Gallery: Player Ratings: Aston Villa 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur

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Dele Alli
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Hugo Lloris - 6

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Really poor for the first Villa goal where he looked very nervous from a simple cross put his own defender under a lot of pressure. He was much better from then on, making 3 critical saves though he still had a few scary moments, especially from corners in the second half.

Tottenham Hotspur grabbed an invaluable win in the race for the Champions League with a goal from Heung-Min Son right at the death away at Aston Villa in a game that had everything. The match was played at a frantic tempo from start to finish with both teams creating and missing a number of quality chances. The hosts were the brighter team at the start as they controlled the possession, and got their reward inside the 9th minute after an own goal from Alderweireld gave them the lead. The Belgian defender could not get on the same page with Lloris to deal with a cross from El Ghazi and poked it in his own net.

Spurs responded to the goal by upping their intensity but Villa kept control until the 20th minute and almost made it a two goal lead but Douglas Luiz’s shot was blocked by Davies on the line. Then in the 27th minute, the momentum shifted to the visitors when Alderweireld redeemed himself to score the equalizer with a beautiful turning effort from a corner against the run of play. The goal gave Spurs the boost they needed and the attacks kept getting more dangerous, but to no avail as Dele missed one big chance after another. The counters of Tottenham were working a treat in the first half which would have pleased Mourinho, and the visitors grabbed the lead from a sweeping counter which resulted in a penalty after Bergwijn was brought down by Engels. Son missed the penalty but followed it up before Reina could get there to put Spurs 2-1 up at the break.

Second half was more of the same from Tottenham with chances coming thick and fast from counters while the back line looked shaky. A few missed chances from Spurs later Villa were suddenly back on level terms as this time Engels redeeming himself with a goal from a corner. After 2-2, the game became more chaotic with both teams finding acres of space to attack but not taking advantage of the opportunities. Dele especially was wasteful in front of goal again, but Bergwijn, Son, and Lucas all showed poor composure when needed.

Just when the game looked like it was going to end in a draw, Engels, who went from zero to hero in the second half, had a catastrophic error from a simple Sanchez clearance to put Son in behind, and the Korean did not disappoint this time to give Spurs all 3 points in the 94th minute. It was no more than what Tottenham deserved looking at the overall chances in the game, but Aston VIlla must be so disappointed they couldn’t get a result today when they were facing a Tottenham side looking so nervous in defence.

Spurs will host RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, and looking at today’s performance should give Mourinho a lot of anxiety as the German side is one of the best attacking sides in Europe this season. On the flipside, the attack looked really fluid and creative today, and that could be something to build on for the rest of the season.

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