Well, that was emphatically terrible. Tottenham Hotspur went up 1-0 over Aston Villa in front of 10,000 home fans for the first time all season, but then laid an egg thanks to a horrorshow of an afternoon from Sergio Reguilon. Steven Bergwijn put Tottenham up early with a fantastic shot that was leathered into the top corner after just seven minutes, but Reguilon had a hand in both Villa goals.
First, Reggie scored a spectacular own goal that would’ve been lovely if it weren’t in his own net. Then later he had two blocked clearances, the second of which fell to the feet of Ollie Watkins who powered it past Hugo. In truth, it could’ve been a lot worse; Villa ended up outshooting Spurs 20-10 and had a number of good attempts. Strangely, the xG map wasn’t as bad as I feared.
xG map for Spurs - Villa— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) May 19, 2021
shot-based xG underrates Villa in a way, they had a weirdly high numbers of giveaways from good shooting positions in the penalty area pic.twitter.com/fwltRqosMj
My notes are somewhat sparse — there’s only a certain amount of critical analysis you can do while half-watching the match from work — but here they are.
- Ryan Mason’s decision to solve the “start Gio or Tanguy” issue by not starting EITHER of them and playing Harry Winks was quite possibly the worst decision of his short managerial career. Winks was absolutely putrid out there today, not doing all the things we expected he’d not do, which makes his inclusion even more baffling and inexcusable.
- When Tanguy came on — Spurs’ midfield improved dramatically. [insert thinking-face-emoji here]
- Speaking of putrid, holy smokes Sergio Reguilon! Everyone has bad days, but he had an absolute horror-show out there and I am actually surprised he didn’t get hooked. On a positive note, he should’ve earned Spurs a penalty after he got mugged in the box, but Craig Pawson opted not to blow the whistle.
- How about Steven Bergwijn? Great game from Stevie, who looked bright and freed from the shackles of having to play as a Mourinho-style defensive winger. Had a number of good shots, unfortunately most of them were straight at Emi Martinez. But that was a promising match for him, at least.
- Eric Dier nearly gifted Villa another goal today. Drink. (But honestly, apart from THAT, he wasn’t bad.)
- I’m glad Gareth Bale got an opportunity to get the adulation of the Tottenham fans in person at least once, assuming he doesn’t come back for another season on loan next year. His little tekkers move was absolutely absurd.
- I feel so bad for Japhet Tanganga. I hope he’s okay.
- Tottenham are now in deep trouble as far as European qualification. They have to beat Leicester to have any chance now, and with a loss could drop out of Europe altogether depending on other results on the final day. They could also finish behind Arsenal.
- On the bright side, we only have to watch this Tottenham team one more time this season, so that’s pretty exciting.