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BOXING CLEVER

Posted on 26 December 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol felt we deserved to beat Aston Villa and was delighted to hand our fans a 'Boxing Day present' of three Premiership points at the Lane.

Martin Jol felt we deserved to beat Aston Villa and was delighted to hand our fans a 'Boxing Day present' of three Premiership points at the Lane.

Jermain Defoe did the business with two lethal finishes from Dimitar Berbatov assists after 57 and 77 minutes to put us in a healthy position at 2-0 up. However, Gareth Barry pulled a goal back with nine minutes left and there were a few scares before the final whistle, but we held on for a 2-1 success.

Defoe's double notched up his half-century of goals for us in 122 appearances while it was our 12th straight
win at home in all competitions in a current run of three defeats in the last 22 matches.

"Villa were organised and dangerous with two very quick players up front, that was a bit different because normally they play with a target man," reflected Martin at the Lane.

"I feel we handled the the pace of Baros and Agbonlahor and defensively we did well.

"In the first half we lacked a bit of support play but Steed Malbranque did that in the second half. The second half was a bit better.

"Having said that, we also had the initiative in the first half, so overall we deserved the points against a good Villa team who do well away from home most of the time.

"At the end it was difficult, at 2-0 it looked perhaps easier than we thought, they then scored to make it 2-1 but luckily enough we held on to give everyone a Boxing Day present."