Son Heung-min proved the difference when bagging two assists as Tottenham secured a vital three points at home to Aston Villa.
Tottenham sought to bring their Europa Conference League form back into the domestic arena against a buoyant Aston Villa side fresh off defeating Man Utd last week. Spurs dominated the possession stakes in the early going, racking up 67 percent in the opening quarter of an hour.
The extra ball did not translate into openings on goal, however. In fact, neither the hosts nor Villa registered a single shot inside 15 minutes as both sides cancelled each other out.
Son Heung-min was heavily involved in everything Tottenham did well, and it was the South Korean who crafted the game’s opener.
A driving run down the right allowed Spurs runners to gallop forward through the middle. Son picked out Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on the edge of the area who showed remarkable composure to casually curl the ball inside Emiliano Martinez’s far post.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg celebrates his first Premier League goal of the season, putting Spurs 1-0 up against Aston Villa. 💪 pic.twitter.com/46dObwzavE
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) October 3, 2021
Going behind perked Villa up to some degree, though Spurs’ back-line proved too difficult to crack as the first half concluded without incident.
With Dean Smith’s words ringing in their ears, Villa flew out of the traps after the break. And but for a vital Cristian Romero block from a Matt Targett strike, the scores could’ve been levelled inside two minutes.
With a more open feel to the contest, Tottenham wasted little time in going close themselves.
The dangerous Son produced a smart stop from Martinez, though the Argentine could only parry into the path of the onrushing Emerson Royal. The full-back shot without breaking stride but saw his effort blocked by Tyrone Mings.
Spurs were beginning to hit their straps and threatened to double their advantage through Son and Tanguy Ndombele. But while the lead remained just one, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side could not rest.
That statement rung true in the 68th minute when a clinical Villa attack scythed Spurs open.
After winning the ball back deep into Tottenham’s half, the ball was fed to Danny Ings who in turn played in the overlapping Targett. Fresh off his England recall, Ollie Watkins darted towards the near post to prod Targett’s accurate cross beyond Hugo Lloris to make it 1-1.
Parity did not last long, however, when Son notched his second assists of the afternoon moments later
After driving past Kortney Hause, Son drilled a low pass toward the back post that Targett could only divert into his own net under pressure from Lucas Moura.
Spurs have scored four Premier League goals at home this season:
An incredible player. ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/BL6lICQGyU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 3, 2021
Substitute Giovani Lo Celso spurned a glorious opportunity to seal the three points after a sublime flick from Harry Kane. It was the England captain’s turn next to go close, but the excellent Martinez single-handedly continued to keep Villa within touching distance.
Those misses would not come back to haunt the home side, however, as Tottenham saw out five minutes of added time to bag a precious league victory via a 2-1 scoreline.