Harry Kane scores in Tottenham win over Aston Villa
The roller coaster ride continues for Tottenham Hotspur, who earned a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa this Sunday. A mere three days prior, Spurs experienced their worst moment of the season: a shocking 3-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb ended their Europa League campaign prematurely. Hugo Lloris called his side’s performance a “disgrace,” Mourinho publicly apologized to Spurs nation, and fans were beyond disgusted.
A bounce-back performance is just what the doctor ordered. Enter Villa, a side on a bit of a slide without captain Jack Grealish’s services. For Spurs, four new players found the starting XI: Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon on defense, Giovani Lo Celso in midfield, and Carlos Vinícius up front.
Villa controlled play early on, testing Spurs’ defensive resolve and cohesiveness, but the new unit adapted admirably. The breakthrough occurred in the 29th minute: a long ball by Sergio Reguilón, intended for a streaking Vinícius, was poorly dealt with by Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez.
A weak clearance found Lucas Moura, who’s give-and-go with Harry Kane afforded Lucas space in the box. His cross was inch-perfect, finding Vinícius who tapped it in. It was a great team goal that settled the game down; from there on out, Spurs were a more composed team.
In the second half, the two teams battled for the next big opportunity. Unfortunately for the Birmingham side, Spurs would double their lead in the 68th minute. Villa right-back Matty Cash clattered into Kane inside the box, leading to a penalty. Kane coolly stepped up and smashed the ball into the bottom corner. It is Kane’s 17th goal of the season and his 30th goal involvement, which leads the Premier League.
With the lead doubled, the game was all but won for Mourinho’s men. The final step: secure a clean sheet with solid defensive work and communication. Spurs did just that, and earned a crucial three points. Spurs were resilient after a nightmarish performance mid-week, and they now sit a mere three points behind 4th-place Chelsea.
Spurs’ European campaign is finished for 2020-21, and in order to secure involvement in either the Champions League or the Europa League in 2021-22, they need to continue the strong play they demonstrated today. Spurs won’t play again until April 3rd: the international break is coming at a perfect time for the squad to get some rest. However when play resumes, they will head to St. James’ Park to play a faltering Newcastle United.