Aston Villa 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Last updated : 14 October 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Juan Pablo Angel will want to forget this game when he very nearly wrecked Aston Villa's unbeaten home record after he missed a second half penalty and scored an own goal all in the space of a couple of minutes.

The Colombian international had a miserable match and manager Martin O'Neill must have thought his honeymoon was over.

Tottenham, reduced to ten men when Calum Davenport was sent off for a foul on Gabby Agbonlahor which resulted in the penalty carelessly wasted by Angel, had to be happywith their first away point and first away goal of the season.

Tottenham had a slight edge in the first period but Villa had the better of the second half despite Angel's transgressions when skipper Gareth Barry came roaring to their rescue with a face saving equaliser.

Villa's recent improvement is now being widely acknowledged but they certainly lived dangerously on this occasion and everything appeared to be stacked against them after the two Angel incidents.

Attacking with early gusto, in sharp contrast to Spurs at times indifferent attitude, Villa gained an early upper hand but failed to capitalise upon their advantage as the Londoners settled down to build up several promising attacks to finish the opening 45 minutes on a strong note.

Spurs may have accumulated a bevy of potential stars but as yet they are not shining as brightly as they had been expected to at this stage of the season. They arrived at Villa Park without an away win to their credit and even more concerning was their failure to have scored in the three defeats at Bolton, Manchester United and Liverpool.

But Villa's defence was far from watertight and stand-in goalkeeper Stuart Taylor had to show some outstanding first half form to keep Tottenham at bay.

As expected, Tottenham's goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, came in for a certain amount of derision for his midweek boob playing for England against Croatia in Zagreb. He was given early opportunities to boost his confidence with a couple of clearances and did little wrong as Villa's attack struggled to apply any pressure.

Tottenham weathered the early storm with tiny Jermaine Defore leading the comeback when he forced Taylor to make the first of four first class saves.

Taylor however, was blessed with a great deal of good fortune when a Danny Murphy free-kick was nudged on by Jenas and Michael Dawson saw his close range header hit the post, bounce back off Liam Ridgewell into the waiting arms of the Villa goalkeeper.

Later Hossam Ghaly saw another close range effort blocked by Taylor, while Dimitar Berbatov wasted a good opportunity as he glided a speculative shot over the bar with Villa wilting under pressure.

Tottenham suffered a set-back in the 50th minute when they lost the services of the industrious Dawson following an incident on the edge of the penalty area.

The game finally came alive when the unfortunate Davenport was alleged to have impeded Agbonlahor in the 73rd minute. Davenport was immediately red-carded but any Villa joy was short-lived as Angel blasted the resultant penalty high and wide.

Worse was to follow two minute later when the Colombian international scored a perfect headed goal - into his own net. Defoe's right wing corner to the near post was met by Angel who turned the ball high into the net well out of the reach of Taylor.

Fortunately for Villa their industrious skipper Barry came to their rescue when he powered his way through from the left to score with an extremely rare right footed shot into the roof of the net.

Villa's late surge was largely inspired by Didier Agathe's first appearance. His speed and tenacity unsettled Spurs and only indifferent finishing by the luckless Angel enabled the Londoners to hang on for a point.