Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa – Premier League – Totttenham Hotspur Stadium – Report
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Aston Villa
It was just what the Doctor ordered for Nuno Espirito Santo.
Unquestionably, the Lilywhites chief was under pressure. Successive derby defeats against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and most painfully, Arsenal had eradicated the hope and expectation banked during the opening three Premier League games of the campaign.
Toi his enormous credit, Nuno has remained calm and dignified throughout. Deflecting the blast away from his players – Fully prepared to take the heat as he looks to stamp his mark on a football club that specialises in finding a way to malfunction.
Nevertheless, following on from a morale-boosting UEFA Europa Conference triumph on Thursday evening, Tottenham appeared to have discovered some heart and soul: “Definitely, yes, it’s something we’ve improved from previous games – The reaction was really good,” Nuno enthused.
This was no gimme. Aston Villa has a spark these days and fresh from an eyecatching success at Old Trafford, Spurs were now firmly in the West Midlanders sights. However, Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg settled the nerves with a neat finish from eighteen yards. And although Oli Watkins restored parity midway through teh second period, Matt Targett turned Heung-Min Son’s dangerous cross into his own net to – for now – end the misery.
“Definitely, a better reaction – Much better,” Nuno added
“Previously, we became a little bit flat and today was immediately reacting.
“After that moment we continued to create chances and I honestly believe there were more goals there for us today, but the production and the way we produced, the way we created was much, much better.”
Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Sunday, October 17 when they face Newcastle United at St James Park (4:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Royal, Romero, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Ndombele (Lo Celso 76′), Lucas (Bryan 89′), Son, Kane Subs not used: Gollini, Doherty, Rodon, Sanchez, Winks, Dele, Scarlett
Aston Villa: Martinez, Konsa, Hause (Traore 81′), Mings (Capt), Cash, McGinn, Douglas Luiz, J Ramsey (Buendia 69′), Targett, Ings (Archer 90′), Watkins Subs not used: Steer, Tuanzebe, A Young, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Philogene-Bidace
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Dan Cook and Dan Robathan
Fourth Official: Graham Scott
VAR: Michael Oliver
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis