Christian Benteke scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa eased their relegation fears with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Villa move up to 15th in the Premier League table, six points clear of the drop zone, as Tim Sherwood took all three points on his first return to his former club since his sacking last summer.
Tottenham drop out of the top six with the defeat, their first reverse in 11 matches in the Premier League at White Hart Lane. The on-form Benteke scored the only goal of the game, his fifth in eight days, on 35 minutes with a sharp header from Leandro Bacuna’s inviting cross from the right, but Villa boss Sherwood deserves credit for winning the tactical battle, with Gabriel Agbonlahor a constant threat to a flat-footed Tottenham defence on the counter-attack.
The home side just couldn’t get a foothold on the game, with Christian Eriksen ineffective on the left and 29-goal Harry Kane starved of service. Villa showed intelligent game management in the final 15 minutes as Tottenham tempers began to fray, but it was the visitors who ended the match with 10 men after midfield rock Carlos Sanchez was shown a second yellow card, a sending-off that will rule him out of Villa’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool next weekend.