Smith hails ‘outstanding’ Tottenham star; reveals long list of things Villa got wrong

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith during their Premier League clash with Tottenham 2021

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith claimed his side looked “stressed” and “untidy” when pointing out where Villa fell short, and hailed a Tottenham ace for causing “problems all game”.

Aston Villa fought hard but ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat on the road in north London. Tottenham went in ahead at half time through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Dane curled a superb effort into the bottom corner after Son Heung-min caused havoc down the right.

Ollie Watkins celebrated his England recall when pulling Villa level after the break. The hitman showed a poacher’s instinct when darting to the near post to tap home Matt Targett’s cross.

But it was Targett who would ultimately have the final say at the other end when bundling Son’s driven cross into his own net to seal a 2-1 defeat.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the match Smith said: “I didn’t think there as an awful lot in the match.

“We started both halves really well and they had the outstanding player on the pitch in Son Heung-min. He set up the winner and caused us problems all game.

“I thought we got stressed, had a spell after 25 minutes, we would win it and gave it back and it became an untidy game. We have to look after the ball better.

“The second half was better when we switched play but he players need to learn. We were too aggressive for their second goal.

“We went chasing the game and they were allowed to spoil it with the ball in the corner.”

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Smith stresses Villa belief remains high

On goalscorer Watkins, Smith added: “He has been getting chances and has been frustrated he has not scored (before today).

“He will be pleased to get off the mark but disappointed to lose. “We have had an indifferent start but we have a belief among the group now.

“It wasn’t to be today but we certainly have a lot of confidence and belief in this group.”

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