A late goal by Harry Kane earned three points for Tottenham Hotspur as they came from behind with less than 10 minutes remaining to beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.
Andreas Weimann had scored Villa's first goal in 547 minutes to put them in front in the first half and they looked set to end a run of five consecutive defeats by securing an elusive victory. The match changed 25 minutes from time, though, when Christian Benteke was shown a straight red card.
An unmarked Nacer Chadli converted an Erik Lamela corner from close range six minutes from time to draw Mauricio Pochettino's side level at Villa Park. Kane's deflected free-kick in the 90th minute rubbed salt into the Villa wounds as Spurs secured only their second victory in eight top-flight matches. It was Kane's ninth goal in 13 appearances across all competitions this season.
Charles N'Zogbia and Nathan Baker returned to Villa's starting line-up at the expense of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ciaran Clark. There were also two changes to the Spurs side beaten by Newcastle United last weekend, as Roberto Soldado and Kyle Naughton replaced Lamela and Eric Dier, who was ruled out due to illness.
Benteke could have put Villa in front after 10 minutes, but the Belgium striker stooped to head an inviting cross from Matt Lowton wide. Both sides looked dangerous going forward and Soldado failed to hit the target with a header from close range after Christian Eriksen's shot had deflected into his path.
The lively N'Zogbia cut the ball back for an unmarked Benteke, who took a touch before unleashing a venomous left-foot strike that rattled a post. But Spurs were unable to prevent Weimann from opening the scoring 16 minutes in.
N'Zogbia was the architect, as he surged into the penalty area from the right unchallenged and picked out the onrushing Austria forward, who slid over the slick turf to finish with his right foot from six yards out.
Younes Kaboul spurned a great chance to equalise six minutes later, failing to get a proper contact on the ball after it had dropped nicely for the defender inside the six-yard box. Villa looked vulnerable at the back and they were indebted to goalkeeper Brad Guzan for making a fine diving save to deny Emmanuel Adebayor after the Togo striker had raced clear.
Spurs were struggling to contain Benteke, who again came close to opening his account for the season when he rose above Kaboul but headed just wide three minutes before half-time.
Pochettino replaced Eriksen with Lamela at the break and the visitors came close again six minutes into the second half, when Adebayor was unable to bundle the ball home after Guzan had spilled a Chadli cross.
Kane also came on for Adebayor 12 minutes after the interval and made an immediate impact by forcing a save out of Guzan from a tight angle, then heading straight at the United States goalkeeper from the resulting corner.
Referee Neil Swarbrick brandished a red card 65 minutes in, though, as Benteke was punished for clashing with Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason.
As Villa Park started to get ready for an long-awaited win, Chadli prodded in the ball at the back post after he was left unmarked from a Lamela corner. Kane sealed a dramatic fightback when his free-kick deflected off Baker and gave the wrong-footed Guzan no chance.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "We were excellent and we should have won the game, they couldn't cope with Benteke and N'Zogbia was excellent. Even with 10 men we gave it everything we had.
"The red card had a massive impact on the game. We were in control and we never deserved to lose the game, but that's the way it goes. We'll stick with it and not let our heads go down."
Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino: "In football, if you have a good result you are a great manager, and if you lose you are a bad manager. Our philosophy will take time but it's important to take wins like today and we will believe more in our way of doing things.
"Harry Kane is an important player and it's true that with a performance like the last game or today, maybe he does deserve to play more in the League."
|07 Dec 2014||v Leicester (H)|
|13 Dec 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|29 Nov 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|08 Nov 2014||v West Ham (A)|
|20 Dec 2014||v Man Utd (H)|
|24 Nov 2014||v Southampton (H)|