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Wed 19 May 2021, 08:30|Tottenham Hotspur

Rafa van der Vaart picked out his winner in this thrilling Premier League victory against Villa as his best in a Spurs shirt.

Hot on the heels of a goal on his home debut against Wolves - coincidentally, we're playing the Midlands sides back-to-back in N17 again, 11 years on - Rafa and Peter Crouch gave fans an early peek into their blossoming partnership, Crouchy setting up both of the Dutchman's goals as we came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 at the Lane. Rafa would go on to score 15 goals in his first season - Crouchy assisted eight of them.

We trailed early to Marc Albrighton's strike before Crouchy headed back across goal for Rafa to level in first half injury time. Then the winner, Rafa's strike flying past ex-Spur, Brad Friedel.

"It was a long ball into Peter Crouch, he headed it, I was there for the second ball, great control, Richard Dunne was sliding in, I waited a little bit and scored the winner," Rafa told us last year as part of our 'My Top Three' series, running soon here on

"My first five, six goals, especially at home, were from lay-offs from Peter Crouch. It was so difficult to defend him - and that was my best goal for Spurs."

Spurs 2-1 Villa - the highlights

Match data

Spurs: Gomes, Hutton, Bassong, Huddlestone, Assou-Ekotto, Modric (Palacios 77), Jenas, Bale, van der Vaart (Sandro 90), Pavlyuchenko (Lennon 46), Crouch. Substitutes (not used): Cudicini, Corluka, Kranjcar, Keane.

Villa: Friedel, L Young, Warnock, Dunne, Collins, Downing, A Young, Albrighton (Bannan 81), Petrov (Ireland 81), Reo-Coker, Heskey (Carew 35). Substitutes (not used): Guzan, Clark, Cuellar, Sidwell.

Goals: Spurs - van der Vaart 45+2, 75. Villa - Albrighton 16.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Attendance: 35,871.