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Villa heap more misery on winless Spurs

SoccerNews in English Premier League 15 Sep 2008

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Spurs problems deepened further on Monday as they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa to leave them bottom of the Premiership with just a point after four matches.

Goals by Nigel Reo-Coker – his first for the club in the Premiership and first in almost two years since scoring for West Ham against Manchester United – and Ashley Young were enough to see Aston Villa climb to fourth in the table as they recorded their first win at White Hart Lane in nine visits.

Darren Bent grabbed a consolation goal four minutes before the end.

Villa snatched an early lead as Reo-Coker shot home after fine work by Gabriel Agbonlahor who turned Spurs Croatian debutant fullback Vedran Corluka inside out.

His pass into the box was stepped over by John Carew and Reo-Coker who had escaped from his marker Gareth Bale had no problem putting the ball beyond Spurs 'keeper Gomes.

Spurs almost got back on level terms immediately as Luka Modric went on a mazy run but his shot was saved by Brad Friedel.

However, the hosts were fortunate not to go 2-0 down after 20 minutes as Reo-Coker whipped in a cross and Gareth Barry beat both Spurs central defenders to the ball, only for Gomes to claw it away just off the line.

The Brazilian was at it again a couple of minutes later when he turned away Agbonlahor's nearpost header after his punch from a corner had been returned into the box by Nicky Shorey.

Spurs settled down as the half progressed and Friedel was forced into a save with 10 minutes remaining of the period as Tom Huddlestone fired one in from outside the box.

Spurs manager Juande Ramos added a bit more attacking flair in the second-half by bringing on David Bentley for defensive midfielder Didier Zokora to try and spark some life into the hosts.

Friedel was brought into action two minutes into the second-half as he saved from a Darren Bent header, after good work down the left flank by Aaron Lennon.

The American goalkeeper had to produce another fine save shortly afterwards as Lennon let fly from the right, Friedel tipping the ball over the bar.

However, Spurs bright start to the half came to nothing as Young scored with a long range effort in the 54th minute.

Spurs were given some hope when Bent struck from inside the box after being set up by Jermaine Jenas.

However, it was Villa who came closest to adding to the score when substitute Marlon Harewood had a shot cleared off the line by Bale.

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