Gallery: Player Ratings – Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Aston Villa

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Victory by a comfortable margin, a winning start to the new season. Enjoy, celebrate. Move on.

Don’t, for a moment, dwell on the turgid first half.

Except City and Liverpool had already announced the relentless nature of the race to the top this season and we’d been here before: the pre-season victories with kids against the top sides in the world; the phoney trophies … and then the season realities and two months of draws and the occasional defeat.

So well done, Poch. Was it a tactical call at half time or just the rocket inserted? No matter. Right now, I’m joining everyone else and we’re celebrating. Not just the victory and the points and the season start but the fact that we looked like a team for twenty minutes there and the season ahead has the promise we hoped for.

Subs

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Dare I say it? The game changed with the introduction of Christian Eriksen? It certainly did. He was the difference. He had time (to look up), a range of options, short and long. He controlled the game from a penetrating twenty yards out, rather than Winks’s forty yards. Glorious free kick – even some decent corners. He looked, as they say, different class. I hope, of course, Spain doesn’t buy him and we can sort a contract … along with Jan and Toby, arguably our best players.

Nkoudou and Skipp also came on.

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