Match report: Tottenham 3-0 Villa - Frustration for visitors
A disastrous first 45 minutes at White Hart Lane condemned Villa to defeat in their final match of the season.
It started going wrong for the visitors when Paulinho opened the scoring in the 15th minute, and by half-time the home side were three-up thanks to a Nathan Baker own-goal and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty.
In truth, the interval scoreline might have been even worse but at least Paul Lambert's regained some lost pride with a disciplined second half display, almost pulling a goal back when Fabian Delph forced home keeper Hugo Lloris into a good save nine minutes from the end.
Brad Guzan was kept busy during the opening exchanges.
Less than a minute had elapsed when the keeper dived at Adebayor's feet, and that was followed by a more routine save as he clutched Harry Kane's header following an Adebayor cross.
There was nothing routine about Guzan's next save, though, the American instinctively keeping the ball out with his chest when Adebayor's pass set up Kane for a 12th-minute shot from three yards.
But three minutes later, Spurs were ahead.
Adebayor played another dangerous pass into the penalty area, and although Paulinho's initial shot was parried by Guzan, the midfielder followed up to nudge home the rebound.
All Villa had managed at that point was a fine Andi Weimann throughball which came to nothing when Michael Dawson raced across to concede a throw-in with his firm challenge of Gabby Agbonlahor.
As the visitors began to settle, however, Agbonlahor headed over after Weimann had flicked on Delph's right-wing corner before Leandro Bacuna's fierce drive was charged down following an astute Ashley Westwood pass.
That was certainly more encouraging, although Guzan had to tip over for a corner after Kane's dangerous cross had looped towards goal off the falling Nathan Baker.
And in the 36th minute, Baker had the misfortune to concede an own-goal, the ball going in off his should as he was challenged by Adebayor as they contested Danny Rose's cross from the left.
Almost immediately, Delph's well-timed tackle on Kane averted another menacing situation but on 38 minutes it was 3-0, Adebayor driving home his spot-kick after Agbonlahor had blocked Sandro's drive with his elbow.
On the stroke of half-time, Guzan did well to push away a firm Dawson header before Westwood made a strong run at the other end, sending a 25-yard shot wide of the left-hand post.
In the 57th minute Villa produced their best move so far.
Bacuna's lofted diagonal pass was headed down by Agbonalhor and Delph quickly brought the ball under control and shrugged off his marker for a swerving left-footer which skidded only inches wide.
Guzan needed lengthy treatment when he collided heavily with Kane after racing out of the penalty area to deny the Tottenham striker in the 65th minute.
But Villa's second half performance was a big improvement on their first half offering and in the 81st minute they were close to reducing the deficit, putting together a dozen passes or more before Delph's curling left-footer was saved by Lloris.
Tottenham: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose; Sigurdsson (Pritchard 82), Paulinho (Bentaleb 75), Sandro (Veljkovic 62), Eriksen; Kane, Adebayor. Unused subs: Friedel, Soldado, Capoue, Fryers.
Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; Bacuna (Robinson 82), Delph, Westwood, Weimann; Bowery (El Ahmadi HT), Agbonalhor. Unused subs: Steer, Clark, Sylla, Holt, Grealish.
Go to full match coverage for Tottenham 3 - 0 Aston Villa (11th May 2014) >
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