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Townsend Follows England Success by Scoring as Spurs Beat Villa

Andros Townsend followed up his recent starring role in England’s World Cup qualifying campaign by scoring for Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.

Townsend and Roberto Soldado got the goals yesterday as Spurs moved up to fifth in English soccer’s Premier League.

Townsend, 22, received plaudits for his performances in wins over Montenegro and Poland this month that guaranteed England a place in Brazil next year.

“Scoring for my country on debut is one of the highlights of my career, but a first Premier League goal for my hometown club is pretty special too,” Townsend told Sky Sports. “The main thing for me is not to get carried away. I just need to keep putting in performances for Spurs when I get the chance.”

Townsend opened the scoring in the 31st minute yesterday. His left-foot cross from the right evaded defenders and attackers as it went in at the far post for his first league goal for Spurs.

Play was delayed briefly when a smoke bomb was thrown from the crowd and struck a linesman on the back. He wasn’t injured and police said they made two arrests following the incident.

The Football Association said that it’s investigating the incident, which it described as “unacceptable.”

“We will await the match officials’ report and will be speaking to the clubs,” read a statement from the governing body. “Such incidents highlight the dangers of pyrotechnics being used in a football stadium.”

Benteke Boost

Christian Benteke, returning from injury, came on as a substitute in the 61st minute and helped to energize Villa’s attack, heading over the bar just after joining the game.

Gabriel Agbonlahor was also prominent as Villa put the visiting team under increased pressure.

Just as Villa seemed to be getting the upper hand, Tottenham broke away to get the second goal in the 69th minute. Soldado slammed the ball in after quick passing by Lewis Holtby and Paulinho set up the chance.

Tottenham had been upset 3-0 at home by West Ham in its previous league game.

“After a setback, particularly at home, we had to respond in good fashion to keep ourselves in touch with the top,” Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas said. “This was the result we deserved.”

Arsenal leads the standings with 19 points, followed by Chelsea and Liverpool with 17, and Manchester City and Tottenham on 16. Villa slips one place to 13th, on 10 points.

Two days ago, Arsenal beat Norwich 4-1 and Chelsea defeated Cardiff by the same score. Everton had a 2-1 win over Hull and defending champion Manchester United drew 1-1 with Southampton. Newcastle United tied 2-2 with Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion drew 0-0 at Stoke, Swansea routed Sunderland 4-0 and Manchester City won 3-1 at West Ham. Crystal Palace hosts Fulham tonight.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at phegarty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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