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Spurs v Aston Villa, 10.08.19

(5.30pm - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium)

Spurs scorers:-
Ndombele, 73
Kane, 86, 90

Villa scorer:-
McGinn, 9

Attendance:- 60, 407

Referee:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistants:- Daniel Cook & Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official:- Tim Robinson
VAR:- Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR:- Simon Long

Spurs (4-3-1-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose; Sissoko, Winks (sub Eriksen, 64), Ndombele (sub Skipp, 90+2); Lamela (sub Nkoudou, 88); Lucas Moura, Kane

Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Dier, Aurier; Wanyama

Booked:- Lamela (time)

Aston Villa (4-4-1-1):- Heaton; El Mohamady, Engels, Mings, Taylor; Trezeguet (sub Jota, 59), McGinn, Hourihane (sub Douglas Luiz, 82), Grealish (Capt.); El Ghazi; Wesley (sub Kodjia, 74)

Subs not used:- Steer; Konsa, Targett; Lansbury

No bookings

Landmark goals by Kane win it for Spurs.

Spurs v Aston Villa - 10.08.19

For over three quarters of the game, it looked as if this would be a horrible early season banana skin, as promoted Aston Villa held onto an early lead until Spurs' record signing Tanguy Ndombele scored a 73rd minute equaliser. Christian Eriksen had already come off the bench to spark Spurs with some creativity. It took two goals by Harry Kane in the last five minutes to secure the three points. These were Harry's first goals in the new stadium.

It wasn't a surprise to see the apparently unsettled Eriksen start on the bench, but it was a bit of a shock to find that Jan Vertonghen was not in the team, or even in the starting line-up. Usually if a player is injured who was not announced as such by the club in the preceding day's team news, they add a message following the announcement of the Matchday line-up. There was no such announcement, and I had heard rumours this morning of some sort of contract upset regarding Vertonghen, which I dismissed. I await further news. Another theory was that Vertonghen was being saved for next week's game at The Etihad. We will see.

The team was otherwise as expected with Son suspended, and Dele Alli injured. Kyle Walker-Peters got the nod at right back, although Serge Aurier was available and on the bench. Kyle had an impressive game, particularly going forward, but showed skill and confidence in defence too, although he may have been caught too far forward when Villa took their surprise lead.

It was not quite a full house, but there were over 60,000 present for a game which was preceded by a minute's applause for Justin Edinburgh who tragically died within a week of the Champions League final he had attended with other former players. There was an affectionate tribute for Justin at half time too.

Villa kicked off and within 18 seconds, Lucas Moura stole the ball off El Mohamady and fired a right foot shot over Tom Heaton's goal.

Villa fans were feeling cocky and sang "Champions of Europe, you'll never sing that". It wouldn't be long before they were ecstatic.

I was confused by the fact that Sissoko started on the left of midfield with Ndombele on the right. This soon changed, but while he was on the left Sissoko slipped a pass to Danny Rose, whose cross was headed by Lucas Moura, but held by Heaton. To be frank, after such a bright start Lucas Moura rarely showed for Tottenham. He did show skill on the right before Walker-Peters was fouled. Lamela took the kick and tried a shot but it curled wide of the far post.

Two minutes later, Spurs were caught out when Scottish midfielder John McGinn was in a forward position and latched onto a long ball out of defence by Tyrone Mings. McGinn fired across Lloris with a left foot shot in front of the South Stand.

Spurs huffed and puffed, but the truth is they did not make Heaton work as hard as Villa did Lloris, not that Hugo had to make any strenuous saves, but at least Villa were hitting the target. Trezeguet had a shot blocked, and Sissoko came out with a free kick decision when in a tangle with El Ghazi.

Walker-Peters won a corner which was hit too deep by Lamela. Danny Rose got the ball on the other side of the field, but his cross came to nought also. Ndombele did have a header on target but this was well saved by Heaton. After a Lamela mistake Villa got away and Grealish fed Trezeguet, whose shot was comfortably saved.

Harry Kane had a chance on the left of the area after approach work by Rose, but Harry hit his left foot shot wide of the far post. Sissoko had a chance from the right of the area after being fed by Lamela, but Moussa left his shooting boots at home. He received another ball from Danny Rose and did hit a 30 yard shot, but this was also off target.

Ndombele and Walker-Peters combined on the right side, before Ndombele crossed and the goal beckoned for Harry Kane who headed over. In first half added time, Kane ran clear and fired wide, but he was offside in any case.

Spurs came out for the second half with more desire, and dominated possession and had the advantage in terms of territory. It took too long to turn that into goals though. Lamela and Kane combined in a move which gave Sissoko a chance from the right. His shot went for a Villa throw!

There was a VAR check over a challenge inside the Spurs area, but the decision was no penalty against Spurs. VAR was used several times, but was not intrusive to this game.

Lucas Moura advanced in tandem with Lamela and Harry Kane had a left foot shot well saved. Ndombele tried a right foot effort from 25 yards following the corner, but this shot passed over the target.

There was a VAR check for a possible red card after a foul on Walker-Peters, who did lay a hand on the offender but play continued with neither player being punished.

Winks was replaced by Eriksen, and Spurs showed more spark going forward. Alderweireld had a header go over the goal from a corner taken on the right. Danny Rose had the rub of the green when challenging down the left sending the ball to Kane, who won a corner with his shot. Eriksen and Kane worked together to give Lamela an opportunity, but Erik's shot was cleared. The same three players advanced in another move with Eriksen having the final shot go wide. After more good approach play by Spurs and a Harry Kane cross from deep on the left, Lamela had a header which was easily dealt with by the Villa defence.

Ndombele’s debut goal (he is the first Spurs player since Eric Dier five years ago at West Ham to score on his debut) followed several attempt on goal by firstly Sissoko then Davinson Sanchez, from an Eriksen pass. The ball was cleared to the feet of Ndombele who rifled home a shot with his right foot from outside the Villa area.

Danny Rose was fouled just outside the Villa area by Villa substitute Jota. Eriksen took the free kick and it took a superb diving save to his right by Heaton to keep the ball out. Spurs were not only constantly on the attack, but they were playing some confident and clever football with good use of back-heeled passing, sometimes in their own half. Following a corner on the right Toby Alderweireld had a shot on goal deflected then held by Heaton. Eriksen teed up Sissoko who had a right footed shot deflected for another Spurs corner.

Spurs went ahead when a Lamela shot (or perhaps it was intended as a through ball) was only half blocked and carried on its path to the feet of Kane towards the left of goal. Harry scored with a left foot shot across the goal. This was his first goal in our new stadium. It was only Harry’s third game due to his late season injury. Lamela had dispossessed an errant Jack Grealish before making Harry's goal.

Harry scored again as added time was imminent. It was Moussa Sissoko who passed the ball across the area with Harry towards the left where he scored this time with his right foot. These were Harry’s first club goals since 9th March, making it 127 premier League goals and 166 club goals. He did score in August last year for the first time for Spurs!

There was one more chance in added time for McGinn, after an Eriksen error, but the shot passed wide and the game was up for Villa. Spurs will need to show marked improvement next week for the tough away game against Manchester City who beat West Ham 5-0 at the London Stadium earlier today

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