Lucas Moura and Harry Kane impressed as Tottenham Hotspur sealed a crucial 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.
Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways with a much-needed 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday. The result at Villa Park takes them back into the race for Champions League places, with the club now trailing fourth-placed Chelsea only by three points.
It was perhaps not the most dominating performance from the Lilywhites. But, they were the better side for the most part, including the first half, wherein the defenders did a marvellous job of keeping the Aston Villa attack at bay, denying them even a single shot on goal. Their defensive solidity was rewarded with a goal as well, with Carlos Vinicius scoring from an easy tap around the half-hour mark.
Heading into half-time with a slender 1-0, Tottenham Hotspur still looked in control for the majority of the second 45 minutes. Although Aston Villa were evidently pushing for an equaliser, Spurs kept creating chances in the final third, one of which led to a penalty as Matty Cash fouled Harry Kane inside the box.
The English international made no mistake converting the resultant spot-kick, thus doubling his team’s lead in the 68th minute. The Villans had a few attempts on goal, but never really troubled or looked like scoring. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at how the Tottenham Hotspur players performed in their comfortable 2-0 triumph against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Hugo Lloris: 6/10
As mentioned earlier, Aston Villa struggled to create too many chances in the final third without Jack Grealish. In fact, they could only muster one shot on target, which was a rather tame effort by John McGinn.
As such, Hugo Lloris had a quiet game in between the sticks, although the Tottenham goalkeeper certainly won’t be complaining about the clean sheet, which happens to be his third in five league matches.
Japhet Tanganga: 8/10
Starting ahead of both Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty, Jose Mourinho’s decision to field Japhet Tanganga was to instill more defensive solidity in the backline. The move worked like a charm as well, with the youngster keeping Anwar El Ghazi at arm’s length throughout the game. Also made a goal-saving block to help his side preserve the clean sheet.
Tanganga & Rodon walking in and not putting a foot wrong pic.twitter.com/9qtWXh87WU
— Paul O Keefe (@pokeefe1) March 21, 2021
Davinson Sanchez: 7.5/10
Davinson Sanchez was a vital cog in the Tottenham backline. He was somehow the most experienced defender for Spurs while his imposing aerial presence was key in dealing with Aston Villa’s offensive threat. The Colombian international looked quite comfortable with the ball as well, producing a valiant effort to seal the clean sheet.
Joe Rodon: 7.5/10
With Toby Alderweireld missing out, Joe Rodon was given a rare start at the heart of the Tottenham backline. The former Swansea star was almost faultless in his defensive contributions, rarely lacking confidence while keeping things neat and tidy in the build-up. The defender certainly deserves more game-time in the Premier League, preferably ahead of Eric Dier.
Sergio Reguilon: 6.5/10
Sergio Reguilon was given the nod ahead of Ben Davies due to his attacking prowess. The left-back, though, could never really find his usual rhythm on the left flank. Most of his forays down the left flank were rather ineffective. And on top of that, he picked up an injury ten minutes into the second half, forcing Mourinho to take him off.
Giovani Lo Celso: 6.5/10
Back into the starting eleven after a long injury layoff, Giovani Lo Celso was not in his usual groove which is understandable given the lack of game-time over the past six months. The playmaker did look tidy in possession, though, while offering a few impressive forward balls in the final third.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 8/10
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s return to the teamsheet served as a boon for Tottenham Hotspur as he offered that control and aggression that was missing in midweek. Indeed, the Dane looked quite comfortable with or without possession, making it difficult for the likes of Douglas Luiz and McGinn to dominate the proceedings.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg vs Aston Villa
83% Pass accuracy
4/7 Accurate long passes
1/1 Shot on target
15/21 Duels won
Excellent with 'beskidte arbejde'. Neatly and with no fuss handles the dirty work. A player like that can be worth his weight in gold. pic.twitter.com/V2DOfLPLma
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) March 21, 2021
Hojbjerg made the occasional driving runs forward as well, notably attempt one shot on target while making six tackles, two clearances and winning eight duels. An inspiring figure in midfield.
Tanguy Ndombele: 7.5/10
Tanguy Ndombele has stepped the gas off the pedal after a brisk start to the game, it seems, but it was still a decent display from the Tottenham midfielder. The Frenchman offered that dynamism and urgency in the middle of the park, creating crucial turnovers and providing useful forward passes.
Lucas Moura: 9/10
Lucas Moura was arguably Tottenham’s best player of the game. Starting in the number ten role, the Brazilian star looked lively throughout the course of the game, linking up well with his teammates and notably registering an assist for the opening goal. Lucas also provided the through ball that led to the penalty for the second.
The former PSG winger was extremely unlucky to have failed to find the back of the net, but it is a performance that could help him stay ahead of the likes of Steven Bergwijn and Lo Celso in the pecking order.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) March 21, 2021
Carlos Vinicius: 7/10
Carlos Vinicius was starting in a supporting role for Kane, in the absence of Son Heung-min. The on-loan attacker did not really make too much of an impact with his movements while also offering very few direct runs in behind the backline. But, he was in the right place at the right time when he scored a tap-in around the half-hour mark, in what was his first goal in the Premier League.
Harry Kane: 8.5/10
Harry Kane had a big part to play in both the goals and Tottenham’s win in general as the forward offered the creativity, work-ethic and movement that made life difficult for the Aston Villa defenders. The English international was also a threat from long-range, thus keeping Emiliano Martinez on his toes. A top-notch attacking display from the striker yet again.
Harry Kane is the first player to be directly involved in 30+ Premier League goals this season:
👕 27 games
⚽️ 17 goals
🅰️ 13 assists
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 21, 2021
Ben Davies: 6.5/10
Ben Davies replaced the injured Reguilon just before the hour mark. The Welshman offered more defensive solidity in the Tottenham backline, helping them see out the two goal cushion.
Steven Bergwijn: 6/10
Steven Bergwijn made a rare Premier League appearance around the hour mark, as he replaced Lo Celso. Did not make much of an impact, though.
Moussa Sissoko: N/A
A late replacement for Ndombele. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.