Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur played out this fixture like two teams desperate for the points and desperately low on confidence. The end result was a very open game, full of chances, inexplicable misses and equally bad defensive mistakes. In the end, the game was determined by a tale of two strikers.
Emmanuel Adebayor gave viewers a sign of what was to happen as he was flagged offside when Christian Eriksen put him through on goal in the 9th minute.
In the 12th minute, Christian Benteke sent a header wide of the target. In theory the hard part was getting free of Younes Kaboul - he did that perfectly - the easy part was heading the ball on target - Benteke headed wide.
Just a few minutes later, Tottenham missed their own great chance. On the left wing, Ryan Mason played in a ball for Adebayor who cushioned the ball onto Eriksen. The playmaker somehow managed to make a kerfuffle out of it, luckily his poor shot hit Chadli and ricocheted into Roberto Soldado who contrived to miss from four yards.
Benteke then hit the post as Aly Cissokho's low cross from the left wing caused a panic in the Tottenham defence. Eventually, Villa's pressure came to fruition in the 15th minute. Charles N'zogbia wormed his way into the box as both Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen stood off him. N'zogbia put in a low cross and Andi Weimann escaped attention to finish the chance. The goal was Villa's first in six games or 50 days.
Tottenham nearly got themselves back on level terms in the 26th minute as Adebayor broke the offside trap due to Soldado's through ball. The striker's tame shot was, however, turned behind by Brad Guzan.
At the stroke of half time, Benteke spurned another glorious chance. From a free-kick, he pulled of Rose and jumped above Kaboul, though his header was aimless.
The second half featured more of the same as Adebayor continued his unintentional battle with Benteke to see who could miss to the most. In the 52nd minute, Chadli had a shot parried, Adebayor was first to react but lost composure as Guzan recovered and in the end, the striker could only mis-control the shot out for a goal kick.
With Villa very much in control, Benteke recklessly flailed his hands into Ryan Mason and got himself sent off. Villa from then on were on the edge and Andi Weimann was lucky to stay on the pitch as he retaliated by kicking Mason into touch.
Despite the one man advantage, Tottenham never looked completely in control as Villa sporadically threatened on the counter. However, in the 83rd minute they finally equalled the score. Erik Lamela's corner kick looped over the heads of everyone except Nacer Chadli. The ball dipped wonderfully into his feet for a tap-in at the far post.
At this point Tottenham were firmly in the ascendancy and with just two minutes left they won a free-kick. Harry Kane was the match winner as his free-kick was deflected by the head of Nathan Baker, wrong footing Brad Guzan in goal.
The result means Villa stay 15th and have lost six league games in a row for the first time since 1967. Meanwhile, Tottenham move above Everton and Manchester United in 8th with 14 points, equal with Liverpool.