Villa v Spurs - Live text blog coverage
Coverage of the Villa v Spurs game in BBCesque minute-by-minute commentary will be attempted. Guess it's dependent on whether I'm busy throwing furniture at the walls and cursing the footballing Gods.
Team news? Well, Zoko looks set for the right-back position in place of out-of-form Corluka. BAE at left-back. Someone remind me again why we signed Chimbonda? King and Woody in the centre for us and Darren Bent starts with Keane up front.
Do we ever win up there? Hardly. Do they have players that might cause us the odd problem or three? Yes. Ashley Young. Too expensive for us at £8M.
Need Palacios, Jenas, Modric and Lennon to be completely on song this afternoon.
So, be back here for 4pm for the alternative text update of the game.
This blog article will be updated every few minutes from 4pm onwards.
15:57 - Captain Obvious with this statement, but as long as the defence hold it together and the midfield look to push the ball forward and attack (rather than sit back and pass the ball sideways) we might have a chance of nicking something here. I fancy Villa to come out all guns blazing. We need to avoid conceding anything silly in the first 20 minutes. Another blatantly obvious statement is - the chances we do get presented with - need to be slotted away. You hear that Darren? Between the sticks thank you very much.
16:04 - VILLA 0 SPURS 1. Lovely! After a fiery start to the game (couple of offside decisions against Villa, and a deflected harmless shot from Palacios), Lennon whips in a great cross which Friedel helps onto JJ's head. 1-0. Great stuff from us. Nice tempo and pressure. Our players looking up for it. This is going to be tasty.
16:10 - This is taken from the BBC website:
The boy has been on fire recently and Aaron Lennon is the man of the moment again. The flying winger roasts Zat Knight down the right-hand side and whips in a great cross that Paul Robinson can only palm straight to Jermaine Jenas, the midfielder heading in from close range to give Spurs the dream start.
16:11 - Villa have woken up. As expected, they are the ones applying the pressure now. Dealing with it fine. Have to watch that boy Young. Tight marking please.
16:13 - What was I saying? Young ghosts past Zokora, lays it off, ball pings about and is is eventually cleared after a shot on goal from Barry. Open game at the minute. We are not looking too shabby. Need to get the ball to Lennon more.
16:16 - Bloody hell. What did Harry stick in their pre-match water? Wonderful Robbie Keane ball releasing Darren Bent who cut inside and almost pulled the trigger but was brilliantly tackled. Ball falls to man of the moment JJ who has a crack, but it's well blocked.
16:20 - Almost 20 minutes on the clock. Villa dominating possession wise, but we look useful when pushing forward. Young is the key for them. Always looks dangerous.
16:23 - Is it too much for me to ask for a cheeky second goal? Maybe a Jenas scissor-kick or a Bent chip? Villa caught offside again. They will get the run of play at some point.
16:27 - Sideshow Bob defending well for us. Villa still pressing forward. Bit relentless from them at the moment. We are not helping matters with sloppy balls in the middle of the park. Can we try to fizzle the tempo down a little by playing possession football? Guess we need to hold onto the ball for more than 3 secs to do that.
16:29 - Bloody hell. Young doesn't even look like he needs to try and get past Zokora. It's that easy (nutmegged). Nice break from us. Not the greatest ball from Modric to Lennon. Missed opp that.
16:32 - Ooh, bit of possession from us and a little time-out spend in the Villa half. Ends with a Jenas shot that was easily plucked out of the air by Friedel.
16:36 - First sub of the afternoon. Zokora is going off. Seems our man Zoko - better right-back than central mid - is being replaced by Charlie, probably tactical rather than due to an injury. Young has pretty much had the freedom of the wing so far.
16:37 - 61% possession for Villa so far. Always comes down to the midfield, and at the moment they are second best to the home side. Then again, the emphasis is on them to come at us. Guess a little patience is required. No doubt we'll get another chance to break - but whether its still 0-1 to us when that happens is all dependent on how well we defend and if Villa can manage that final ball. Something that's eluded them.
16:44 - Crikey. That break away almost happened. Bent into Keane, didn't quite get to him. Then moments later, another break into the box - Jenas into Modric - Luka has a shot rather than pass to Keane (or was it Bent? I was jumping around the room at the time). Think he went for the right option in the end. Could have been 0-2 that. These are the chances we have to take.
16:48 - See, only Spurs can do this. We have possession in midfield. Jenas plays a smart ball into the path of Palacios who proves to everyone he can't quite pass. Villa break, cross goes in, Heskey hits the bar with his effort. Phew.
16:49 - HALF-TIME, VILLA 0 SPURS 1. Not the best from us, but don't agree with the pro-Villa commentary from Sky Sports who seem to think we have been lucky/shit in possession. Yes - we've struggled to retain the ball, but we've been more than useful when getting into the Villa box and in comparison to their efforts on goal, I'd say its fairly equal. If anything, as the away side, we haven't done too badly. We are 1-0 up, and could have had another. Villa will argue they've had plenty of chances to be leading this game. Until they get that final ball right, I don't care.
17:06 - Here we go. We need to get a grip in centre-mid as Ledders and Woody are having to deal with a little too much to expect them to see out the 90 minutes without any additional team support. Double up on Young (ooh) and don't give the git any time on the ball. If we avoid a second half battering and push forward - give it to Aaron, then we'll score again. The longer Villa are frustrated, the more counter-attacks we'll get. Football management? Piece of piss.
17:09 - Villa start with some intent. Couple of corners. Come to nothing. Is it me or does Palacios look less of the panther, more of the Cheshire cat?
17:10 - Muhahahahaha! VILLA 0 SPURS 2. Staggering stuff. For all Villas effort, all we need to do is break and score. What did I say? Give it to Aaron. The boy storms into the box, Wilson has a crack, its saved by Friedel and Keane places the ball goalbound, and that man exquisitely finishes from about half an inch out. 'ave it! We look up for a third now.
17:16 - Lennon shaves the top of the goal with a cracking shot from outside the box. I'll only start to dance around the living room when we notch a third.
17:19 - Bent is on what now? 15 goals? Guess this means we need to offer him a new 5 year contract. Knows where the goal is, innit? Well worth the £15M we paid for him. Reckon we should offer Charlton an extra £5M as they were blatantly hard done by.
17:22 - Also, special mention to Bradley in the Villa goal. Two assists this afternoon. Well done that man.
17: 23 - 52% possession for us in the second half (thank you Sky Sports). Modric has a blast at goal, Friedel this time dealing well with it. Far better second half performance from the midfield. Fancy another goal.
17:27 - Talking of Sky Sports, is anyone laughing out loud with me at the overly bias commentary gashing out of the gob of Andy Gray? Embarrassing stuff. But then not unexpected. 2-0 up and hardly an ounce of credit. "The biggest smash and grab I've seen", sure Andy, sure.
17:33 - About 20 mins left on the clock. We are still giving it a go. Villa, a little deflated. This is a more than decent away day performance from us, in comparison to some of the shambolic displays of recent months. Harry will be able to live off this for 3 months at least.
17:38 - Playing some decent stuff. Ooh, Andy Gray has just paid us a compliment! Almost the perfect day. King and Woodgate have been top class today. Actually can't fault anyone at the moment for effort.
17:43 - O'Hara on for Modric. Can you smell the three points? I can smell the three points. 5 games unbeaten, eight minutes away. Very quiet at Villa Park now, other than the dancing singing away fans. I'm a little giddy.
17:46 - Oh shit. Shit shit shit. VILLA 1 - SPURS 2. I jinxed it. Carew with a header, no chance Woody (defending) and Gomes. Andy Gray creams himself. 84 minutes on the clock. Christ this will be gutting if we lose 3 points and go home with 1.
17:50 - Final minute of the game now. It's ominous this. Villa pegging us back. But we survived. 3 mins of injury time. Andy Gray feels it's time enough for the home team to score. Hey Andy, is it time enough for us to hold out for all the three points?
17:54 - VILLA 1 SPURS 2 FT. YES! GET IN! Relegation? We laugh in your face. And the face of Andy Gray. Whoop!