Aston Villa were left red-faced as Tottenham advanced to the Capital One Cup fourth round with a convincing victory over their Barclays Premier League rivals.
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The visitors made light of having to play twice in three days as Jermain Defoe and Paulinho struck either side of half-time before Nacer Chadli blasted in and Defoe tucked home his sixth of the season to give them a deserved win, matching their easy league win on the same ground last term.
But the outcome hinged on a bizarre incident immediately after the restart, which Villa boss Paul Lambert was convinced should have reduced Tottenham to 10 men.
Introduced for Libor Kozak at the interval, Nicklas Helenius got round the back of Jan Vertonghen as they chased Matt Lowton's forward pass into the box.
In his desperation to recover the lost ground, Vertonghen stumbled and as he was falling made a grab for Helenius. The Belgian succeeded only in grabbing the striker's shorts, yanking them down to his knees just as he was about to shoot.
Helenius carried on anyway, blasting over from an acute angle.
To Lambert's disbelief, referee Jon Moss opted to give a goal-kick rather than a penalty that surely would have been accompanied by Vertonghen's exit.
That Paulinho's goal came within two minutes of such a strange incident underlined it was not going to be Villa's night as Spurs successful start to the season continued.
It also made it a successful night for their veteran former Villa keeper Brad Friedel.