| Soldado (right) celebrates his goal with Paulinho, on Sunday |
London: Andros Townsend kept the spotlight firmly trained on him by netting his first Premier League goal in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who signed a four-year deal with Spurs on Friday having scored on his England debut the previous week before finding himself at the centre of a racism furore, put his side ahead in the 31st minute with a cross that found the net.
Roberto Soldado doubled the advantage on 69 minutes after a sublime touch from Paulinho set up the Spanish forward for a neat finish.
The match was marred just after Townsend’s opener when a linesman was hit in the back by a flare thrown from the crowd at Villa Park. He was able to continue but a blue cloud of smoke lingered for some time.
Victory lifted Spurs to fifth in the standings with 16 points from eight games, level with fourth-placed Manchester City. Arsenal are on top on 19 with Chelsea and Liverpool two points behind.
“It’s been one of the best few weeks of my life,” Townsend said after the match. “The main thing today was getting back to winning ways after the result against West Ham and I think the second-half performance showed what we are all about.”
Spurs had arrived at Villa Park keen to bounce back from a 0-3 mauling by West Ham United in their previous league game a fortnight ago.
Since that match, their winger Townsend has had time to make his first and second England appearances — scoring in the 4-1 win over Montenegro and featuring in the 2-0 victory over Poland that sealed the country’s place at next year’s World Cup.
After the Poland game, he found himself in the limelight again after England manager Roy Hodgson referred to an old joke about monkeys in space in his halftime team talk when telling Chris Smalling to pass the ball to Townsend.
Townsend himself described the comment as complimentary rather than offensive but it did not stop days of newspaper stories on the matter and he was back in the headlines on Friday when he penned a new contract.
The attention seemed to give Townsend an air of confidence as he put in a lively performance against Villa even if Spurs were uninspired for long periods.