Ndombele debut goal kick-starts win over Villa
Spurs 3-1 Aston Villa
Sat 10 August 2019, 19:24|Tottenham Hotspur
Tanguy Ndombele scored a stunning equaliser on his competitive debut and Harry Kane hit a late double as we produced a magnificent second half comeback to see off Premier League new boys Aston Villa 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Our first opening day home game since 2010 looked like it was going to end in disappointment after John McGinn had given Villa a ninth-minute lead, one which they doggedly defended for their lives and seemed as if they were going to preserve, until our new signing from Lyon took matters into his own hands.
He struck a magnificent curling drive from 25 yards out to draw us level and it was a goal which knocked the wind out of Villa’s sails, allowing Kane to smash home from close range with four minutes remaining, before securing the win in the 90th-minute. They were Kane’s first goals at our new stadium and his timing was impeccable!
The new campaign began with a packed out stadium creating a typically wonderful atmosphere and we were quickly on the front foot, looking to make a positive start. It almost came after five minutes, Danny Rose crossing for the unmarked Lucas Moura but Tom Heaton saved his header low down to his left. Despite dominating the early exchanges, we fell behind after nine minutes. The outstanding Tyrone Mings sent a long ball forward from the left-back area which found McGinn breaking from midfield, he took a touch with his head, feinted to shoot which allowed him to evade Rose’s challenge and then sent a low left-footed drive from 12 yards past Hugo Lloris.
It was a strange half thereafter, as we controlled possession and the majority of the game was played in Villa’s half, yet the visitors were still able to get four shots on target to our one. We needed a fine block from Toby Alderweireld to deny Trezeguet on 21 minutes, then just after the half hour mark, Villa countered from one of our corners, Jack Grealish breaking away before releasing Trezeguet but his shot was easy for Lloris. Moments later, Kane fizzed over with a 25-yard angled drive and, as we pushed for the equaliser, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko fired wide. On the stroke of half-time, Ndombele’s dinked cross to the far post was met by Kane who couldn’t keep his header down.
It was a similar tale after the interval as we were again pressing from the outset and almost grabbed a leveller five minutes in when Erik Lamela’s cross landed at the feet of Sissoko at the far post, but he dragged his shot across the face of goal. Mings then twice blocked goalbound efforts from Kane, the latter just moments after Christian Eriksen was introduced for Winks, and the Villa defender was in the right place again on 67 minutes, preventing Lamela’s long-range effort from going in after Heaton had come out of his area to head clear from the onrushing Kane.
The pressure was certainly building and it finally paid off in the 73rd minute. Heaton made a superb save from Davinson Sanchez’s close-range flick, we recycled the ball through Kane and Lucas, the latter touching it back for Ndombele who curled an exquisite right-foot shot past the Villa keeper, sending the stadium into delight. It changed the mood of the game and gave us fresh impetus as we went all in for the winner, Heaton making another spectacular save to prevent Eriksen’s 25-yard free-kick from hitting the target.
But he was helpless in the 86th minute as we took the lead that our display deserved. Lamela dispossessed Grealish just outside Villa’s box and played a ball forward which deflected off Mings and Bjorn Engels into the path of Kane, who made no mistake from eight yards out. And in the final minute of the 90, Sissoko burst forwards and picked out Kane on the edge of the area, the England striker finding the bottom corner to round off an excellent comeback and secure three opening day points.
Kane’s late double ultimately gave us the victory, but it was the superb equaliser from new boy Ndombele that was the pivotal moment of the match. The French midfielder took a little time to settle into the game but as he did, showed glimpses of real quality, summed up by that composed, curling effort which drew us level and gave us the platform to go on and win the game.
Reaction on Spurs TV
Speaking after the win, Mauricio Pochettino told us: "I’m very happy, very pleased. It’s only the beginning of the season but to start with a win is so important. After the final of the Champions League it’s always good to feel the victory and to win games. I’m happy with the performance. We played so well in the second half and we deserved the victory. I’m very pleased for the players."
As for debutant goalscorer Tanguy, he added: "That's always important for a player who is making his debut. He showed great quality and I’m very pleased for him. We still have a lot of work to do with him but I think his quality has started to show today."
Spurs 3-1 Aston Villa
Spurs (4-3-3): Lloris (c), Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose, Ndombele (Skipp 90+1), Winks (Eriksen 64), Sissoko, Lucas, Kane, Lamela (Nkoudou 88). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Aurier, Dier, Wanyama.
Aston Villa (4-5-1): Heaton, Elmohamady, Engels, Mings, Taylor, Trezeguet (Jota 59), McGinn, Hourihane (Luiz 82), Grealish (c), El Ghazi, Wesley (Kodjia 74). Substitutes (not used): Steer, Konsa, Targett, Lansbury.
Goals: Spurs – Ndombele 73, Kane 86, 90; Villa – McGinn 9.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: 19 degrees, partly cloudy, breezy.