Aston Villa player ratings v Tottenham: Benteke and Vlaar outstanding

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

Christian Benteke's first-half header gave Tim Sherwood's side a 1-0 win on the Villa manager's return to White Hart Lane.

Brad Guzan 6.5/10 – Wasn’t in fact tested too much but made a great first-half save to keep out Danny Rose and was flawless in the air.

Leandro Bacuna 7/10 – Impressive going forward again, delivering the cross for Benteke’s 35th-minute opener. Better at the back than against QPR but still inviting pressure too often.

Ron Vlaar 8/10 – Looked to be back to his best on the afternoon, proving almost unbeatable in the air and coming up with a number of crucial blocks. With Clark going down, his return has come at just the right time.

Ciaran Clark 6/10 – Lasted just 17 minutes before going off with a knee injury. A big blow ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final, considering how well he’s been performing of late.

Kieran Richardson 7/10 – A much-improved performance on his QPR horror show, this time managing to get forward on a number of occasions to help out the attack. Andros Townsend’s paced caused him a few problems at times but coped well for the most part. Perhaps a lack of match fitness was the issue earlier in the week?

Carlos Sanchez 7/10 – Did an excellent job in front of the back-four, snuffing out Tottenham attacks and dictating Villa’s tempo with his distribution. The obvious blot, though, was his late sending off for picking up a second booking.

Tom Cleverley 7/10 – Further underlined his revival under Sherwood with another top performance. Excellent on the ball, delivering some fine long-range passes to Benteke up top, while his run was crucial in setting up the in-form striker’s goal.

Fabian Delph 7.5/10 – Captaining the side over Vlaar, the England midfielder buzzed around the opposition half all afternoon and could have doubled Villa’s lead late on but for Michel Vorm’s impressive save.

Jack Grealish 7/10 – Impressive again in his second consecutive start, establishing himself as an integral part of Villa’s attack with his pace, passing and skill. Sacrificed just after the hour when Sherwood looked to shore things up a bit.

Gabriel Agbonlahor 7/10 – Pace proved an excellent complement to Benteke’s strength, hitting the post just before the break after latching onto one of his strike-partner’s knockdowns. Was forced off injured in the second-half, however.

Christian Benteke 8.5/10 – Another excellent outing from the revitalised Belgian. Bagged his eighth goal in six games with a well-placed header and was a constant menace for the Spurs defence with his imposing presence up top. Few can handle him when he’s on this form.

SUBSTITUTES

Nathan Baker (Clark 17) 7.5/10 – Terrific coming in for the injured Clark, ensuring that his fellow centre-back’s loss wasn’t felt at all.

Andreas Weimann (Grealish 62) 6/10 – Few issues in replacing Grealish but should have scored with six minutes left, offering up a weak shot straight to Vorm.

Joe Cole (Agbonlahor 69) 6/10 – Kept things ticking over for the final 20 minutes but had no real moments of note.

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