After the disappointing performance, last time out, Dean Smith and his team will have been looking to respond at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. And respond, they did. The match did not get off to the best of starts for the boys in claret and blue when Steven Bergwijn took advantage of a mistake from Nakamba to power home a strike past the helpless Emiliano Martinez. Smith’s Villans then took hold of the contest and their intense pressing of the Spurs backline was to bring just reward when Nakamba’s cross resulting in a contender for the most spectacular own goal of all time when Reguilon sliced the ball into the back of his own net. Another mistake resulted in Watkins scoring what turned out to be the winning goal.

Before we get into the game in detail, let’s take a look at the line-ups both teams put out…

Tottenham XI:

Aston Villa XI:

Following the collapse in the capital last week against Crystal Palace, where Villa took the lead twice only to take nothing from a very disappointing afternoon for all those of an Aston Villa persuasion. Signs were not good in the opening minutes of the contest when Spurs started the better in the first ten minutes with a couple of chances coming to the lilywhites. Ryan Mason’s team eventually took what was at the time a deserved lead when a defensive error from Marvelous Nakamba meant that Bergwijn was able to break through the Villa defence, with the Dutch winger placing a powerful effort past Martinez to give the North London side the lead early on in the match.

There was then a somewhat contentious decision not to award Villa a penalty when Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris went straight through Ollie Watkins in the box with the ball already out of the Frenchman’s grasp and despite his best efforts took down the ex-Brentford striker in what seemed a stonewall penalty. But alas, it wasn’t and it was still 1-0 to the hosts.

Villa then created a couple of half-chances to bring themselves level in the contest but was unable to convert those opportunities. But, just minutes later there was joy for Villa when Nakamba crossed the ball into the penalty area only for Reguilon to slice the ball into the back of his own net. If there was an award for own goal of the season, this would certainly be a contender. Despite it not being a Villa player equalising, it was what Villa deserved given how Villa had been dominating the midfield battle and was on the front foot and dominating the game for most of the first half of the match and however the equaliser came, it was deserved.

Then, just minutes before the halftime break, Villa took a deserved lead when the pressing from the Villa front line led to a mistake not once but twice from the Spurs backline and Reguilon gave the ball away to Traore, who helped the ball onto Watkins who was able to hold off the Spurs defenders to place the ball past Lloris to give the visitors the lead.

The halftime whistle came with boos ringing around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium from the 10,000 Spurs fans in attendance, which tells you everything you need to know about the game. Spurs were poor and Villa was on the front foot and having the better of the match.

Spurs certainly started the second half the better of the two teams after their lacklustre first half. There was a flurry of chances for the home side to equalise early in the half when Martinez produced two excellent to save a shot from Bergwijn and then from an effort from Kane. Villa and their defence were able to hold out against a resurgent Tottenham who was battling to restore parity. Thankfully from Villa’s point of view, their defence stayed strong.

Bertrand Traore then had a good chance to extend Villa’s advantage but saw his curling effort go just wide of Lloris’s far post. The chance came from the superb John McGinn, whose turn and powerful run created the chance for the ex-Chelsea man. Martinez was then forced to make another save when Kane was able to produce a shot from a very tight angle only for his shot to be saved by the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper.

Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga was then stretchered off the pitch following a battle for possession with El Ghazi and I am sure I’m not the only one wishing him a speedy recovery.

Villa youngsters Chukwuemeka and Philogene-Bidace then came on to make their senior debuts in what was a great moment and it could have been even better for Chukwuemeka whose effort from outside the penalty area struck the post to get as close as he could have got to a goal on his senior debut. This fantastic moment, seeing two senior debuts capped off a great night for Dean Smith’s team.

Great win and a huge three points. UTV.

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THE OPPOSITION | MANCHESTER UNITED

Up next, a happy hunting ground for Aston Villa… NOT! It’s Manchester United away at the Theatre of Dreams, a theatre where we’ve witnessed some shocking plays – we dropped out of the league there in April 2016, but this is a new-look Aston Villa, and we certainly have the potential to give United a […]

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