Aston Villa 2 Spurs 3: Tottenham Leave It Late
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said after the game that Aston Villa didn’t deserve to lose but equally, Tottenham had enough chances to kill it off long before Son Heung-Min’s stoppage time clincher.
The two sides produced an entertaining afternoon for the neutrals but ultimately, it all came down to defensive mistakes and it was Villa’s errors that proved to be the deciding factor. Once again, we’ll take the win that extends a strong run of form and leaves us hot on the trail of Chelsea who still occupy that final Champions League place.
Villa Take Advantage
The first mistake of the afternoon was provided by Tottenham who gifted Villa the opener on nine minutes. With Hugo Lloris seemingly unsure whether to come for Anwar El Ghazi’s cross, the confusion resulted in Toby Alderweireld prodding past his own keeper. Our Belgian defender compensated for the error on 27 minutes with a turn and fierce strike from a corner that Villa failed to clear.
We looked set to go in all square at half time but then came the turning point of the game. As it has done for much of the season, VAR intervened to turn what looked to be a certain goal kick into a penalty after Steven Bergwijn had been brought down.
Having studied social media, many Spurs fans were with us in remaining nervous and unconvinced about Son Heung-Min’s run up. The South Korean went, once again, for the far left corner but this time Pepe Reina in the Villa goal had second guessed him. Reina parried but with no defenders rushing on to clear, it was left to Sonny to tap in and put Spurs ahead for the first time in the game.
The second half belonged to Villa’s Bjorn Engels: Initially, the Belgian levelled the scores with a towering header from a corner on 53 minutes. Both sides had chances with Tottenham edging the play but we left it late. Engels’ basic error from a clearance on 94 minutes left Son Heung-Min to capitalise and this time we were more confident as he slid the ball past the oncoming Reina.
Aston Villa will feel that a draw would have been fair, particularly when VAR is taken into consideration but this time we’d left the hosts with no time to come back into the game.
Speaking on Spurs TV after the game, manager Jose Mourinho said:
Fantastic, important and we had to work a lot for that.
We didn’t start very well, I think they started more aggressive, more intense than us, we made our little mistakes but then a fantastic reaction and again, in the second half, after 2-2, I think it was a period of amazing football that we played, so many chances that we created but the ball wasn’t going in.
You know, we scored almost at the end. People can say, ‘okay, a bit of luck’, but I’d say amazing attitude, ambition and togetherness and the boys went until the last second, so I’m so pleased for them. Thanks so much to the fans that came, they provided fantastic support.
The win extends our unbeaten run to seven games and Spurs are now back up to fifth as we enter what is surely the most vital week of our season. A tough Champions League first leg tie at home to RB Leipzig awaits on Wednesday and then it’s the trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in Saturday’s lunchtime kick off.
It’s a daunting few days but, on the back of that run and, having beaten Manchester City in that time, we should start to turn hope into confidence of achieving positive results from both fixtures.