Three straight losses in the Premier League campaign forced Nuno Espirito Santo to make a couple of changes from the North London Derby. Cuti Romero came into the back line with Emerson Royal and Oliver Skipp. Romero seems to be getting more comfortable with the side so it’s good to see him in the Starting XI. The question on everyone’s mind was if the tactics were set up for proper attacking football.
2’ - Well we don’t scare Aston Villa whatsoever, do we? Villa come flying out of the blocks with a high press, forcing a couple of turnovers and earning a corner.
10’ - Sonny is in a lot of pain after a rough foul by McGinn. He’s trying to shake it off but it’s taking a bit.
16’ - It took a few minutes but Spurs are getting on the attack a bit. No big chances yet but at least we’re getting into the attacking third.
22’ - Good sequence in the attacking third as Spurs look for a window. They find it as Kane tees it up and takes a rip from distance, but he sends it into the stands.
24’ - Kane about sent the crowd into a frenzy with an audacious attempt from 45 yards. Ndombele gets fouled and Kane comes flying in for a shot on target that’s saved. That would have been a hell of a goal.
27’ - GOAL SPURS! PIERRE-EMILE HOJBJERG! Villa make a mistake and give up the ball in midfield to spring the counter attack. Sonny keeps it simple and passes it to Hojbjerg at the top of the penalty area. One calm shot into the corner later, Spurs are up 1-0!
31’ - Jacob Ramsey goes into the book for Aston Villa for his foul on Harry Kane.
36’ - Skipp tries to head the ball back and ends up giving it to Danny Ings. He’s forced to foul him afterward, earning a yellow card in the process.
43’ - Chance for Villa after a corner as Spurs struggle to clear it. Ollie Watkins crosses into the box to no one but the clearance falls to McGinn, who tries a volley that goes just wide.
HALF-TIME: Hojbjerg’s strike is the difference as Spurs head into the break up 1-0.
47’ - Big chance for Villa after a bit of confusion in the penalty area. Two blocks shots result in a corner kick where McGinn tries another volley, but this one is easy to save as Hugo ends the threat.
53’ - Good series for Spurs as the weather deteriorates. Emerson makes a couple of great moves and crosses late into the box to find Sonny. Not a bad strike from the Korean International, but it’s over the crossbar.
56’ - Sonny is hellbent on scoring in this match. He tries feeding Reguilon ahead but the pass peters out, forcing Sergio to give it back. Sonny wheels around and blasts one from distance over the crossbar again.
60’ - Yet again another chance for Sonny as he gets past the Villa defense. Martinez ends up making the save but you feel like he’s going to get one of these to go in.
61’ - I have no idea what Tanguy just did for a touch, but he smokes two Villa defenders and gets a shot off that’s saved again.
68’ - Goal Aston Villa. Three well placed passes while also getting fouled on the first one results in a yellow card for Romero but Watkins ends up getting on the end of the final pass to level the match at 1-1.
71’ - GOAL SPURS! LUCAS MOURA! This is just brilliant by Sonny. He absolutely torches the Villa defense and makes three of them wildly dive to try and stop his cross. None of them have a chance as he finds Lucas, who one-times it in. 2-1 Spurs!
77’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Giovani Lo Celso comes on for Tanguy Ndombele.
78’ - Big chance for Villa as Danny Ings gets a pass at the top of the penalty area. It looked wild but he gets good contact on it. Hugo is up to the task and makes a diving save.
79’ - Kane almost breaks his league duck with a powerful low strike, leaving Martinez standing, but it’s just wide of the net.
80’ - Apparently Lucas Moura’s goal is now an own goal. We’ll have to see the replay on that one.
83’ - Spurs are pushing for the insurance goal as they show off some skill. Lo Celso ends up taking a curling crack but it’s wide of the net.
87’ - This second half has been full of chances. Another fantastic combination of passes as Kane sets up Lo Celso. His shot is on target but it could have been a lot better as Mings deflects it.
88’ - Gaaaaaaah another opportunity that results in no goal. Kane gets in on net thanks to a wonderful pass. Martinez somehow makes an excellent save to keep Villa in this match.
89’ - Substitution for both sides. Bryan Gil comes on for Lucas Moura while Danny Ings leaves for Cameron Archer.
90’+3’ - Frustration foul by Aston Villa after Sonny spends ten seconds making them look silly again.
FULL TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Aston Villa. A much needed three points to go into the international break.
Thoughts on the Match
- Much better. Spurs took a bit to settle into the match, but took over about midway through the first half. Villa had a few minutes in the second half where they got the goal and threatened, but this match could have been a much larger deficit.
- Sonny’s my man of the match. He was terrifying the entire second half and Villa were just tired of trying to stop him. He may not have scored, but he assisted both goals.
- I think Moura got robbed of a goal. The replay is inconclusive and it sure looks like he hits it. Either way, it’s the winner.
- The second half was bonkers for action. Plenty of chances and it’s rather amazing that we only got the two goals that we did. Hugo and Martinez both had good outings.
- I’m not worried about Kane just yet. Yes, that’s six matches he hasn’t scored in league play but he’s scoring basically everywhere else. He does need to break the duck, though.
- Ndombele had a weird match. He wasn’t great in the first half, then pulled off some audacious touches before kinda being bad again. Mixed day all around.
- Emerson was fantastic. His passing is solid and he was getting into threatening areas. He’s only going to get better as he settles.
- International break #2 is upon us. Spurs are back in action a week from Saturday against Newcastle United.