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Spurs 1-2 Aston Villa | Ange’s verdict: “Sometimes, it’s about fine margins in football”

Sun 26 November 2023, 21:00|Tottenham Hotspur

So near yet so far - Ange Postecoglou was left to ponder what might have been as we performed admirably but fell to a 2-1 loss against Aston Villa in the Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

Heung-Min Son scored a hat-trick of goals disallowed for offside, Dejan Kulusevski hit the post, Ben Davies headed just over and as we chased a late equaliser, Emi Martinez produced a double save to deny Brennan Johnson and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Earlier, Gio Lo Celso - his first start in the Premier League since October, 2021 - belted us into the lead after 22 minutes, but Villa levelled late into first half stoppage time through Pau Torres before Ollie Watkins grabbed what turned out to be the winner just after the hour.

It was an impressive display from a team ravaged by injuries and two suspensions with three players – Rodrigo Bentancur, Bryan Gil and Lo Celso - all making their first starts of the season. Unfortunately, in Rodrigo’s case, as he looked to be clicking into gear in his first Spurs start since a cruciate ligament injury in February, he picked up another injury after being clattered by Matty Cash. He was forced off after 32 minutes and Ange’s early information post-match suggest an ankle injury.

We've got to take the pain of the defeat but in terms of our progress I thought if we continue down that road we'll get to where we want to

Ange Postecoglou

Speaking on our Review Show, Ange told us: “The result is disappointing - disappointing for our fans and particularly for our players, because I thought the way we played, the intent they showed… we deserved to get something out of that game.

“On any other day, we would have won it comfortably. So, obviously, disappointed that they don’t get the rewards and our supporters miss that joy of winning a game of football.

“I was really pleased with some of the football we played. In patches, that was as good as we’ve played all season. Obviously, we didn’t get the kind of rewards our play deserved, and sometimes that happens in football, it’s fine margins. From what I’m looking for from the lads and the way we played, I just thought we went out there with a real intent to play the kind of football we want to play.

“It’s well chronicled we’re going through a tough patch in terms of absences from the team. It was Rodrigo, Gio and Bryan’s first starts and I thought all three handled themselves really well. From my perspective, as I said in the week, this is our opportunity to have a look at players and see how they fit into the football we want to play, and those three handled themselves really well.

“I’m not happy with the defeat, but as a manager, when you put a team out there, what you're looking for is some real belief, intent and the team we want to be, and I saw loads of that today.”

Next up, it's Manchester City at the Etihad next Sunday (4.30pm).