Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier was not downbeat despite the home loss to Tottenham leaving his side just four points above the relegation zone.
Tottenham's talismanic midfielder Rafael van der Vaart ensured that manager Harry Redknapp maintained his hoodoo over Villa.
Despite a controversial 27th-minute straight red card for Jermain Defoe for an elbow on James Collins, the Dutch midfielder scored either side of that to take his tally to double figures for the season, with Spurs unbeaten in each of the eight games in which he has scored.
Although Marc Albrighton pulled one back eight minutes from time, it was not enough to spare the home side, with Redknapp unbeaten in his last 10 Barclays Premier League games as a manager against Villa.
"I think it is a poor result, but not a poor performance," said Houllier. "Maybe with a bit of luck we could have had a second goal.
"But their second goal killed us, even if in second half showed we could have got something from the game."