejBBC Sport
Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor's overhead kick gave Tottenham an early lead as they dominated

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in the first half as Tottenham Hotspur brushed aside Aston Villa to climb to third in the Premier League on manager Harry Redknapp's return after heart surgery.

Adebayor's first came from an overhead kick following Gareth Bale's delivery after Villa failed to clear a corner.

The striker made it 2-0, bundling in after a left-sided cross from Bale.

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The Togo forward came close to a hat-trick in the second half, shooting wide twice and having a low effort saved.

The result was just reward for a Tottenham team who were dominant in every area and never looked in danger of allowing their opponents back into the game after taking an early lead.

Villa gave their hosts too much of the ball and were punished, meaning they remain without an away victory this season ahead of a difficult run of fixtures.

The Midlands side face games against Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea before the end of the year.

Villa boss Alex McLeish fielded two right-backs - Carlos Cuellar in a familiar role and Alan Hutton just ahead of him - in an attempt to quell the threat of Bale on Spurs' left, but the home side were soon in control and should have scored in the 11th minute.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto's superb pass picked out Aaron Lennon, who chipped a cross towards Adebayor. The striker produced a poor header though, steering wide from eight yards.

Adebayor's chance to make amends came quickly and he took it. Younes Kaboul had a 20-yard effort deflected wide, leading to a corner that ended in his goal.

Rafael van der Vaart took the kick, which Stephen Warnock headed out. Bale knocked the ball back into the penalty area, where Adebayor finished with an acrobatic, overhead bicycle kick.

Impressive Dutchman Van der Vaart carried on troubling Villa, striking a fierce angled shot into the side-netting and producing an audacious chip as the home team kept pressing after their opener.

A second Spurs goal seemed inevitable and Bale provided it. He tormented Cuellar then swung in a cross that Villa's defence failed to cut out. That allowed Adebayor to nudge home to consolidate Spurs' lead five minutes before the break.

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Villa made a better start to the second half, though, with Chris Herd crossing for Darren Bent, who headed at Brad Friedel. That was a rare moment of bother for Spurs, who soon took a grip on proceedings once more.

Adebayor had the first of his hat-trick chances after pouncing on a pass from the highly influential Luka Modric, but he shot wide from 18 yards when one-on-one with Shay Given.

After Kyle Walker fired wide in the 58th minute, Adebayor had another chance but he curled wide from 18 yards after Bale had again teed him up.

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker was once more denied his hat-trick when his 77th-minute effort, during a goalmouth scramble, was smothered by Given, but he and his team-mates were rightly satisfied with their evening's work.

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