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Home defeat to Villa - on-the-whistle report

Spurs 0-2 Aston Villa

Sun 01 January 2023, 16:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Our New Year began in disappointing fashion on Sunday afternoon as Aston Villa left Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with all three points.

Second-half goals from Emiliano Buendia and Douglas Luiz put the visitors in control as we struggled to create much in the way of clear opportunities, having just two shots on target all game.

An early opportunity fell to Villa when Ollie Watkins dragged wide, but most of the first period was played out in front of the two defences, predominantly in the Villa half as we probed for a way through their massed ranks. Space was hard to find but we did finally carve out an opening five minutes before half-time, Ivan Perisic clipping over a cross to the back post where Harry Kane headed goalwards but Ashley Young just managed to nod it off the line.

We made a bright start to the second half, but it was Villa with the breakthrough on 50 minutes. Douglas Luiz had a shot from distance which Hugo Lloris couldn’t hold, Watkins picked up the rebound and rolled it back for Buendia to slot home. The game opened up after that goal with half-chances coming at both ends. Perisic fired over on the stretch for us while Matt Doherty did well to block a Watkins shot before Kane blazed one high and wide when off balance on the edge of the area. Despite our endeavours, it was the visitors who struck next to double their lead, John McGinn’s clever ball finding Douglas Luiz who beat Lloris from close range and we were unable to trouble Olsen in the final stages of the contest to slip to a disappointing defeat.

Two lines of note – Bryan Gil began the game for his first Premier League start in our colours, while Pape Matar Sarr came off the bench 10 minutes from time to make his senior competitive debut for us.

'You dominate the game and then you concede a goal you can avoid'

Antonio Conte said afterwards: "In the first half, we dominated the game, although we didn’t create many chances to score because we found a team that defended really deep with 11 players. Then, in the second half, we started in the same way. I said we needed a bit of patience and to move the ball quickly and to find the opportunities to attack the space behind the line or find a point of reference in the box, like Harry or Sonny. Then, we conceded a goal. In football, we know that can happen. You dominate the game and then you concede a goal you can avoid. I think after this goal our feeling changed totally."

Reaction on SPURSPLAY

Spurs 0-2 Aston Villa

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Romero, Lenglet, Davies, Doherty (Royal 80), Hojbjerg (Skipp 88), Bissouma (Sarr 80), Perisic (Spence 88), Bryan (Sessegnon 63), Kane, Son. Substitutes (not used): Forster, Dier, Sanchez, Tanganga.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Olsen, Young, Konsa (Ings 82), Mings, Digne, McGinn (c) (Coutinho 78), Douglas Luiz (Bednarek 82), Kamara, Buendia (Chambers 82), Watkins, Bailey (Cash 66). Substitutes (not used): Martinez, Sanson, Augustinsson, Archer.

Match data

Goals: Aston Villa – Buendia 50, Douglas Luiz 73.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Romero, Lenglet, Davies, Bissouma; Aston Villa – Mings, Konsa, Chambers.

Referee: John Brooks.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Light cloud, moderate breeze, 12 degrees.

Attendance: 61,651.