Spurs 2-0 Villa - Lennon goal caps fine win
Aaron Lennon capped a week to remember with his first goal of the season - and a key strike as we beat Villa 2-0 at the Lane to make it four wins on the trot in the Premier League.
Back in the England squad for the first time in two years for next week's World Cup qualifiers, Lennon fired home in the 67th minute - just after Villa had made a double-substitution in a bid to chase the game - to put the issue beyond doubt.
Steven Caulker somewhat fortuitously opened the scoring in the 58th minute when Jermain Defoe's close-range effort clipped off his heel and home, but that shouldn't detract from what was a dominant performance - as 23 efforts on goal suggests.
Andre Villas-Boas made two changes from Thursday night's 1-1 draw against Panathinaikos with William Gallas and Sandro back for Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone. Hugo Lloris remained in goal to make his Premier League debut.
The first half followed a similar pattern to recent home matches with Villa pressing us high up the pitch, making it difficult for us to play out from the back and then packing the midfield.
Nevertheless, we were quickly into our stride and it took less than 30 seconds for our first attempt at goal as Defoe rolled the ball into Bale and he lashed wide from 20 yards.
Bale's free-kick somehow evaded Vertonghen and Defoe and Brad Guzan had to be alert to take a typical snapshot from Defoe down to his right.
Gallas started the next attack with a clever pass out of defence to Clint Dempsey, he carried the ball 30 yards and found Bale, who tried to find Vertonghen, but Guzan sped out to gather.
Christian Benteke hit a bolt out of the blue that Lloris punched clear on 21 minutes but it was a rare effort for the visitors and Defoe soon tried his luck again, this time firing wide from the edge of the box.
Vertonghen sliced wide from Bale's free-kick but then a chance for Villa as Walker was bundled off the ball centrally and Albrighton sent Agbonlahor through on goal centrally. However, the chance didn't materialise as Lloris was off his line in a flash to gather at the Villa man's feet.
The half ended with another near miss from another fine cross, this time Defoe inches away from sliding home Sandro's cross.
Benteke and Vertonghen had early efforts on goal in the second half but then a scare. Lloris' throw was intercepted, Marc Albrighton crossed for Benteke, who headed wide from 10 yards.
It was all Spurs from there.
Defoe flashed a 20-yarder inches wide with Guzan rooted to the spot and then the breakthrough. Bale swung in a corner to the far post, Caulker challenged, Defoe picked up the pieces and his shot clipped off the back of Caulker's heel and flew in.
Defoe let fly again moments later and Guzan saved from Bale as we started to turn the screw.
Lennon's goal for 2-0 arrived just in time in the 67th minute. Sandro found Dempsey centrally and he rolled the ball wide right to Lennon who drove at Joe Bennett, shifted the ball right the full-back and then drilled across Guzan into the far corner.
Emmanuel Adebayor soon entered the fray for birthday boy Defoe and was soon in the action, his rocket blocked by Clark.
Dempsey glanced Walker's fine cross wide from in front of goal and then a blow for Villa as Bennett was stretchered off, leaving the visitors down to 10 men having made three substitutions.
It was completely one-way traffic now though and Adebayor and Bale both had two efforts each in the final 10 minutes - Bale closest when his shot was deflected onto the inside of the post by Guzan.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen; Dembele, Sandro; Lennon (Townsend, 86), Dempsey (Sigurdsson, 82), Bale; Defoe (Adebayor, 68). Unused subs: Friedel, Dawson, Falque, Huddlestone.
Villa (4-3-3): Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett; El Ahmadi, Delph (N'Zogbia, 66), Holman (Bannan, 74); Albrighton (Bent, 66), Benteke, Agbonlahor. Unused subs: Given, Westwood, Weimann, Lichaj.
Goals: Spurs - Caulker (58), Lennon (67).
Yellow cards: Spurs - Walker (72). Villa - Delph (27), Bennett (47), El Ahmadi (57).
Referee: Mr N Swarbrick.