An injury ravaged Aston Villa had to put out what was essentially a reserve side against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, and it showed. While Andre Villas-Boas also picked a heavily rotated squad, he had much more quality at his disposal and Spurs made the most of it, posting an emphatic 4-0 victory.
The first half was actually very uneventful for both sides, with almost nothing happening either way until the very end. Kyle Walker pulled up with what looked to be a muscle injury in the early going, but he was able to play on.
Jermain Defoe had a clear chance saved by Jed Steer in the 43rd minute, but made the most of another chance just before the break to send Spurs into halftime with a lead. Lewis Holtby provided the assist with a great chipped ball over the top of the defense that Defoe ran onto, then headed past Steer to put Spurs up 1-0.
Tottenham were well in control, though a bit shaky in the first half, but the second half was a different story. Nicklas Helenius came on as a substitute and was unlucky not to draw a penalty when Jan Vertonghen inadvertently pulled his pants down in the 47th minute, but from then until the end of the match, Spurs were well in control. Shortly after that incident, Paulinho doubled Spurs' lead with his second goal in as many games, poking in a corner kick to the near post from Holtby.
Nacer Chadli, who has been dealing with a nagging injury, came in as a sub and scored Spurs' third goal in the 86th minute. Defoe set him up with an impressive through ball and Chadli unleashed a strong shot to the near post that Steer couldn't keep out.
Spurs added insult to injury for Villa in stoppage time with a fourth goal, with Defoe completing a brace off an assist by Holtby. He was played clear in on goal off a counter and rounded Steer for a tap-in.
- Jermain Defoe is putting his money where his mouth is, y'all.
- Three assists for Lewis. Who the eff is Mesut Özil?
- Vlad Chiriches was really shaky on his debut. I'm sure he'll be fine, but he needs games.
- Zeki Fryers was surprisingly solid.
- Sandro had a bit of an iffy first half with a lot of giveaways, but was dominant in the second half.
- Erik Lamela's off the ball movement is great.
- Harry Kane looked like a deer in the headlights for me.