Tottenham 3-1 Aston Villa: Remi Garde watches Villa lose again
Last Updated: 03/11/15 11:40am
Remi Garde watched from the stands as Aston Villa were beaten 3-1 at Tottenham to fall to a seventh straight Premier League defeat.
Goals from Mousa Dembele (3) and Dele Alli (45) at either end of the first half sent Spurs on their way to fifth place on Monday night, although Jordan Ayew's deflected reply sparked an unlikely late rally (79) which was only snuffed out by Harry Kane's injury-time third.
Twice in the closing minutes Villa came close to an equaliser, but in the final analysis Spurs remain unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening weekend, while Villa have not won in 10 attempts since their victory at Bournemouth on the same day.
Nine of those 10 have ended in defeat, and owner Randy Lerner must hope the appointment of Garde as Tim Sherwood's successor brings an urgent upturn in results for bottom-placed Villa, given there is already a four-point gap to bridge to safety.
There is plenty for the new manager to work on, not least a record of just 10 goals in 11 league matches. Hugo Lloris was tested just once in the first half, when he beat away a cleanly-hit Scott Sinclair shot with the score at 1-0, and Gabriel Agbonlahor touched the ball eight times before his half-time withdrawal.
Not that the attackers were solely to blame for the half-time score: Ciaran Clark, recalled to the team when Micah Richards was given a one-match ban for improper conduct barely an hour before kick-off, was rolled too easily for the opener as Dembele held off the Irishman's repeated attempts to drag him back and nutmegged Brad Guzan from the corner of the six-yard box.
And Joleon Lescott might have got more on a defensive header that dropped instead onto the thigh of Alli, who did his growing reputation no harm with a calm first touch and well-controlled volley.
In between, there was a deflected Kane shot which Guzan tipped over and a short-corner routine that saw Danny Rose sweep just over the top, while Ashley Westwood took a loose Dembele forearm in the face and had to be replaced by Ayew.
Kevin MacDonald, in the Villa dugout as caretaker, made further proactive changes in pursuit of a comeback - eventually with some success, as Gestede forced Jan Vertonghen into a desperate block and the same Spurs defender then unwittingly sent Ayew's low shot beyond a wrong-footed Lloris.
Garde's Villa to-do list
Five issues that new Aston Villa boss Remi Garde must address if he is to succeed at Villa Park...
Leandro Bacuna had hit the base of a post moments before Ayew's goal, and there were chances for an equaliser as Gestede headed wide having outjumped Lloris and Ayew cleared the crossbar by inches from distance.
It did not come, and Kane made the game safe with a first-time finish high to Guzan's left.
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker (6), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (6) Rose (6), Dier (7), Alli (7), Dembele (7), Eriksen (6), Lamela (6), Kane (7).
Subs used: Mason (5), Davies (5), Onomah (5).
Villa: Guzan (6), Hutton (6), Clark (5), Lescott (5), Richardson (6), Sanchez (6), Westwood (5), Bacuna (7), Sinclair (6), Grealish (6), Agbonlahor (5).
Subs used: Ayew (7), Gestede (6), Gil (6).
Man of the match: Dele Alli (Tottenham)