Harry Kane Double Helps Spurs Defeat Villa
Two late goals from Harry Kane helped Tottenham come from behind to defeat Aston Villa in their opening match of the Premier League season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Aston Villa had stunned Spurs by taking the lead, eight minutes into their return to the Premier League, thanks to a composed finish from John McGinn.
However, Tottenham ramped up the pressure in the second half and were deservedly level thanks to a goal from Tanguy Ndombele, on his Premier League debut.
Then with time running out, Tottenham once again had Harry Kane to thank. First he fired a shot from just outside the box with five minutes to go.
On 89 minutes, Kane then curled a shot into the bottom corner of the net to wrap up all three points.
The win was no more than they deserved from their second half performance. For Aston Villa, they defended well for vast spells of the game and looked like they have more than enough to stay in the Premier League this season.
McGinn Stuns Spurs
Tottenham got off to a bright start. Aston Villa defender Ahmed Elmohamady lost the ball to Lucas Moura inside his own half. The Brazilian drove forward and unleashed a powerful shot from outside of the penalty area, which went way over the bar.
On four minutes, Tottenham had a golden opportunity to take the lead. A great cross by Danny Rose found Lucas Moura unmarked inside the penalty area. However, the Brazilian’s header was straight at Tom Heaton in the Villa goal.
Just four minutes later, Aston Villa stunned the Tottenham Hotspur stadium by taking the lead.
A long ball over the top was latched onto by Scottish midfielder John McGinn. He turned past Tottenham defender Danny Rose and then coolly slotted the ball past Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
Despite dominating possession in the opening 20 minutes, Spurs were creating very few clear goalscoring opportunities.
On 33 minutes, Harry Kane who had been quite for most of the first half, picked up the ball just outside the box and lashed a shot just over the top of the crossbar.
Just before halftime, Tottenham had a great chance to equalize. A cross in by new signing Tanguy Ndombele found Harry Kane at the backpost.
However, the English striker couldn’t divert his header on target.
Harry Kane Double Helps Spurs Recover
Tottenham came out the blocks at the start of the second half and were looking to play with a higher tempo.
Four minutes into the second half, Spurs missed another great chance to level.
A cross into the box by Erik Lamela fell to Mo Sissoko unmarked at the backpost. However, the Mali midfielder dragged his shot horribly wide when he really should have scored.
Despite a bright start to the second half, Tottenham were beginning to become more and more frustrated and were struggling to breakdown a resolute Aston Villa defense.
On 64 minutes, Christian Eriksen was brought on, as Spurs looked for a creative spark.
With just 16 minutes to go, Tottenham were level. A cross by Eriksen found Davinson Sanchez inside the box. His volley was brilliantly saved by Tom Heaton in the Villa goal.
However, Villa were unable to clear the rebound. Lucas Moura picked the ball up and passed it to Tanguy Ndombele who curled a shot from just outside the box into the corner of the net, for a goal on his Premier League debut.
Three minutes later, Spurs were almost in front. A free kick from 25-yards-out from Eriksen was superbly tipped wide by Tom Heaton.
Aston Villa were struggling to cope with constant Tottenham pressure and were pinned back inside their own half.
On 85 minutes, Tottenham took the lead. Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish gave the ball away to Erik Lamela deep inside his own half. Lamela’s shot was then blocked by Tyrone Mings. The rebound fell luckily to Harry Kane who fired the ball past Heaton into the top corner of the net.
Tottenham sealed all three points for minutes later. Mo Sissoko strode forward and passed to Kane. He then took one touch and then curled the ball into the bottom corner of the net to seal all three points.
Eriksen Helps Harry Kane Make The Difference
The big turning point in the match came when Christian Eriksen was brought on midway through the second half.
Immediately, the tempo of Tottenham’s play increased. Also, Eriksen was able to bring Harry Kane into the game, who had been quiet up to that point.
The Danish midfielder was playing in a free role and added that creative spark that Spurs were missing.
It is key that Tottenham manage to keep Eriksen. The Dane has been subject to much transfer speculation and has been linked to move to La Liga, in particular a move to Real Madrid.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino knows if they are to challenge for silverware this season, they need to keep their best creative attacking threat.
Villa Impress On Premier League Return
Despite the defeat, this was an impressive return to the Premier League for Aston Villa.
They defended resolutely, in particular new signings Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels defended incredibly well.
Not only that, they have quality going forward. Both Jack Grealish and John McGinn will cause teams problems.
Aston Villa has spend over £127 million in the summer transfer window. Only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United have spent more.
Fulham also spent over £100 million last season but got relegated from the Premier League.
Unlike Fulham, Aston Villa look to have spent their money more wisely and should be able to finish comfortably above the relegation zone.
Next up, Aston Villa host Bournemouth next Saturday.
For Tottenham they face Manchester City at the Etihad also next Saturday.
Written by David Coates
Photo credit to Tottenham via Twitter