Tottenham beats Villa 2-0, rises to third in league

LONDON (AP) -- Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice on Monday as Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0 to rise to third in the Premier League by extending its unbeaten streak to nine matches, including eight victories.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp made his first appearance on the bench since undergoing minor heart surgery three weeks ago, and he witnessed a vibrant attacking display in which Gareth Bale and Adebayor combined to devastating effect at White Hart Lane.

Adebayor was unmarked inside the box when he acrobatically arched his body to kick the ball into the net in the 14th minute from Bale's miscued shot after Villa had failed to clear the danger from a corner.

It was the first goal in two months for Adebayor, the Togo international who is on loan from Manchester City after a previous spell at Real Madrid.

Adebayor's fifth goal of the season came from close range in the 40th minute following a cross whipped in by Bale and missed by Villa defender James Collins and goalkeeper Shay Given.

Tottenham haven't lost in the league since the 5-1 thrashing by Man City in August. In fact, the team has been beaten only once in the past 14 matches in all competitions -- and that was a second-string lineup which went down 1-0 at Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. Spurs was also knocked out of the League Cup by Stoke in a penalty shootout.

Tottenham moved past Chelsea and Newcastle to lie nine points behind leader City and four back from second-place Manchester United but with a match in hand on both of them. Villa stayed eighth, 19 points off the pace.

Villa couldn't rein in Bale despite often double-teaming him, with right back Carlos Cuellar being given a torrid time by the Wales winger until he was replaced with almost 30 minutes left.

That substitution came only moments after Bale and Adebayor had combined again to create a great chance, however the Togo striker's side-footed finish curled wide of the post.

Given made a great stop in the 77th minute to deny Adebayor his first hat trick in more than three years, bravely diving at the striker's feet as he struck the ball.

Adebayor had earlier missed a one-on-one chance after being played in by Luka Modric, who was increasingly influential in the second half, and he headed wide from Aaron Lennon's chipped cross from the right flank in the 11th minute.

Tottenham had 17 shots at goal compared to only six from Villa.

Malaga beats Racing

Santander 3-1 in Spain

SANTANDER, Spain (AP) -- Malaga's quest to qualify for Europe received a boost on Monday when the ambitious club scored three second-half goals to beat Racing Santander 3-1 in the Spanish league.

Malaga rose to fifth in the standings after the victory at El Sardinero stadium, a position that would ensure the Qatar-owned club advanced to the Europa League if maintained at season's end.

Francisco "Isco" Alarcon put Malaga ahead in the 48th minute, and Santander's Alvaro Gonzalez scored an own-goal in the 65th for the visitors to extend their lead.

Santander struck back when Manuel Arana unleashed a shot past goalkeeper Willy Caballero five minutes later. But Malaga forward Sebastian Fernandez volleyed in Ruud van Nistelrooy's cross with a minute remaining.


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