Tottenham Hotspur 1 Aston Villa 2: Slick Villa cash in as Gomes blunder adds to Ramos's woes

A statement of intent from Aston Villa; a statement of descent from Tottenham Hotspur. Rock bottom and Spurs are in a hard place. Crisis at the Lane? That may be scoffed at but one is quickly brewing. This is not progress under Juande Ramos as promised when Martin Jol – now top of the Bundesliga with Hamburg by the way – was sacked 11 months ago. The Spaniard looked in despair on the sidelines as his side slid to another defeat. It is one win in 11 league games for Spurs and a worst start to the season for 34 years. That is shocking for a club with such aspirations.

Now Villa look to be the outfit most likely. Quicker, more aggressive and more organised they were, with Ashley Young and Gareth Barry prominent, everything Spurs were not as they gained their first victory on this ground for eight years. Villa will be some jet-heeled proposition this season and have shot up to fourth place. The only downside was an apparent ankle injury to John Carew.

That Carling Cup triumph is becoming a distant memory for Ramos, it is just three wins since then, but it will be one he has to hold onto to if he is to continue to convince he is the man to remain at the helm. More immediately fingers will be pointed at the Spurs board and – in particular – the sporting director, Damien Comolli. It may come together one day for Juande but it is not happening at present.

The expensive recruits were ramshacle. Roman Pavlyuchenko looked bewildered, David Bentley bothered while Darren Bent continued to be bewitched. Luka Modric limped off and Vedran Corluka looked simply limp. As for the goalkeeper? Heurelho was a hero in the first-half but Gomes gaffed after the break.

It was disarray. Chaos. Boos rang out at the interval and the end. Fans had their hands spread wide in amazement and so, in truth, did Ramos. Time and again passes sailed aimlessly overhead. It was kick and rush stuff from a team lacking cohesion, coherence and even coercion.

"We are far behind in our preparations," claimed Ramos afterwards which was a curious bit of nonsense from the head coach and chimed with his programme notes which talked about the iniquities of the transfer window closing after the start of the season. It may well do. But it does not mean a club is hide-bound to conduct its main business then as Spurs – it seems – have done. Dimitar Berbatov has gone and others arrived and the balance sheet may be healthy even if the team is looking unhealthily imbalanced. Ramos is a frustrated man.

He talked of talent and quality – and even clung to the 5-1 friendly win over Roma – and it is certainly there. But when Ramos also spoke about "room" for Spurs to tilt at the top four it seemed like another Spaniard charging at windmills. Martin O'Neill, the Villa manager, has always been a little quixotic, but he was clear in his assessment. "We came here tonight to attack," he said. "And we played some great football. Exceptional."

Indeed they did. From the start Villa were, in management-speak, "at it". Ashley Young set the tone. He was too quick, too cute for Corluka and Aaron Lennon and quickly set up the opening goal, jinking away to cross low. That was flicked on by John Carew and there, at the far post, all on his own, was Nigel Reo-Coker to side-foot home his first league goal in almost two years. It was some fillip for the midfielder whose place is under threat from the arrival of James Milner.

Enlivened Reo-Coker then almost beat Gomes again with a cross that deflected off Gareth Bale and then thudded against the near post. For a while it was the Gomes show. The Brazilian recovered brilliantly to twist and push away a Barry header and then did even better to beat out another header, this time from Gabriel Agbonlahor. Time and again he came charging from goal to claim crosses and punch clear. As eye-catching as it was it was also an embarrassing confirmation that Spurs were reeling.

They continued to unravel. Only desperate lunges by Michael Dawson, who had an otherwise traumatic evening, and Bale denied Agbonlahor before Barry cleverly found space and then found Ashley Young. Inside the centre circle, he was afforded an embarrassing amount of acreage to run into before skipping away from the lumbering Dawson to fire in a bouncing 25-yard shot. Gomes should have saved but, instead, the ball squirmed under him and into the net. A costly mistake for such a costly signing. But he was not alone in his culpability.

How Spurs needed something. Anything. They threw themselves forward but remained vulnerable to the counter attack - which was suicidally dangerous against Villa. Bent headed wide and then Jermaine Jenas, who had started on the bench along with David Bentley, volleyed hopefully goalwards from distance. Fortunately for him the ball inadvertently struck Bent and diverted beyond a wrong-footed Friedel.

It set up a desperate finale but for all Spurs' inevitable bluster it was Villa who came closest as Milner was released, his shot beaten out only for the ball to eventually be returned to substitute Marlon Harewood. Surely, with Gomes stranded, he had to score. Instead his effort cannoned off Jenas on the line and bounced away. A reprieve there for Spurs but there was no reprieve on the final whistle as they were condemned to another defeat. It is Wisla Krakow in the Uefa Cup on Thursday. Another poor result then and goodness knows what will happen.

Goals: Reo-Coker (5) 0-1; Young (54) 0-2; Bent (87) 1-2.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-1-3-2): Gomes; Corluka, Woodgate, Dawson (Giovani, 62), Bale; Zokora (Bentley, h-t); Lennon, Huddlestone, Modric (Jenas, 30); Bent, Pavlyuchenko. Substitutes not used: Cesar (gk), Gilberto, Campbell, O'Hara.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Friedel; Young, Laursen, Davies, Shorey (Gardner, 88); Reo-Coker, Barry, Petrov, Young; Agbonlahor (Harewood, 84), Carew (Milner, 63). Substitutes not used: Guzan (gk), Knight, Routledge, Cuellar.

Referee: S Bennett (Kent).

Booked: Tottenham Hotspur Dawson; Aston Villa Shorey, Carew, Agbonlahor.

Man of the match: Young.

Attendance: 36,075.

people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor