Son hits hat-trick in four-goal win at Villa - report and reaction
Aston Villa 0-4 Spurs
Sat 09 April 2022, 19:31|Tottenham Hotspur
Heung-Min Son hit a clinical hat-trick as we enjoyed a 4-0 victory at Villa Park on Saturday evening to strengthen our position in the Premier League’s top four.
But while the South Korean international will steal the headlines for his goals, we were indebted to some superb saves from Hugo Lloris during a first half in which Aston Villa created a whole host of chances and were unlucky not to equalise after Son’s third-minute opener.
It was a different story after the interval though, as we scored early again through Dejan Kulusevski and went on to take control. Son added his second after latching onto Harry Kane’s perfect headed assist and beating Emiliano Martinez in the 66th minute and then completed his treble five minutes later after being set up by Kulusevski. That was Son’s 17th Premier League goal of the season.
After Arsenal’s home defeat to Brighton earlier in the day, this was the perfect result and helped us consolidate fourth place in the table with seven games remaining.
It’s advantage Spurs
As we enter the business end of the season, every result becomes critical and we went into the game against Villa well aware that both Manchester United and Arsenal had been beaten earlier in the day, so the opportunity was there to take advantage of their slip-ups. A fast start would have been perfect and that’s exactly what we got as we opened the scoring in the third minute. Ezri Konsa headed Eric Dier’s long ball straight to Kane whose fierce shot was blocked by Matty Cash, the rebound fell to Son and his first-time shot from just inside the box went in off the post.
We had to weather a claret and blue storm after that though as the home side put us under some intense pressure. Had it not been for Lloris, we wouldn’t have held onto our lead as he made eight saves, the most in any game he’s played so far this season. The skipper made three great stops in a five-minute spell to deny Cash, Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn before a clever free-kick from Philippe Coutinho saw him clip the ball over our defence, Danny Ings made the run but his shot bobbled through to Lloris. Ollie Watkins headed over from six yards out and then had an angled drive saved at the near post by Lloris as the home side continued to dominate and when Watkins flicked on a cross which found Ings unmarked at the back post, the Villa forward skewed wide.
We just couldn’t get any attacks going until the 43rd minute, when Sergio Reguilon – on as a substitute for the injured Matt Doherty – hit a right-foot curler which deflected off Konsa and Tyrone Mings but Martinez kept it out. In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Lloris kept out a Cash volley and then produced another wonderful save to push away Coutinho’s whipped free-kick from right under the crossbar.
Fortunately, we were able to reset at half-time and came out a different team, doubling our lead five minutes into the second period. Another long ball, this one from Lloris, found Kane who touched it on to Kulusevski and he advanced into the inside left channel of the area and hit an angled shot through the legs of Mings that beat Martinez. That goal gave us back an element of control in the game and when we added the third in the 66th minute, it put us out of sight. Our lethal forwards combined again, Kane glancing Cristian Romero’s deep ball into the path of Son and he raced clear to finish in style.
Five minutes later, Son completed his hat-trick having helped start the move by finding Kulusevski with a cheeky nutmeg. The Swedish international moved into the box, completely deceived Mings with a cutback before sliding the ball in to Son who drilled right-footed, again in off the post. That was game over and there was only one scare for us, in the 89th minute when Lloris’ pass out to Ben Davies went to Leon Bailey but he curled high and wide.
Another victory over the Villans
We have now won our last seven Premier League away games against Aston Villa. This equals the best-ever winning away run in our league history, which ironically also came against the Villans (seven between 1950 and 1956).
Saturday’s four goal-haul means we have now scored two or more goals in our last seven Premier League games and 25 in total. We’ve scored four or more goals in four of those games.
Meanwhile, Son took his Premier League goals tally to 17 for the season and is now just three behind Liverpool’s Mo Salah. This was Son’s third Spurs hat-trick, having also scored trebles against Millwall (FA Cup in March, 2017) and Southampton (Premier League in September, 2020, when he scored four).
Reaction on Spurs TV
'There are moments where you have not to fail'
Antonio Conte told Spurs TV after the game: "We were very prepared and showed in the first half great resilience. I think we are also improving in the mental aspect, and to suffer in the right moments. Also, in the first half, every time we had the ball, we were good to overcome the pressure and always created danger to Villa. After the first half, I said to the guys to stay calm, we tried to correct some things, because between the first and the second half there was too much space between the defensive line and the midfielders. Then I said, ‘don’t worry, continue to play’, because if we play, we are very dangerous.
"It was a good win. It’s important because there are moments in the season when you fight to win something important - there are moments where you have not to fail. Today, this game was too important."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Aston Villa 0-4 Spurs
Aston Villa (4-3-1-2): Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings (c), Digne (Young 80), Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Coutinho (Buendia 70), Watkins, Ings (Bailey 70). Substitutes (not used): Olsen, Sanson, Traore, Chambers, Nakamba, Chukwuemeka.
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Romero, Dier, Davies, Royal, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Doherty (Reguilon 21), Kulusevski (Bergwijn 84), Kane, Son (Lucas 78). Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Rodon, Sanchez, Sessegnon, White, Winks.
Goals: Spurs – Son 3, 66, 71, Kulusevski 50.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Hojbjerg, Royal, Kane; Villa – Ings, Young.
Referee: Graham Scott.
Venue: Villa Park.
Weather: Sunny spells, gentle breeze, seven degrees.