Spurs had manager Harry Redknapp back in the dugout for the first time since he underwent heart surgery and he proved the perfect inspiration for his side as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against an colourless Aston Villa. Adebayor had gone six league games without scoring but took only 14 minutes to end his barren spell converting Gareth Bale’s cross in spectacular fashion before bundling home a second delivery from the Welshman five minutes before half time. The on-loan Manchester City striker had chances to complete his hat trick after the restart as the hosts comfortably strolled to a seventh win in eight games against Alex McLeish’s side. The Villans failed to mount a serious challenge and managed to test former goalkeeper Brad Friedel in the Spurs goal as the home side wasted a host of chances to extend their lead. The omens certainly sat in Tottenham’s favour before kick off as Redknapp returned to the White Hart Lane bench just three weeks after a minor heart operation to extend his personal record against the Midland side to 11 games.
The last five meetings between the two sides had ended in Spurs’ favour and they looked intent on making a sixth taking hold of the game from the first whistle. McLeish deployed former Spurs man Alan Hutton in a right midfield role ahead of Carlos Cuellar to counteract the threat of Bale and although the duo doubled up on the Welshman for most of the evening the winger couldn’t be stopped. Redknapp was able to name an unchanged lineup for the third game running as Rafael Van Der Vaart shook off a hamstring injury to continue his prolific partnership with Adebayor and it was the latter who gave Spurs the lead on the quarter hour. After squandering a headed chance just minutes earlier he produced a moment of divine brilliance as he acrobatically overhead kicked Bale’s cross past Shay Given after Steven Warnock failed to sufficiently clear Van Der Vaarts corner. It was the striker first goal since scoring twice against Liverpool on September 18th and that knocked the wind out of Villa’s sails as the North Londoners continued to press forward. Their the Dutch master was clearly intent on getting his name on the scoresheet but could only smash an effort into the side netting before seeing his audacious lob sail over Given’s cross bar.
It was no surprise when the hosts doubled their lead just before the break with Bale once again the architect teasing Cuellar on the left before picking out Adebayor who made no mistake at the back post for his fifth goal in a Spurs shirt. Villa tried to mount a comeback in the second half but any chance of salvaging anything from the game were shot after Darren Bent could only head Chris Herd’s cross tamely into the hands of Friedel. In fact it was the home side who looked more likely to score next and they should have increased their lead with Adebayor shooting straight at Given from 18-yards after collecting Luka Modric’s through ball. The Togo striker then curled wide from distance later on after Kyle Walker had fired wide on 58 minutes. He was presented with another chance to complete his hat trick 13 minutes from time but was denied by Given once again as he pounced on the ball during an almighty goal mouth scramble. However despite the missed opportunities Spurs ran out comfortable winners as Villa once again failed to win on their traveue. McLeish and his side face a tough set of fixtures leading into the festive period with games against Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all on the horizon.