Sometimes a 1-1 draw away from home can be just as illuminating as a 9-1 win at the Lane.

Having watched that match, if you were to ask someone who is the most likely to break into the top four this season, then there can surely only be one answer. We played some great football, especially in the second half and were unfortunate not to win the game.

Having gone 1-0 down due to some shaky defending on our part, followed by a Keystones Kops-like bundle on the line, Tottenham picked themselves up and went in search of an equaliser.

For a long while it seemed like that equaliser would never come. Villa defended heroically. Throwing themselves in the way of shots as we peppered their goal.

With Huddlestone and Palacios both guilty of being wasteful with possession and Lennon struggling to get into the game on the right, it was left to Kranjcar to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

This could be the best £2m that Tottenham have ever spent. He was always a player I liked, but I’d never realised just how good he is. When Modric is back, we will have a very nice problem indeed.

Up front, Defoe and Crouch failed to cause the mayhem that they wreaked upon Wigan, but still always hinted at danger. I would have liked to have seen one of them dropping shorter more often to support the midfield, but although Robbie Keane could provide this option, Crouch was important for us in defensive situations, due to his height.

Eventually, after much probing, we grabbed the equaliser that we deserved. If you had to to pick a player for that ball to drop to in a crowded box, few would have chosen Dawson. He couldn’t have hit it an sweeter though if his name had been ‘Alan Shearer’.

I’m really glad for Dawson. He scored a great goal and played well in defense, despite us constantly being linked with more central defenders and suffering the ignominy of being linked with a move to Nottingham Forest this weekend.

At 1-1 Aston Villa suddenly remembered that they were meant to be at home and started to attack us a little, but we still almost snatched a victory as Defoe’s shot fizzed just wide.

We deserved a win, but a draw was a decent enough return at Villa, especially when you consider the other results of the teams around us.

What was most impressive was the way that we dictated the play, away from home, against a team of Villa’s standing. We just wouldn’t accept that we wouldn’t eventually equalise and our persistence was rewarded.

Here’s the highlights.




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