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Report: Spurs 2-1 Villa

Posted on 24 November 2003  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Two goals in three minutes turned Sunday's clash against Villa on its head as we got back on the winning trail at the Lane.

Substitute Rohan Ricketts and Robbie Keane struck after 77 and 80 minutes to cancel out Marcus Allback's opener after 66 minutes.

They were goals fitting of the three points as well, Ricketts a low drive through a crowded box into the corner and typical Keane trickery to lose Ronny Johnsen before drilling his shot home.

The game was always better than the stalemate many had predicted and few could argue that we deserved at least one point for our endeavours.

Our best opportunity of the first half fell to Helder Postiga in the third minute. Keane delightfully diverted Darren Anderton's pass into Postiga's run only for J-Lloyd Samuel to get back just in time.

Stephane Dalmat, impressive in the opening 45 minutes, and Anderton were off the mark after 10 and 16 minutes and at the other end Darius Vassell, his pace always a threat, almost capitalised on Dean Richards' slip but Stephen Carr was back to block.

Thomas Hitzlsperger was a whisker away after 32 minutes after Allback controlled and laid back Gareth Barry's cross.

We finished the stronger though as Keane fed Postiga only for Olof Mellberg to block and, a minute before the whistle, Mauricio Taricco's 30-yarder superbly tipped away at full stretch by Thomas Sorensen.

It was even at the start of the second half but Villa might have gone ahead when Vassell made a complete hash of Mark Delaney's cutback after 52 minutes - two minutes later they broke through.

It was a simple goal - Whittingham clipped in a cross from the left that Allback headed back over Keller and home, 64 minutes on the clock.

To the lads credit, the found another gear. We should have levelled after 71 minutes when King set Taricco clear but the full-back opted to square for Keane, overhit the pass and Postiga eventually volleyed from Keane's pull back.

The equaliser came with 13 minutes left. Keane found Ricketts on the left corner of the box, he left Samuel on the floor and his low drive found its way through a crowd of players into the bottom corner.

Then Keane's moment of magic. Nothing looked on when he received Dalmat's pass but in a second he'd turned away from Johnsen and buried his shot low onto the bottom corner.

There was still time for a scare as Carr misskicked his clearance towards the top corner but Keller was there to claw the ball away.

MINUTE BY MINUTE

1min: First shot at goal, Hitzlsperger dribbler 10 yards wide.

3mins: Delightful flick from Keane released Postiga but Samuel did just enough to knock him out of his stride, shot flashed wide.

10mins: Dalmat rasper after good work from Postiga but always going over.

16mins: Decent move and measured cross from Konchesky to Anderton who headed high and wide.

28mins: Richards slip almost let in Vassell, Carr back to block shot from 15 yards.

32mins: Early Barry cross controlled by Allback and set up for Hitzlsperger to shoot - ball zipped inches wide.

36mins: Keane shot on the turn no danger to Sorensen.

38mins: YELLOW. Hendrie for kicking the ball away.

43mins: Konchesky fine pass to Keane, slipped ball to Postiga but Mellberg there for huge block.

44mins: SAVE. Taricco cracker from 30 yards but Sorensen at full stretch to fingertip ball wide.

Half-time: Spurs 0-0 Villa

49mins: Threat as Allback got onto Vassell's low cross but Richards there to cover.

50mins: Keane drilled in cross but Postiga never going to make it.

52mins: Samuel tricked away from Carr and Dalmat, Allback missed attempted back-heel to cross, might have done better.

57mins: SUB. Ricketts for Konchesky.

64mins: CHANCE. Delaney break into the box, cutback to Vassell who made a complete hash of it from 10 yards.

65mins: Brilliant King block to deny Hitzlsperger.

66mins: GOAL. Whittingham cross met by Allback looping header over Keller. 0-1.

71mins: CHANCE/MISS. Taricco onto King dink, chose to square to Keane, overhit pass, Keane clipped ball back into Postiga who volleyed wide.

72mins: Keller alive to big deflection from Barry's shot, flying save to right.

73mins: SUB. Zamora for Postiga.

77mins: GOAL. Keane into Ricketts, turn inside left Samuel on the floor, low shot through a crowd of players into the bottom corner. 1-1.

80mins: SUB: Dublin for Delaney.

80mins: GOAL. Keane received Dalmat's pass, turned on a sixpence away from Johnsen, drilled ball into corner. 2-1.

85mins: SAVE. Keller superb reactions to claw away Carr's attempted clearance heading for the top corner.

86mins: SUB. Moore for Hendrie.

Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Taricco, Gardner, Richards, King, Dalmat, Anderton, Konchesky (Ricketts, 57), Keane, Postiga (Zamora, 73). Subs: Burch, Doherty, Poyet.

Aston Villa: Sorensen, Delaney (Dublin, 80), Samuel, Mellberg, Johnsen, Barry, Hendrie (Moore, 86), Hitzlsperger, Whittingham, Vassell, Allback. Subs: Postma, Ridgewell, Kinsella.

Referee: Jeff Winter.

Attendance: 33,140.