Harry Kane does it again as Spurs launch dramatic late comeback to beat 10-man Villa
18:01 02 November 2014
Nacer Chadli and Harry Kane struck late goals as Tottenham launched a dramatic late fightback to come from behind and beat 10-man Aston Villa in the Midlands.
Having lost to Manchester City and Newcastle in their previous league outings, Spurs seemed to be heading for a third successive top-flight defeat against a Villa side who had lost their last five games after Andreas Weimann gave the hosts a 16th-minute lead.
But Christian Benteke was sent off shortly after the hour-mark and Spurs struck twice late on to turn the match on its head.
Chadli arrived at the back post to equalise in the 84th minute and the man of the moment, substitute Kane, then scored a 90th-minute free kick, taking his tally to nine goals in 13 games for Tottenham this season and securing all three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s visitors.
A third successive league defeat would have left Spurs 15th in the table, three places and three points above the relegation zone. Instead, their unlikely win has lifted them to eighth – three points outside the top four.
There were two changes to the Spurs side that suffered a home defeat to Newcastle in their previous league game.
Kyle Naughton replaced Eric Dier at right-back after returning from an ankle injury in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup victory over Brighton, and Roberto Soldado came into the team in the No10 role at the expense of Erik Lamela, whose strong performances in the cup competitions have not been replicated in top-flight fixtures lately.
Kane was also on the bench as Pochettino continued with his policy of saving the 21-year-old for the club’s cup competitions and Thursday’s trip to face Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League.
Soldado had an early range-finder from 20 yards and Benteke headed wide at the other end in an open, end-to-end start to the game.
Spurs had a golden chance to take the lead as Ryan Mason won the ball in Villa’s half and crossed for Emmanuel Adebayor, who cushioned the ball down for Christian Eriksen. The Dane’s volley hit Chadli and ricocheted to Soldado, but he was unable to direct his reactionary header into the open goal.
It proved to be costly because Villa went very close as Charles N’Zogbia got in behind on the left and pulled the ball back for Benteke, who lashed a rising drive against the left angle of post and crossbar – and the hosts then took the lead.
Danny Rose clumsily allowed N’Zogbia to get away from him down Villa’s right side, and his low cross was converted by the sliding Weimann.
Spurs rallied and Chadli broke down the left before seeing his shot deflected wide of the near post with Brad Guzan wrong-footed, and Younes Kaboul – who had had a nervy start at the back – was unable to connect properly as he stabbed the ball goalward just a few yards out.
Soldado’s finishing let him down again as he lashed a first-time effort into the stands, but he then sent Adebayor through on goal, only for the Togo international to be denied with a fine save as Guzan got down to tip the ball round the post.
Villa went into the break in the lead but had a scare in the 52nd minute as Guzan fumbled Chadli’s low shot under pressure from Adebayor, who was unable to force the ball home.
The away fans had been calling for Kane’s introduction for much of the game and they got their wish just before the hour-mark.
The youngster quickly gave his side a lift, battling his way to the by-line and winning a corner before heading at Guzan from the ensuing set piece.
But Tottenham had a worrying moment soon after as Jan Vertonghen leapt into a challenge with Ashley Westwood. Players have been sent off for similar tackles and the Villa crowd bayed for a red card but referee Neil Swarbrick brandished a yellow.
Instead, it was the hosts who were reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute after an off-the-ball incident. Mason and Benteke put their heads together and Benteke pushed the midfielder’s face away, resulting in an ugly scuffle involving a large number of the players – and eventually a red card for Benteke.
It seemed for a long time that Spurs were going to be unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage, but the leveller came six minutes from time as Chadli arrived at the back post to score from a corner.
The Tottenham players rushed back to the halfway line to push for another and, although Villa nearly regained their lead on the break as Aly Cissokho shot wide from 25 yards, the visitors got the late winner they had been hoping for.
Substitute Andros Townsend won a free kick just outside the D and Kane stepped up to score, with his shot taking a deflection off the wall and leaving Guzan with no chance.
Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue (Townsend 72), Mason, Chadli, Eriksen (Lamela 45), Adebayor (Kane 58), Soldado
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