A sloppy display in North London from Aston Villa saw Tottenham Hotspur deserved victors ahead of the international break.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled to London to face Tottenham Hotspur, currently in a poor run of form, hoping to continue their strong displays in North London from last season. Dean Smith’s side remained unchanged from the 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend.
Smith’s side were presented with a set-piece opportunity within the first two minutes of the game, as high pressing from the Villans put Spurs under early pressure.
The opening 20 minutes saw Aston Villa as the better side, despite Tottenham finding themselves in the Villa box on a number of occasions but failing to question Martinez in the net.
In the 27th minute, however, the home side would take the lead. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg found the ball in acres of space and with time to ready himself on the edge of the Aston Villa box, before the midfielder stroked a passed ball into the bottom right corner past the outstretched Emi Martinez.
Tottenham’s Oliver Skipp received the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Danny Ings out wide in the 36th minute.
As the game trickled towards stoppage time, Aston Villa had a number of set-piece opportunities, mixed between long-throws and corners, but none of their attempts truly tested the Tottenham defence. John McGinn came close with a long range volley which curled just wide of Lloris’ far post.
There was a minute of added time at the end of the half, before the sides went in with Tottenham ahead.
Aston Villa had early opportunities early in the second half, with Oliver Skipp clearing acrobatically to deny Danny Ings, before Romero blocked an effort out for a corner from Matt Targett.
By the hour mark, changes were evidently needed as it seemed like neither defence nor attack was too comfortable with how the side was playing today. Martinez was called into action as a long ball over the top found Heung-Min Son, whose left footed effort was blocked wide by the Argentine stopper. He was called into action to deny the mazy Ndombele shortly afterwards.
Aston Villa, would however, equalise. After prolonged pressure from Dean Smith’s side, the 67th minute saw Danny Ings find Targett out wide, who played a low ball across the box for Ollie Watkins – who loves to score in North London – who poked home past Lloris for his first goal of the season. Following the goal, Cristian Romero was booked for a challenge on Jacob Ramsey in the build up to the equaliser.
Following the goal, Emi Buendia would replace Jacob Ramsey.
Just three minutes after Aston Villa’s equaliser, Heung Min-Son capitalised on some open space down the left, racing all the way into the box and past a challenge from Kortney Hause, before squaring the ball across the goal for Lucas Moura to tap into an open net. The goal would be recorded as a Matt Targett own goal, with the defender trying to deny the Spurs forward.
Tottenham Hotpsur made their first chance with fifteen of regular time left, with Ndombele replaced by Lo Celso. With ten left, Aston Villa made a change, replacing Kortney Hause with Bertrand Traore.
Aston Villa would turn to Cameron Archer as the game edged towards the final whistle, with the forward replacing Danny Ings.