Tottenham managed to leave their slump behind with a convincing 2-1 win over Aston Villa, with Son Heung-min one of the star performers.
Nuno Espirito Santo must be relieved after his team collected three points after a difficult few weeks. The loss to Arsenal put too much pressure on the Tottenham manager, who was desperate for his side to respond positively, and they did just that, with a convincing win over Aston Villa at home.
Spurs began the game brightly, with Son Hueng-min’s lively presence on the left side creating problems for Villa. Dean Smith’s pragmatic approach to the game was paying off, as his team constantly looked to hit on the counter, only for Tottenham’s midfield to hold the game together.
And it was central midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who opened the scoring after some good work on the ball from Son, who got the assist. Ollie Watkins then equalised in the 67th minute to give Villa some hope. However, Tottenham had the final say in matters after Matt Targett came under severe pressure from Lucas Moura, turning the ball into his net.
Spurs held on to their slender lead till the final whistle to collect all three points, their first since Gameweek 3, when they led the table. The win pushes them above Arsenal, Villa and West Ham United on the table up into eighth position. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players.
Just what we needed! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/EwOfSNFP5s
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 3, 2021
Hugo Lloris: 6.5/10
Barely had much to do throughout the evening, as the Aston Villa attackers failed to test him in any manner truly. The close-range finish from Ollie Watkins was beyond his reach, while he made a smart save from a tame effort by Danny Ings.
Emerson Royal: 7/10
After a difficult start to life as a Tottenham player, Emerson Royal is finally coming to the fore. Showed a very aggressive side to his game on both ends of the pitch, but it was his attacking play that stood out. A huge change created for Son in the first half could have earned him an assist.
Cristian Romero: 7/10
After a positive showing in midweek, Romero had to come into the lineup ahead of Sanchez, and the Argentine delivered. He made some big tackles and smart passes out of the back but was somewhat at fault for Villa’s equaliser. Still much to learn in the Premier League.
Eric Dier: 5.5/10
While Romero showed some positive displays at the back, Dier was still sloppy at whatever he did. He was not very good with his distribution at times, although he handled Villa’s long balls towards his zone.
Sergio Reguilon: 6.5/10
A hard-working display from the Spanish full-back, who played a big part in the second goal. Reguilon played a clever ball to Son, who squared it to force Targett into putting it into his own net. Finally looked like getting the grips of what Nuno Espirito Santo wants from him.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 8/10
This is a Pierre-Emile Højbjerg appreciation tweet, your apology better be as loud as the disrespect 😤 pic.twitter.com/hVB0kgmYWP
— Shelbie (@_shelbie97) October 3, 2021
Hojbjerg got involved in the build-up to the opening goal and continued his run to receive and finish the move. Unlike last weekend in midfield, he controlled things and shielded the back four very well; a deserved rating and goal for the Dane.
Oliver Skipp: 7/10
Apart from few tackles and one vital clearance, Skipp got into the act, similar to the first game against Manchester City. Helped Hojbjerg control the midfield areas, and the team looked much stronger with him and the Dane. His aggressive play earned him a yellow and he remains one booking away from a suspension.
Lucas Moura: 7/10
Moura was typical in his display with some lively runs from the right side, keeping the Aston Villa defenders on their toes. He also took up the task of dropping in deep to collect the ball and played a vital role in the winning goal by pressurising Targett into committing the error.
Tanguy Ndombele: 6/10
Another shift of position for Ndombele as Nuno put him in the No.10 spot. He was lively on occasions; the Frenchman was not the typical provider. At times, he got into good positions, although just one good shot towards Emiliano Martinez was all he could muster from an attacking sense.
Son Heung-min: 8/10
Technically assisted both goals, but due to the rules, he will get just the one for Hojbjerg. Spurs’ most threatening outlet on the night, Son was a constant thorn for Villa’s defenders. He should get better as the season goes on and looks back into his stride.
Spurs have scored four Premier League goals at home this season:
An incredible player. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/BL6lICQGyU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 3, 2021
Harry Kane: 5.5/10
There are still no goals to show in this Premier League season, but Kane produced a much better display than last weekend. Before a great one-on-one miss with Martinez, Kane had set up Giovani Lo Celso nicely with a back-heel pass. Still, a long way off his best form, and Nuno needs to work hard on him from here on.
Giovani Lo Celso: 6/10
Lo Celso replaced Ndombele, who looked a little wayward. The Argentine should have done better with Kane’s back-heel chance and was generally ineffectivene in the final third.
Bryan Gil: N/A
A late substitute for providing some respite for Moura.
Emiliano Martinez: 6/10
Martinez was the reason Villa still kept searching for an equaliser after making big stops from Emerson Royal and Son’s shots. Was also aware of an ambitious effort from Kane in the first half, which, had it gone in, would have been a contender for the goal of the season.
Ezri Konsa: 5/10
A poor performance from the generally reliable centre-back. Konsa was not aggressive enough to stop the Tottenham attackers from marching on towards the box. He was slow to approach Hojbjerg to block his shot for the goal. All over the place for the second.
Kortney Hause: 6/10
A good display from the otherwise marginalised centre-half. Controlled possession well and soaked up the pressure smartly during some crucial moments in the game.
Tyrone Mings: 6/10
Mings’s main task was to stop Kane, and he did a fine job by keeping the England captain quiet for most parts. He also produced a great clearance near the line from Lo Celso’s shot.
Matty Cash: 5.5/10
Dean Smith wanted more attacking contributions from Cash, but the wing-back did was lacking in energy. He caused some tensions for the Spurs backline with his long throws.
John McGinn: 6/10
McGinn carried the ball forwards for most parts from midfield and always looked like he was Villa’s main attacking threat from central areas. His effort caused some problems for Lloris, although it was slightly wide of the post.
Douglas Luiz: 7/10
Luiz kept the midfield ticking with his excellent play from central areas. Was Villa’s holding midfielder and maintained the energy by keeping control while making some late runs. Typical box-to-box stuff from the Brazilian.
Jacob Ramsey: 6/10
Yet another impressive performance from the youngster, who continues to improve and provide an option for Smith. Ramsey played a crucial role in Villa’s equaliser and received a yellow for a tackle from behind on Kane.
Matt Targett: 6.5/10
Targett provided an outlet from the left-hand side in the absence of real wide attackers. Got forward well and had a brilliant effort blocked by Romero. He was instrumental in the equaliser, feeding Watkins with a pinpoint cross to score. Unfortunately, under pressure from Moura, Targett crashed in the own-goal to give Tottenham all three points.
Danny Ings: 5.5/10
Ings executed his role quite well, dropping deep more often to pick the ball and move it forward. That style was crucial in the equaliser.
Ollie Watkins: 7/10
Ollie Watkins' favourite Premier League venues:
⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ Villa Park
⚽️⚽️ Emirates Stadium
⚽️⚽️ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
He loves a trip to north London. pic.twitter.com/FbkItquzet
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 3, 2021
A tale of two halves for Watkins, who struggled to get a grip in the first half but showed the positive side to his game in the second period and came up with the crucial equaliser.
Emiliano Buendia: 5/10
Buendia replaced Ramsey to add some energy into attacking the ball. He should have been more involved after Spurs got their lead again, but he barely contributed to the cause apart from taking corners.
Bertrand Traore: 5.5/10
Traore gave some hope as he ran towards Tottenham’s defence and created some problems.
Cameron Archer: N/A
A late cameo, which was also Archer’s second Premier League appearance.