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Barclays Premier League

Villa Park (ATT 36,008) 6th May 2012 - Kick off 14:00 Ref: L Probert

A Villa Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

A Villa 1

C Clark (35)


Tottenham 1

D Rose (S/O 49)
E Adebayor (pen 62)

Stubborn Villa hold off Spurs

Clark's long-range effort cancelled out by Adebayor penalty

By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza.   Last Updated: 06/05/12 4:46pm

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Ciaran Clark: The midfielder celebrates his opening goal of the game

Ciaran Clark: The midfielder celebrates his opening goal of the game

Ten-man Tottenham's hopes of securing an automatic Champions League spot took a huge knock as resilient Aston Villa edged closer to Premier League survival with a hard-fought point.

Man of the match: Stephen Ireland worked hard all day long for Villa and after his supporters' player of the season award earlier in the week he gets this award from me. Goal of the match: The opening goal of the game by Ciaran Clark was a well hit shot from a prodigious distance, albeit it took a deflection off the unlucky William Gallas. Moment of the match: Danny Rose's tackle on Alan Hutton was pretty shocking and deserved to see red by referee Lee Probert. Save of the match: Shay Given made a number of crucial saves but his stop towards the end of the first half from Gareth Bale's fierce drive was superb. Talking point: Can Spurs still grab that automatic Champions League spot on the final day of the season? Villa are safe from relegation...but where next?

The home side took a shock lead 10 minutes before half-time when Ciaran Clark's long-range effort deflected off Spurs defender William Gallas and past a helpless Brad Friedel.

Four minutes after the break Tottenham were reduced to 10 men as Danny Rose was sent off the field by referee Lee Probert for a horrible-looking challenge on ex-Spurs player Alan Hutton near the touchline which angered the home bench.

The visitors still dominated possession for long spells though and finally restored parity through the penalty spot after Richard Dunne's clumsy challenge on Sandro allowed Emmanuel Adebayor to make no mistake from 12 yards.

Harry Redknapp's side are now a point behind third-placed Arsenal going into the final day of the season.

Villa equalled the Premier League record of 17 draws in a campaign held by themselves in 2006-2007 and Newcastle in 2003-2004.

But it means Alex McLeish's side have ended the season with only four home wins - the least number in a season in their history - and fans chanted "sack McLeish" at the final whistle.

Tottenham will be kicking themselves for failing to take advantage of Arsenal's home draw with Norwich yesterday.

They now must hope their north London rivals slip up at home to Fulham to keep alive hopes of a top-three finish.

Brisk opening

McLeish again opted to remain seated in the dug-out - a policy he also adopted at West Brom last weekend - with Peter Grant handing out instructions to players.

Charles N'Zogbia had the first attempt on goal after good play by Emile Heskey but his shot was deflected over the crossbar of former Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Adebayor found a yard of space inside the Villa box but his effort from a narrow angle flew wide of the far post.

Heskey should have done better when found in space by Stephen Ireland but he hesitated before shooting and Younes Kaboul was able to make the challenge.

Gareth Bale showed his pace for the first time after 16 minutes and forced his way into the Villa box but he was stopped in his tracks by Richard Dunne's challenge.

Kaboul became the first player to be yellow carded for bringing down Heskey.

Tottenham were dominating possession and Bale headed wide at the far post under pressure from Hutton after good play by Rafael van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon.

But after 35 minutes a deflected shot from Clark gave Villa the lead against the run of play.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder was 30 yards out and his shot hit the shoulder of Gallas and flew past the stranded Friedel into the net.

Tottenham tried to retaliate and Given turned a fierce drive from Bale around the post.

Red card

After 49 minutes Spurs were reduced to 10 men when left-back Rose was given a straight red card for a lunge at Hutton right in front of the dug-out.

Redknapp was incensed by the decision and there was also words exchanged between McLeish and Spurs coach Joe Jordan.

Hutton limped out of the action to be replaced by James Collins and at the same juncture Heskey, who had picked up a first-half knock, made way for Andreas Weimann.

Adebayor tried to take advantage of a quick free-kick and skipped past Dunne to find himself with only Given to beat. But he tried to side-foot his shot into the corner of the net and did not extend the Republic of Ireland keeper.

Spurs still looked the more dangerous and after an hour Adebayor brought them level from the penalty spot.

Dunne was adjudged to have brought down Sandro and was yellow-carded before Adebayor sent Given the wrong way from the spot for his 17th goal of the campaign.

Friedel had to react quickly in racing out of his area to hack the ball clear from Weimann who suffered a knock to his knee. He was unable to continue and was replaced by Nathan Delfouneso.

Dunne had a header blocked by Kaboul from an N'Zogbia corner in a rare Villa attack, while Bale showed good skill in the Villa box but his shot on the turn flew straight at Given.

Aston VillaTeam StatisticsTottenham Hotspur
11st Half Goals0
1Shots on Target4
1Shots off Target10
2Blocked Shots8
1Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards1
72.1Passing Success83.1
66.7Tackles Success86.4
42.8Territorial Advantage57.2
290Total Passes491
14Total Crosses42
151Lost Balls176
37.51st Half Poss.62.5
36.72nd Half Poss.63.3

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 32 76
2 Arsenal 32 66
3 Manchester United 33 65
4 Manchester City 33 64
5 Liverpool 32 57
6 Tottenham Hotspur 33 57
7 Southampton 33 56
8 Swansea City 33 47
9 Stoke City 33 46
10 West Ham United 33 43
11 Crystal Palace 33 42
12 Everton 33 41
13 West Bromwich Albion 33 36
14 Newcastle United 33 35
15 Aston Villa 33 32
16 Sunderland 32 29
17 Hull City 32 28
18 Leicester City 32 28
19 Queens Park Rangers 33 26
20 Burnley 33 26