Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Premier League Match Report - Aston Villa v Spurs, 13.05.23
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Aston Villa v Spurs, 13.05.23

Many thanks to Declan Mulcahy for this report:-

Saturday 13 May 2023, 3:00pm
Premier League
Aston Villa (1) 2 Tottenham Hotspur (0) 1

Villa scorers:-
Ramsey, 8
Douglas Luiz, 72

Spurs scorer:- Kane, 90 pen

Aston Villa (4-4-2):
1 E MartŪnez; 18 A Young, 4 E Konsa, 5 T Mings, 15 A Moreno; 31 L Bailey (44 B Kamara 68), 7 J McGinn (c), 6 Douglas Luiz, 41 J Ramsey; 10 E BuendŪa (22 J DurŠn 68), 11 O Watkins (2 M Cash 90+1)

Subs not used:- 25 R Olsen, 3 Diego Carlos, 16 C Chambers, 27 L Digne, 32 L Dendoncker, 9 B Traorť

Booked:- McGinn (23 foul on Kane), Young (89 dissent), Watkins (90+1 time-wasting)

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3):
20 F Forster; 12 Emerson Royal, 17 C Romero, 34 C Lenglet; 23 P Porro (16 A Danjuma 81), 4 O Skipp (38 Y Bissouma 61), 5 P-E HÝjbjerg, 33 B Davies (14 I Perisic 90); 9 Richarlison (21 D Kulusevski 62), 10 H Kane (c), 7 H-M Son

Subs not used: 40 B Austin, 6 D SŠnchez, 29 P Sarr, 51 Matthew Craig, 27 Lucas Moura

Booked:- Skipp (53 foul on Bailey), Kane (73 dissent), Romero (80 foul on McGinn)

Villa Park, Attendance: 42,164

Referee:- Peter Bankes
Assistants:- Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth official:- Anthony Taylor
VAR:- Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR:- Timothy Wood.

Spurs Succumb to Familiar Failings

Villa Park, 15.05.23

Thanks to Greg Smith for this image

Spurs conceded a goal in the eighth minute and were generally poor in the first half. Not for the first time this left a mountain which was too high to climb in the second half. Todayís early goal was the seventh goal conceded in the first nine minutes of the last five league games. This is a shocking statistic for a club which aims to be a member of the top six Premier League clubs as a minimum.

Tottenham were unchanged after their 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Eric Dier missed the game through injury. Leon Bailey replaced Bertrand Traore for the only change from Aston Villaís 1-0 defeat at Wolves.

Villa completely dominated the first half. Spurs didnít have a shot, never mind one on target.

Villa scored with the first attack of the game. Bailey progressed down the right into the box. He cut the ball back towards the centre where Ramsey scored with a shot through a crowded box into the right corner of the net. Villa had lost the last two games 1-0. No side managed by Emery had failed to score in three consecutive matches since Almeria in 2007 and there was no danger of that being equalled today.

Shortly after the goal a McGinn cross looked dangerous but landed on top of the net. Villa had three consecutive corners but couldnít make them pay.

Just after the 30-minute mark Watkins should have increased their lead but Forster made a fine diving save to deny him. A minute later the same player could have been through again but Emerson Royal intercepted the pass. Then Royal tackled Watkins in the box. Villa appealed for a penalty but it was never going to be given.

With five minutes remaining in the half Moreno crossed from the left but Watkins just failed to connect with the ball. Villa had another attempt when Skipp lost possession but Buendia hit the bar.

Spurs must have been mightily relieved to go in at the break only 0-1 down.

The opening minutes of the second half continued in the same way. Romero had to make a sliding tackle to stop Ramsey. Forster then made another save from Buendia.

Spurs' first effort on target in the game came after 52 minutes. Douglas Luiz was caught in possession. Hojberg collected the ball and set Kane up on the left of the box. It was a goal scoring opportunity but Martinez went to ground to save the shot.

It wasnít surprising when Ryan Mason elected to make two substitutions after an hour with Kulusevski and Bissouma replacing Richarlison and Skipp. Spurs performance improved in the aftermath of the changes.

Bissouma immediately put Son in the clear. His shot was too high but would have been ruled out for offside. Then Kulusevski unleashed one of his trade-mark left-footed shots towards the far post which was just wide.

Emery then countered by replacing Bailey and Buendia with Kamara and Duran which stemmed the tide somewhat.

After 71 minutes Romero just outside his own box tackled Watkins from behind and was adjudged to have fouled him. Douglas Luiz hit a fine free kick into the right corner of the net. Forster got a touch on the ball but couldnít keep it out. He could have done better. Kane was booked for dissent after the goal. It was a key point in the match as prior to that Spurs looked like they might draw level.

With ten minutes remaining Danjuma replaced Porro. Five minutes later Kulusevski set Kane up towards the right of the goal. Kane reached the ball and was then brought down by Martinez. The incident went to VAR. It was confirmed that Kane was in possession when brought down. Then it had to be checked if Kane was onside and this was confirmed. VAR didnít award the penalty but advised referee Peter Bankes to view the pitch-side monitor. Finally about three minutes after the incident happened the referee confirmed the penalty. Ashley Young was then booked for dissent.

Kane then stepped up. He scored with a shot towards the right post and Martinez dived the wrong way.

Could Spurs draw level? Villa responded immediately. They brought on a defender Matty Cash for Ollie Watkins and reverted to a back five. Watkins was booked for time-wasting as he departed. Spurs also made a change with Ivan Perisic replacing Ben Davies.

Deep into time added on Son was through and put the ball in the net but the goal was ruled out for offside. This was the third time in the match that Son had been in the clear but was adjudged offside. The first occasion was midway through the first half when he rounded Martinez and then hit the post with a shot.

The Villa back four was very effective in using the offside trap today. In addition to Sonís three attempts there were a couple of occasions when Spurs appeared to have an opportunity but the offside flag was raised.

Spurs canít complain about the result today. They were poor in the first half. The second half was better but not good enough to share the points. Unai Emery hasnít lost any of his five Premier League games against Spurs.

Spurs remain in contention for qualification for the Europa League if they can finish in sixth place. They will almost certainly need to win the remaining two matches to achieve this. They have played the same number of games as Villa and have a two-goal superior goal difference. Brighton are only two points behind with a far greater goal difference and three games in hand. However their remaining five matches are quite tough.

Ryan Mason said: "We understand today was a big game [in terms of qualifying for Europe] and I'm very disappointed with the outcome. But we do have two games to put it right. Hopefully we can respond well and put it right."

Emery Unai commented: "If we can play here against Brighton [on the final day of the season] with the opportunity of getting into Europe, it is my dream. We can be happy and excited about our position."

One area of concern is that Spurs are recording negative achievements not seen since the first decade of the century. This was the ninth away fixture in all competitions without a win. The last time this happened was between May and December 2000 a thirteen-match sequence when the ninth match was a 2-0 defeat at Villa Park.

This was Villaís first league double over Spurs since the 1995-96 season.

Spurs have conceded 59 goals this season nineteen more than last season and the most since 2007-2008 when they conceded 61 goals. That total could be exceeded before the end of the season.

For most Spurs supporters the end of the season canít come soon enough. If Europa League qualification can be achieved it would be some consolation after a season that started off with promise but has disintegrated.

John Ellis tells it as it is from Villa Park.

Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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