After two weeks away on International Break, the Premier League returned as Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa went head-to-head at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Expecting fireworks with how the two teams played, the mixed emotions of the game saw Spurs drop their third consecutive game by way of a 2-1 scoreline.
Hoping to regroup after the 2-1 extra-time defeat to Wolverhampton before the break, manager Ange Postecoglou went with an attacking lineup as a midfield three of Rodrigo Bentancur, Giovanni Lo Celso, and Dean Kulusevski brought creativity throughout the midfield.
Tottenham’s lone goal of the game came by way of a volley as Lo Celso teed up his shot and earned a deflection off Diego Carlos to get his first goal in more than three years as a Spurs player.
Then, things started to take a shift for the worse as Bentancur was injured on a hard challenge by Aston Villa’s Matty Cash. Hoping to continue playing with the ankle injury, Bentancur had to come off injured and the air around the stadium was let out as the fan favorite had provided excitement with every touch he had.
Villa equalized before the half off a set piece take that saw Pau Torres beat Ben Davies to the ball and squeeze it past the near post of Guglielmo Vicario.
In the second half, the difference was shown as Spurs became more tired, and with a depleted bench as injuries and suspensions showed, Villa stayed on the front foot.
Ollie Watkins played a one-two with Youri Tielemans to squeeze past the center-back partnership of Emerson Royal and Davies and slot his shot into the far post.
Down 2-1, Spurs continued to provide offensive production as shots were put into the box with Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Son Heung-min, Brennan Johnson, Kulusevski, and others missing the chances to level the game.
Seeing the shots either saved or in the case of Son — a hat trick of offside goals — Spurs were showing fatigue in the final stages of the game.
The scoreline reflects a third consecutive defeat, it is easy to say that this is a game that Spurs were unlucky to not grab a point or all three.
Going from the last unbeaten team to dropping into fifth in the table with 26 points, Spurs will head to Manchester to take on the champions of Manchester City on Sunday.