23′ 68′ van der Vaart
Barclays Premier League – 26th Dec 2010 – KO 17:30 – Ground: Villa Park
Rafael van der Vaart fired 10-man Tottenham to a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa. The game began at a frantic pace as goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes denied Marc Albrighton before opposite number Brad Friedel ensured Jermain Defoe would not open the scoring.
Villa had a penalty appeal waved away after Gomes collided with Emile Heskey, and the visitors then thought they had broken the deadlock when Younes Kaboul turned home an Alan Hutton delivery, only for the assistant referee to claim the ball went out of play during the build up.
Tottenham did, however, go ahead on 23 minutes when Luka Modric’s delightful ball out wide sent Hutton on his way, and the Scotland international played the ball in for Van der Vaart to slot home.
Within three minutes they suffered a setback when Defoe saw red for an apparent elbow on James Collins, but they did not let the their numerical disadvantage harm them.
Wilson Palacios almost doubled their advantage, but the second goal did come on 67 minutes when Tottenham broke forward and Van der Vaart finished off a swift move involving Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
Albrighton gave Villa some hope when his cross deceived Gomes, but they could not make their one-man advantage count to rescue a point.