Rafael van der Vaart(credit: flierfy
Rafael van der Vaart netted a brace as Tottenham came from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Spurs’ Roman Pavlyuchenko headed wide early on but Villa soon got into their stride and went ahead when Sebastien Bassong lost the ball to Emile Heskey, and the former England forward squared the ball to Marc Albrighton to net his first senior goal.
The goal brought the hosts to life and van der Vaart twice tested Brad Friedel, while Alan Hutton fired just wide of Villa’s goal.
But the impressive van der Vaart was rewarded for his fine play when Peter Crouch headed Pavlyuchenko’s cross into his path, and the Dutchman nodded home at the far post.
Van der Vaart was denied his second by a fine last-gasp challenge by Stiliyan Petrov, before seeing Richard Dunne get in the way of another chance.
Villa were creating chances too but Ashley Young’s cross just evaded Albrighton and John Carew, and at the other end Friedel’s fine stop prevented Aaron Lennon from putting Spurs in front.
But the veteran American could do nothing about the hosts’ winner with quarter of an hour to go, van der Vaart meeting a Crouch knockdown to rifle the ball into the back of the net.