Aston Villa fell to defeat in their Premier League return at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, despite their valiant efforts in the capital.
John McGinn’s early goal separated the two sides for over 73 minutes, before Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane turned the game on its head, as Villa became the architects of their own downfall.
Villa take shock early lead
Dean Smith handed four full debuts including that of Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Trezeguet and Wesley. Neil Taylor, Ahmed Elmohamady and Conor Hourihane all kept their places from play-off victory in May.
Key performer last year, and on the night, Tyrone Mings continued his excellent form, assisting Villa’s and McGinn’s first of the campaign. The Scot chased Mings’ long ball behind the Tottenham defence before applying the finish across Hugo Lloris, stunning Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
In a half dominated by the hosts, Villa managed to carve open another chance. McGinn this time turned provider for Trezeguet, But the Egyptian couldn’t get a clean strike on goal under pressure from Toby Alderweireld.
Harry Kane’s late first-half chance was as good as it got from a Tottenham side frustrated by Villa. England’s number nine raced in win goal as Villa’s backline had a momentary lapse of concentration, but pulled his shot wide of Heaton’s goal.
The interval had little bearing on Tottenham’s momentum coming into the second period. Their intense pressure on Villa’s defence finally coming to fruition through new recruit Tanguy Ndombele. After Tom Heaton’s heroics preserved Villa’s lead, French midfielder Ndombele followed up to level the score.
Replacing Wesley and Trezeguet was a mistake by Smith. Substitutes Jota and Jonathan Kodjia failed to make any impact after Spurs regained parity. Though, parity remained for no more than ten minutes as Kane pounced on Grealish’s mistake on the edge of the box.
Adding another on the stroke of full time, Villa learnt the harsh lessons of Premier League football. Villa’s well-executed game plan almost worked wonders on the opening weekend, but their status in the league will not be decided in these games.
Welcoming Bournemouth next Saturday, Villa will target their first win of the campaign after coming up second best in London.