|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)||ASTON VILLA 2 (2)|
|Date : – 19th May 2021||Kick off : – 18.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 10,000|
|Referee : – Craig Pawson (Sheffield)||Linesmen : – Mr. Ian Hussin; Mr. Richard West|
|Fourth official : – Simon Hooper|
|VAR official : – Kevin Friend||VAR Assistant : – Simon Beck|
|Weather : – Dry, mild|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 12 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||ASTON VILLA|
|Bergwijn 07m 34s||Reguilon (o.g.) 19m 19s|
|Watkins 38m 07s|
|Hojbjerg (foul on Grealish) 43||McGinn (foul on Ndombele) 90+1|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||ASTON VILLA|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||26.||Emilano MARTINEZ|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA ( 2. Matt DOHERTY 83)||4.||Ezri KONSA|
|4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD||30.||Kortney HAUSE|
|15.||Eric DIER||5.||Tyrone MINGS|
|3.||Sergio REGUILON (o.g)||18.||Matt TARGETT|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||7.||John McGINN|
|8.||Harry WINKS ( 28. Tanguy NDOMBELE 74)||19.||Marvellous NAKAMBA ( 60. Carney CHUKWUEMEKA 89)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||15.||Bertrand TRAORE ( 52. Jaden PHILOGENE-BIDACE 90+3)|
|20.||DELE Alli||10.||Jack GREALISH (c) ( 6. Douglas LUIZ 73)|
|23.||Steven BERGWIJN ( 9. Gareth BALE 72)||21.||Anwar EL GHAZI|
|10.||Harry KANE||11.||Ollie WATKINS|
|12.||Joe HART||12.||Jed STEER|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||3.||Neil TAYLOR|
|24.||Serge AURIER||20.||Ross BARKLEY|
|18.||Giovani LO CELSO||41.||Jacob RAMSEY|
|11.||Erik LAMELA||27.||Ahmed EL-MOHAMADY|
|Manager : – Ryan Mason||Manager : – Dean Smith|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Kappa|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Cazoo
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – LT
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
Perhaps this match encapsulated Tottenham’s season, with a lead lost and a performance that was a shadow of the last few seasons, producing evidence for Harry Kane to fulfil his “desire” to play in the big games as Spurs handed Aston Villa a 2-1 win at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
It was Sergio Reguilon’s nightmare that turned the match in Villa’s favour after Steven Bergwijn had given Spurs an early goal. Reguilon was instrumental in the first goal, with a header won on the halfway line sending the ball forward that was intercepted by Marvellous Nakamba, who didn’t live up to his name by losing control for Stevie to pick up possession. 35 yards out, he barrelled towards the penalty area and brushed Nakamba aside as he attempted to atone for his error, firing the ball high into the net from the edge of the box with seven and a half minutes gone. The ball flew past Martinez’s right hand as it ripped into the goal and this is more what we want to see from Bergwijn and maybe inclusion in the Dutch Euro 2020 squad has boosted his confidence.
Villa got into the game when Nakamba crossed from their left wing and with Watkins behind him, but with the ball likely to go behind the Villa forward, Sergio swiped at the ball with his right foot, slicing the ball past Hugo Lloris to give Villa and equaliser. Perhaps it was his lack of awareness as to where Watkins was or maybe someone should have given him a shout, but it was a gift for the Midlanders, whose only threat had been an 11th minute long ball that Watkins chased and as Lloris slid out five yards off his line to let the ball run out wide of the goal. Watkins made sure that he contacted the Spurs skipper, as he pulled out of the challenge and that may have been what VAR saw. It wasn’t what Dean Smith saw as he screamed at the officials for a spot-kick.
The same Villa player than made a yard in the box and dragged his shot across goal, while Jack Grealish shot wide to the left of Lloris’ goal from 20 yards. Everybody raved about Grealish and there is no doubt he is a good player, but is he the sort of player we need ? He certainly has the ability of making something out of nothing and that is why he wins so many free-kicks, which makes so many players afraid to challenge him, as his yelp is worse than the bite in the tackle. It is something that could have been coached into him, as both Konsa and Watkins are not afraid to show their pain.
Unsurprisingly when you look at the Villa bench, they contest every decision they don’t get and those they think they should have. They had started the match in a very aggressive style and it hadn’t paid off, as they tried to embody the spirit of “the Battle of the Bridge”. Winks had intercepted a cross-pitch pass and took the ball forward into the box, but when he got there he fell over his own feet and lost possession. Just after the clock had ticked past 38 minutes, Spurs were trapped down by the left corner flag at the end they were defending. Dier, Reguilon and Winks were there, but twice Sergio hit Villa players. Traore first, with Winks playing the ball back to him and then the same player again sticking a leg out and this time the ball went into our penalty area. it ran across Watkins, allowing him to scuff a shot past Hugo at his near post. His team-mates were not showing for him to provide an option for a pass, so he had little option than to try and clear the ball upfield, so yes … it was his mistake, but he wasn’t solely to blame.
From being a goal ahead, we had slipped into a losing position and not only that, but we were losing the ball too often and too easily around 20 yards from our goal. In trying to play the ball out, we were just playing our players into trouble and Traore played the ball to Watkins in the box for him to shoot. Hugo saved well, but the ball went back towards the Villa man, with only a timely intervention by Toby knocking the ball out for a corner. From that he was on hand to block a Traore effort … and that continued after the break, when Tobes was there to prevent El Ghazi’s effort from the left flying into the other corner of the goal.
Spurs had half a chance when Son and Regulion linked up well on the left, with Son’s back-heel inside the penalty area going behind the Spaniard, but Bergwijn was there to swipe a shot at goal, which Martinez beat out. Steven got the loose ball and dinked it across the box to Dele, whose half-volley into the ground was headed over by Mings. When Son was taken out by Hause and play was allowed to continue, as Harry Kane ran the ball forward and passed to Bergwijn on his right, who forced another save from Martinez.
Son and Kane didn’t seem to be on the same wavelength today and the Korean’s pass lacked enough weight to free our soon to depart striker, but Reguilon did pick him out with a long cross that Kane volleyed wide of the goal as it dropped over Targett’s head. Villa had chances through Traore and then El Ghazi, who pulled a ball across the face of goal that Dier cleared away. Around the hour mark, it didn’t seem like we would find a way back into the match, as Villa were pressing and there wasn’t a lot of movement off the ball to play a pass to. When there were passes, they weren’t finding their intended target and our touch was poor.
Traore dribbled forward without much of a challenge form a white shirt, until Alderweireld blocked his shot before Watkins was played clear of the Spurs defence. Dier got back to hold him up and Lloris went to ground and then knocked the ball away from him at the second attempt, all of which was pointless, as an offside flag belatedly brought play to a halt. This rule is making the game indecipherable, as Dele was bundled over inside the Villa penalty area, but he had been offside too.
Bale and Ndombele came on as Villa began running down the clock with their time-wasting tactics, with Martinez taking well over six seconds every time he had the ball in his hands and Grealish was substituted, being so tired that it took him tow minutes to leave the field. What happened with leaving the field at the nearest point, with some of our players getting yellow cards for not doing it ?
Ndombele quickened up Tottenham’s play and his pass to Kane inside the box on the right saw Harry twist and turn Mings inside out before his shot flew off him, forcing the keeper to a sharp save at his near post. Spurs were defending well when Villa got forward and Reguilon and Bale both flashed balls across the box, as well as Kane’s cross that Dele just failed to reach at the near post. Gareth then juggled the ball over McGinn’s head but was stretching to reach for his shot, sending a volley into the South Stand. Whenever Tottenham tried to break, they were halted by fair means or foul and McGinn’s cynical trip on Tanguy on halfway was a nasty one and the referee finally pulled a yellow card out for one of the visiting players.
Villa made the most of their lead and brought on some youngsters at the end, with one – Chukwuemeka – hitting the bottom of Hugo’s right hand post from just outside the box. When Kane’s late cross drifted into Martinez’s hands with 30 seconds left, you knew that most of that would be eaten up before he released the ball.
Before the final whistle, some of those lucky (?) enough to be there were filing out the exits and others exhibited glum faces that said it all. It has been a strange season and it is difficult to pin our poor home form on the lack of fans, as the reaction to some of the football and results might not have been complimentary. There was booing at the end of the match and then it went a bit further with the “lap of honour” that was promised not taking place for half an hour before the players came out to wave to the crowd. Harry Kane was said to be holding back tears and I think a lot of those fans in the ground were probably doing the same, but they were tears of frustration.
Two individual errors cost Tottenham the game and although the score-line could have been much worse, some excellent blocking by Dier and Alderweireld, allied with some woeful finishing, meant it ended 2-1. The most disappointing aspect was the lack of determined response to get back into the game. Spurs did have a few chances, but it needed the players to get a grip on the game to drag themselves back into it. Too often, they allowed Villa to out-muscle our players on the ball and that wasn’t helped by some weak refereeing, with Pawson allowing a cynical challenge by El Ghazi finishing Japhet Tanganga’s season, by first pulling him back (not the first time he had done that in the match) and then scissoring Japhet’s leg as he fell. His pain was real and clear to see, as he grimaced on the turf and then had to be stretchered off.
So a defeat rounds off the home fixtures for this season and probably ends any chance of European football next season. We will have to win and West Ham lose to finish above them, match Everton’s result to stop them over-taking us and better Arsenal’s result to end up higher up the table than them. All this looked unlikely when Spurs were top of the table before Christmas, but the table shows the reality of what has happened since then.
It’s going to be a torrid summer and whoever starts next season in the hot seat will need to form a side that can win over the fans.
Dele Alli plays his 250th match for Tottenham.
|Newcastle United||1||Sheffield United||0|
|West Bromwich Albion||1||West Ham United London||3|
|Crystal Palace||1||Woolwich Wanderers||3|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||3||Manchester City||2|
|South Coast Big Club||0||Leeds United||2|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|6||West Ham United London||37||18||8||11||59||47||62||+12|
|14||South Coast Big Club||37||12||7||18||47||65||43||-18|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||37||9||14||14||40||44||41||-4|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||37||5||11||21||34||73||26||-39|