Aston Villa 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Nobby Solano scored a brilliant second-half goal to help Villa secure their third successive win to put them level on points with fifth-placed Manchester United.

They have now collected 13 points out of a possible 15 to demonstrate their consistent form despite operating with one of the smallest squads in the Premiership.

Poor Spurs, however, slumped to their sixth successive defeat to the frustration of new manager Martin Jol, who has seen his side concede more goals in three matches than they did under the previous management team.

A lack of penetration was one of the main reasons for Tottenham's latest reverse.

Villa were solid and the commanding play of Gavin McCann, assisted by Solano's opportunism, sealed another encouraging win that keeps them well on course for their European goal.

Another plus was the performance of Stephen Davis. The young Irishman was making a Premiership debut for Villa and showed some neat touches and hardly looked out of his depth.

As to be expected there was a great deal of good football from both teams but there appeared little chance of a goal bonanza similar to the one in which Spurs were involved in against Arsenal.

There were very few clear openings in the first half in which Spurs skipper, Ledley King, stamped his mark with some positive play. As a result Juan Pablo Angel, two short of his 50 goals for Villa since his move to the Premiership, had a relatively quiet game.

Spurs placed their faith in strikers Fredi Kanoute and Jermain Defoe with the likes of Robbie Keane and Jamie Redknapp isolated on the substitute's bench.

But Olof Mellberg and Mark Delaney shackled the Spurs strikers and the game developed into a skilful battle with Villa slightly the better team due to the commanding midfield play of McCann.

The potential danger of Spurs could not be ignored as demonstrated in the 38th minute when Kanoute put Michael Brown clear but the former Sheffield United player's shot was smothered at the near post by Thomas Sorensen.

Spurs had a let-off when Erik Edman held down Angel and prevented the Colombian striker from jumping for a high ball from the left, but the incident, clearly evident in a television replay, was missed by the referee.

Villa made a slow start to the second half and Defoe very nearly took advantage of their slack play with a close-range shot which Sorensen could only parry.

The indifferent performance of Carlton Cole did little to help Villa's victory aspirations at this stage of the game and Defoe suddenly emerged as a real threat with a speculative shot which was sadly well off target.

Fortunately Villa were rescued by Solano's superb goal in the 56th minute when the Peruvian international displayed real class.

Thomas Hitzlsperger's corner was helped on by McCann to Solano who had his back to Spurs' goal. But he cleverly flicked the ball up as he turned to hook his shot past Paul Robinson for his fourth goal of the season.

Only a desperate and brave save by Robinson prevented Solano adding a second goal two minutes later. The Peruvian was in full flow as he latched onto Angel's mis-hit shot but his effort smashed against the Spurs keeper.

Spurs were then on the ropes as Ulises De La Cruz battered the North Londoners' goal which survived a blistering spell before they recovered their composure.

But Spurs lacked the determination to even get a point as Villa were generally well in control as they maintained their rapid climb up the table.