Aston Villa fell to a devastating loss at Villa Park as Tottenham Hotspur condemned Villa to a 15th league loss in the last minute.
Despite a valiant effort to take three points off Spurs for only the second time in 12 years, Jose Mourinho’s side came back from Villa’s lead to win 3-2 after 94 minutes.
Dean Smith chose to replace Marvelous Nakamba with Danny Drinkwater, whilst Tyrone Mings’ tonsillitis ruled him out with Bjorn Engels taking his place.
It was to be a busy day for the big Belgian, but for twenty minutes it was Tottenham’s backline that was being tested as Villa shot out the blocks.
Anwar El Ghazi whipped a dangerous cross towards Hugo Lloris’ near post inside the first ten minutes, and the Frenchman couldn’t do anything about Toby Alderweireld’s intervention that sent the cross into his own net. With Mbwana Samatta in search of his second Villa goal, the Spurs defender inadvertently scored an own goal.
After a brilliant first quarter of an hour, hosts Villa should’ve gone two ahead as Douglas Luiz’s goal-bound strike was blocked off the line as Jack Grealish motored down the left flank to supply the goods.
In an all too familiar fashion, Alderweireld would level the scores before 30 minutes had passed, from a corner. After Villa failed to clear their lines, the Belgian centre half crashed the ball back towards Pepe Reina’s goal, and with the Spaniard helpless, Spurs restored parity.
It wouldn’t be parity for long, however, as the home side left Villa Park at halftime a goal down. Engels had seemingly made a good tackle on Steven Bergwijn before VAR took it’s time to award a spot-kick. Reina saved Son’s penalty before the Korean was the first to react inside the box to make it 2-1.
A sense of frustration perhaps, or clumsy defending to let the away side back in it – either way, Smith was proud of his sides’ first-half showing.
Engels then momentarily made up for giving away a penalty before the break as he pegged Spurs back to 2-2 by heading home from a corner – Villa’s first goal from a corner all season.
Drinkwater departed on the hour mark for Nakamba, who would’ve felt hard done by to miss the game. The former Leicester midfielder was once again off the pace as Douglas Luiz covered the ground for the most part.
Villa’s efforts would eventually go unrewarded as Engels’ crucial mistake allowed Son to race through and win it late, late into stoppage time for a Spurs side looking to secure Champions League football next season.
Villa will have to pick themselves up ahead of a trip to St Mary’s next week.