Villa's wall remains solid

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Aston Villa 0

With this goalless draw, Aston Villa have failed to score in five of their last six Premier League games. Given that coyness in attack, Martin O'Neill's men need to be able to keep goals out if they are to maintain their push for fourth place. At least they showed they are effective in that department.

"Dunny, Ginge, Carlos and Luke" is how Brad Friedel, the fifth member of Villa's back line identifies the four defenders in front of him, which makes them sound like friends from the school playground, but Richard Dunne, James "Ginge" Collins, Carlos Cuellar and Luke Young are not just playing for kicks. They are now playing for the Champions League, not to mention the Carling Cup final against Manchester United at the end of the month.

The hosts were denied by Friedel on four occasions, notably from a flick by Ledley King and a shot from Peter Crouch low down that was deflected off Dunne.

Villa's back five put in a monumental effort in a clash that was supposed to clear up some of the haze around who will claim that last Champions League qualifying position. By the end of the evening, the uncertainty was even more entrenched.

The managers of both these clubs are as unsure as anyone how it's going to turn out. Martin O'Neill, the Villa manager, was being cute, saying that Liverpool were now the favourites, citing his long-held regard for the club.

"I have had a healthy respect for Liverpool for a long time. They have been a top four side, they finished second last year. Everybody goes through trials and tribulations and I think their big win, to keep going, was the 94th-minute winner against us at Villa Park," O'Neill said.

Harry Redknapp, O'Neill's opposite number, feels the clubs around him are taking it in turns to slip up, which might make him slightly worried that it could be his side next.

They travel to Molineux to play Wolverhampton on Wednesday. The enduring absence of Aaron Lennon – out for another month – on the flank makes Spurs less of a threat.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, King, Bale; Bentley, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric; Defoe, Crouch. Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Kaboul, Jenas, Gudjohnsen, Bassong, Kranjcar, Walker.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, L Young; A Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing (Sidwell, 88); Agbonlahor, Heskey (Carew, 22). Substitutes not used: Guzan (gk), Delfouneso, Davies, Delph, Beye.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

Man of the match: Dunne.

Attendance: 35,899.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with excess, cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies