Premier League: Aston Villa 1 Tottenham 1
Tottenham's hopes of overtaking Arsenal in the Premier League table were dashed by their 1-1 draw at struggling Aston Villa on Sunday.
Spurs dominated proceedings, but a deflected Ciaran Clark goal put Villa ahead as the hosts defended strongly against a barrage of attacks from Spurs.
Danny Rose was sent off early in the second half after a two-footed lunge on Alan Hutton before Emmanuel Adebayor slotted home a penalty to equalise, but Spurs couldn't find the all-important winner and they stay in fourth place behind Arsenal.
Australian Chris Herd started for Aston Villa despite being fined after a nightclub fracas involving two other players, while manager Alex McLeish welcomed back Stephen Ireland from injury.
Kyle Walker broke a toe in the 4-1 midweek win over Bolton but managed to start in an unchanged Tottenham line-up.
Villa made a bright start to the game, dominating the early possession, but the first chance fell to Spurs. Adebayor was found on the right-hand side of the area by Gareth Bale, and the Togo international flashed an effort wide across goal.
The home side were not deterred, however, and continued to press. But apart from a speculative Hutton shot from distance, Villa didn't create any real chances in the opening 10 minutes.
Lone striker Emile Heskey then had a glorious opportunity to give Villa the lead. He latched on to a through ball from Ireland, and only a superbly timed Younes Kaboul tackle could stop the former England international from opening the scoring.
The chance spurred the visitors on, and Spurs started to stamp their authority on the game. After a brief pause for an injury to N'Zogbia, Tottenham burst forward, leading to a chance for Walker who drove a 20-yard strike just over.
Tottenham were dominating territory and possession, but Villa were defending stoically, and their bravery was rewarded on 34 minutes. The ball was worked to Clark in midfield, and he unleashed a speculative long-range effort which deflected off William Gallas and looped over a helpless Brad Friedel.
The visitors nearly drew level almost immediately. Another cross fell to Bale, and the Wales international's effort was bound for the top corner before Shay Given produced an excellent save to tip wide.
Spurs continued to dominate possession but couldn't break through the Villa defence. A short corner was worked to van de Vaart on the edge of the box, who let fly with a superb volley that whistled inches wide.
The second half carried on from where the first half left off, with Tottenham pressing a Villa defence which proved impenetrable so far.
And things went from bad to worse for the visitors as they were reduced to 10 men only five minutes into the second half. Rose picked up a straight red after jumping into a challenge with Hutton and catching the full-back square in the shin.
Adebayor had a superb chance to level after he was put through by a quick Modric free-kick, but the Spurs striker's effort tamely rolled into Given's arms.
Brazil international Sandro then won the ball in the area and was brought down by Richard Dunne to give the hosts a penalty, which Adebayor dispatched coolly into the right corner.
Despite dominating the latter stages with one less man, Spurs could not find the winner, which leaves their Champions League hopes in the hands of their rivals.
The point for Villa, however, all but seals their safety in the top-flight, after a torrid run of results in the second half of the season.