Date : –  21st March 2021 Kick off : –  19.30
Competition : –  Premier League Venue : –  Villa Park
Crowd : –  0,000
Referee : –  Mike Dean (Wirral) Linesmen : – Mr. Darren Cann; Mr. Mark Scholes
Fourth official : –  Robert Jones
VAR official : –  Simon Hooper VAR Assistant : – Derek Eaton
Weather : –  Chilly, dry
Aston Villa kicked off the first half attacking the Holte End end
Playing time : –   90 + 6 minutes


       Vinicius  28m 34s
       Kane  (p)   67m 25s
Cash (foul on Moura) 74   Lo Celso (stopping a free-kick being taken) 63
McGinn (dissent) 81   Vinicius (foul on Luiz) 83
Targett (foul on Moura) 90+3    


26.    Emiliano MARTINEZ 1.   Hugo LLORIS (c)
2.    Matt CASH   25.   Japhet TANGANGA
4.    Ezri KONSA 6.   Davinson SANCHEZ
5.    Tyrone MINGS 14.   Joe RODON
18.    Matt TARGETT   3.   Sergio REGUILON  (  33.    Ben DAVIES  57) 
25.    Morgan SANSON  ( 20.   Ross BARKLEY  66)  5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG
6.    Douglas LUIZ 28.   Tanguy NDOMBELE   ( 17.   Moussa SISSOKO  81) 
7.    John McGINN   18.   Giovani LO CELSO    ( 23.   Steven BERGWIJN  66) 
  Lucas MOURA
15.    Bertrand TRAORE  ( 21.   Anwar El GHAZY  60)     
11.    Ollie WATKINS 45.   Carlos VINICIUS   
17.    TREZEGUET  ( 39.   Keinan DAVIS  79)  10.   Harry KANE  (p)
Substitutes Substitutes
1.    Tom HEATON 12.   Joe HART
3.    Neil TAYLOR 15.    Eric DIER
22.    Bjorn ENGELS 20.    DELE Alli
27.    Ahmed El MOHAMADY 54.   Alfie DEVINE
19.    Marvellous NAKAMBA 53.   Dane SCARLETT
41.   Jacob RAMSEY 9.   Gareth BALE


Manager : –  Dean Smith Manager : –  Jose Mourinho
Kit Supplier : –  Kappa Kit Supplier : –  Nike
Shirt Sponsor : –  Cazoo Shirt Sponsor : –  AIA
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  LT Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  cinch
Colours : –
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Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website



With Spurs missing the likes of Son, Alderweireld and Aurier, it was the absence of Jack Grealish on the pitch that turned Aston Villa from the convincing side of the early part of the season into a lack-lustre mirror image of Spurs in our last two matches.  Their failure to test Hugo Lloris or the newly assembled Spurs back four, as Tottenham weathered an early storm to go on to win comfortably 2-0 in the end, maintaining the very good record they have at Villa Park.

It was a much-changed side that Mourinho picked for the visit to Villa and the inclusion of two 16-year olds on the bench was obviously intended to send a message to some members of the squad. With Alderweireld and Aurier ill, the squad had to be changed, but it was changes that were meant that give the team some impetus rather than the staleness that had settled into the first team over the last two games.

For the first ten minutes, Spurs enjoyed possession without making any decent chances, but some good link-up play saw them moving the ball forward. Lucas burst forward on one occasion and then Reguilon got space in the box from Ndombele’s pass but was blocked off. Hugo Lloris had to be sharp off  his line to take a long ball forward for Trezeguet as Sanchez slept underneath the pass. Rodon was more alive to cut out a low pull back from Cash and then Lloris had to kick clear as the Spurs defenders failed to react to the ball bouncing around on the edge of the box, but Trezeguet was offside anyway.  Tanganga did well to clear when a cross-field ball from Traore found Targett unmarked on their left, running in behind the defence as Lo Celso let the full back run in behind him. From a comfortable first ten minutes, that changed to uncomfortable in the next ten. Passes were going astray and players were not making themselves available to receive the ball when we were in possession. High balls forward to Lo Celso were not the way that Spurs were going to be able to trouble the Villa back line, but when Spurs decided to go long and Martinez rushed out of his box to get to Reguilon’s long ball before Vinicius. It went straight to Moura, who passed to Kane 20 yards out and central to the goal. Where Villa might have expected the shot with the goalkeeper struggling to regain his position, he returned it into Lucas’ run into the left side of the box and a fine pass, pulled back between Mings and Cash for Carlos Vinicius to tap home from a yard out, with the net invitingly empty in front of him. It was against the run of play but was well made, especially Kane’s pass to Moura in lots of space and then the Brazilian’s assist to his fellow countryman.

Bernard Traore gave away a needless corner, from which Kane won the header, aiming it down but off target, forcing Cash to concede another. This time, Martinez came, fluffed his punch to the edge of the area, where Tanguy sliced his effort, dropping it just over the bar. Spurs had looked a bit brighter after the goal, with Villa not forcing the game onto the Spurs defence, so a 1-0 half-time lead was a welcome bonus, but we have been in this position before.

It took three minutes for the second half to spring into life. Reguilon was the subject of a bad foul by Traore, but play was waved on as the ball went to Lucas Moura and he fed the ball to Kane, who tried to bend one into the left-hand side of Martinez’s goal, but Mings got a touch after backing away from the Spurs striker to take it wide for a corner. It looked as though Villa might stretch Spurs, but taking the ball off them, it was Spurs who broke, with Kane jinking through the centre circle to find Lo Celso and his pass left gave Moura a chance to run at Cash. He turned him inside out as he went into the box, but then tried to poke a square ball for Kane that didn’t have enough weight on it to reach him. As Villa brought the ball away, Tanganga was floored by Watkins’ arm and then Reguilon looked as though he had pulled something as he conceded a free-kick 30 yards out for a foul on Sanson. Nothing came from the free-kick, other than Sergio having to be replaced by Ben Davies after a couple of minutes playing on.

Sanson had space on their left wing and muffed a couple of crosses, but then pulled one back to Trezeguet, whose effort was kicked away by Rodon and then Traore played the ball back in weakly, allowing Sanchez to clear it away. Lo Celso was the player trying to close Sanson down, which was a bit of a worry, as he shouldn’t have been the last man. McGinn put a shot on goal that Lloris was well behind and after Villa had brought on El Ghazi for Traore, the sub fired a shot at goal that was a couple of feet wide of Hugo’s right hand post with an hour gone.

Tottenham did well to win the ball just inside the Villa half when Ndombele nicked it away and the ball went left to Moura. His pass was too heavy for Kane down the left side of the box, but Cash slid in and took Harry’s standing leg forcing the referee to make a decision, which he made by pointing to the spot.  It was a little like last week when Lacazette missed the ball, but Kane got up to fire it to the keeper’s right-hand side when Martinez dived the wrong way.

Sloppy play gave a free-kick away 35 yards out and from it Hojbjerg looked to be in control, but Targett got the ball off him before the Dane knocked the Villa defender over out on their left wing. The free-kick led to a little bit of pressure, with Trezeguet ending the move with a shot that went wide of Hugo’s goal to the right.  When Spurs looked to break, Moura was unceremoniously taken out inside the Villa half by Cash, who saw yellow. When Spurs moved the ball left, a cross came in that came to Ndombele, but his pass to Hojbjerg was a bit short, but Pierre-Emile won it with a sliding challenge and got up to fire a shot at goal that Martinez had to beat out.

Going into the final ten minutes of the match, Mourinho brought on Sissoko for Tanguy to stiffen up the side and Villa were losing their composure, giving away free-kicks and then Mings pushing Tanganga as one came into the box, but getting away with it. Tottenham were doing all the pressing, with Davies’ cross being cleared in the six-yard box by Konsa, but they got caught by Villa, who worked it to Barkley and his shot was well blocked by a lunge from Japhet Tanganga. Then Kane was in the right place to stop a shot from substitute Keinan Davis in the box.

As four added minutes were being announced, Watkins floated a cross into the penalty area and Hugo came and claimed it with authority. As added time went on, Tottenham controlled the game better than they had done for much of the match. Passing better and with Villa more content to try and put in challenges with excessive force (in the style of their coach Terry), the game had no further threat on goal, but the three points put Spurs in sixth, just a point behind the team above them.

Not a classic performance, but one against a decent side that was played out without some key players.  A solid performance was what was required and that was what was provided for much of the game.  There were still some iffy moments, but, luckily, we do seem to have the sign over Villa and with them still to come at home, it might be a psychological blow when that match comes around.  A reaction to the last two results ? Well, hardly a resounding one, but one that was good enough on the night. Now there is the international break, which will interrupt the flow and it will need to be picked up again when the Premier League resumes with a trip to Newcastle, who we owe one after the dodgy penalty equaliser they got in the last minute earlier in the season.

Burton Bradstock



Lucas Moura plays his 150th game for Tottenham.


Fulham 1 Leeds United 2
Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Newcastle United 0
West Ham United London 3 Woolwich Wanderers 3

Premier League Table 2020-21

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points Goal difference
1 Manchester City 30 22 5 3 64 21 71 +43
2 Manchester United 29 16 9 4 56 32 57 +24
3 Leicester City 29 17 5 7 53 32 56 +21
4 Chelsea 29 14 9 6 44 23 51 +19
5 West Ham United London 29 14 7 8 45 35 49 +10
6 Tottenham Hotspur 29 14 6 9 49 30 48 +19
7 Liverpool 29 13 7 9 48 36
46 +12
8 Everton 28 14 4 10 40 37 46 +3
9 Woolwich Wanderers 29 12 6 11 40 32 42 +8
10 Aston Villa 28 12 5 11 39 30 41 +9
11 Leeds United 29 12 3 14 45 47 39 -2
12 Crystal Palace 29 10 7 12 31 47 37 -16
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 9 8 12 28 38 35 -10
14 South Coast Big Club 29 9 6 14 36 51 33 -15
15 Burnley 29 8 9 12 22 37 33 -15
16 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 7 11 11 32 36 32 -4
17 Newcastle United 29 7 7 15 28 48 28 -20
18 Fulham 30 5 11
14 23 38 26 -15
19 West Bromwich Albion 29 3 9 17 20 57 18 -37
20 Sheffield United 29 4 2 23 16 50 14 -34