Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham: Spurs stun Villa in four-star fashion as Son stands out

Heading into the game five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, but with Ange Postecoglou’s side still possessing the advantage of having a game in hand on their hosts, Aston Villa manager Unai Emery recalled club captain John McGinn and Leon Bailey after the pair were rested for the majority of the game against Ajax on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Spurs had not lost consecutive matches at Villa Park in close to two decades, but that particular omen would not be on the side of the away team in the second city after emerging victorious in only one of their last six Premier League away days.

AVL: Martínez; Cash, Lenglet, Torres, Konsa, Digne; Luiz, Tielemans, McGinn; Bailey, Watkins

TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Bissouma, Sarr; Maddison, Kulusevski, Johnson; Son

Victorious in their last three successive Premier League matches, the hosts began on the offensive against the backdrop of a bumper crowd at Villa Park as referee Chris Kavanagh nonchalantly waived away appeals for a penalty after only five minutes following a debatable challenge on Ollie Watkins.

Despite dominating possession in the early exchanges, Tottenham struggled to convert that superiority on the ball into a goalscoring opportunity as Emiliano Martínez remained a spectating figure.

Somewhat surprising with both sides fighting it out for UEFA Champions League qualification, only one effort would land on target throughout a scrappy first half as Brennan Johnson forced an admittedly routine save from FIFA World Cup winner Martínez.

Having already found the back of the net in all of their 26 Premier League matches under Postecoglou, Tottenham needed only five minutes of the second half to make it their 27th scoring occasion in a row. James Maddison clinically converted Pape Matar Sarr’s cross from close range, but the award for assist of the season goes to the Senegalese midfield machine for his perfectly-timed run against the offside trap and Emery’s accustomed high defensive-line.

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Spurs then brought an eerie silence around the majority inside the stadium only three minutes later as a defensive debacle in the hosts’ defence allowed Dejan Kulusevski to put it on a plate for Johnson to confidently fire past Martínez.

In response, a clearly-unimpressed Emery rolled the substitutional dice, as he introduced no less than three attacking alterations – Àlex Moreno, Moussa Diaby and Nicolò Zaniolo – into the game.

However, those changes were almost immediately made null and void as Villa were reduced to a numerical disadvantage with McGinn shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Destiny Udogie – which caused ugly scenes in front of both dugouts – and subsequently left Kavanagh with little choice but to order an early cold shower for the hosts’ skipper.

Ultimately, the Scotland international’s dismissal would derail Villa’s chances of getting back into the game, as not long after Kulusevski had missed a glorious opportunity to make it three, Son Heung-min did precisely that to become Tottenham’s joint-fifth highest-ever goalscorer with an unstoppable finish from underneath the penalty spot that left Martínez with no chance.

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Second-half substitute Timo Werner made it four in stoppage-time with a lovely side-footed finish from Son’s pin-point pass into the penalty area, as the gap to fourth-placed Villa is now down to two points – with Postecoglou’s side – more importantly – still holding the ace of that aforementioned game in hand.