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Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham: Spurs close gap on Champions League rivals with ruthless display

Report and free match highlights as momentum swings in Tottenham's favour in the race for Champions League football; James Maddison and Brennan Johnson scored three minutes apart before John McGinn was sent off; Heung-Min Son and Timo Werner added goals in stoppage-time

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Tottenham thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 to move within two points of their Champions League rivals, as Unai Emery's side imploded after John McGinn's second-half red card.

McGinn was sent off with almost half an hour to go for taking out Destiny Udogie when Spurs were already 2-0 up through goals from James Maddison and Brennan Johnson three minutes apart early in the second half.

Heung-Min Son and substitute Timo Werner scored in stoppage-time to punish Villa and claim a statement win, which closes the gap on Unai Emery's side and swings the goal difference in their favour.

James Maddison and his Spurs team-mates celebrate their first goal
Image: James Maddison and his Spurs team-mates celebrate their first goal

Villa are now at the mercy of Spurs in the race for Champions League football as they have played a game more. McGinn will also miss key games against West Ham, Wolves and Man City through suspension.

Spurs did suffer a blow though when defender Micky van de Ven had to come off injured just before Maddison's opener. They will be hoping he can return for the run-in as they look to build on their first back-to-back league wins of 2024.

Postecoglou played down the significance of the injury after the game, saying: "He doesn't think it's anything too significant. So disappointing for him because he was outstanding again up until that point."

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Martinez (5), Cash (5), Konsa (5), Lenglet (5), Torres (5), Digne (5), McGinn (4), Luiz (6), Tielemans (5), Watkins (5), Bailey (5).

Subs: Moreno (5), Diaby (5), Zaniolo (5), Ireogbunam (5), Carlos (5).

Spurs: Vicario (7), Porro (8), Romero (8), van de Ven (7), Udogie (8), Bissouma (7), Sarr (7), Kulusevski (7), Maddison (8), Johnson (8), Son (9).

Subs: Dragusin (7), Bentancur (6), Werner (7), Hojbjerg (6).

Player of the Match: Heung-Min Son.

Watch the flashpoints from Spurs' big win over Villa

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James Maddison puts Spurs ahead against Aston Villa early in the second half

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Brennan Johnson gives Spurs their second goal of the game, having taken advantage of some sloppy play from the home side

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John McGinn is shown a straight red card for his challenge on Destiny Udogie, sparking a reaction from the Spurs bench

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Son Heung-min adds a third for the visitors, ensuring all three points for Spurs at Villa Park

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Timo Werner adds a fourth for Spurs, who have enjoyed their trip to Villa Park.

How Spurs overcame Aston Villa

Heung-min Son
Image: Son celebrates scoring Spurs' third goal in injury-time

Unai Emery sprung a surprise with his team selection, fielding a back five knowing that a draw would leave Villa in full control of the race for Champions League football. The decision ended up backfiring with his side struggling for the fluency that has brought them here.

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Neither side impressed in the first half, which passed without a shot on target, as both teams struggled to deal with the occasion. Villa came closest right before the break, but Lucas Digne headed wide after McGinn found him with a cross following a short corner.

Team news

  • Pedro Porro returned to the Tottenham line-up after recovering from injury, with Brennan Johnson and Pape Mate Sarr also brought in.
  • Matty Cash started in a back five for Aston Villa as Unai Emery restored John McGinn and Leon Bailey to the team.

Spurs suffered a blow early in the second half when Van de Ven, who had a hamstring injury earlier in the season, had to be taken off. The visitors were undeterred though as they swept past Villa to take the lead with the first shot on target after 50 minutes.

A swift move down the right was finished off by Maddison getting on the end of an inch-perfect cross by Pape Sarr, scoring his first goal for Spurs since October. We didn't have to wait long until the next goal as Spurs struck three minutes later.

Ezri Konsa's mistake in possession was punished by Spurs as Son played in Johnson to score his third goal in six Premier League games. Villa failed to assert themselves on the game in their new shape and the frustration eventually told.

Unai Emery looks on during Villa's 4-0 home defeat to Spurs
Image: Unai Emery looks on during Villa's 4-0 home defeat to Spurs
John McGinn looks to referee Chris Kavanagh after being shown a red card
Image: John McGinn looks to referee Chris Kavanagh after being shown a red card

McGinn was sent off for what Sky Sports' Don Goodman described as an "angry challenge" on co-commentary. There was some doubt whether it was dangerous enough to be worthy of a red, but having gone to take out Udogie the Villa captain can have few complaints.

Spurs took their chance to swing the goal difference in their favour late on as Dejan Kulusevski found Son in acres of space around the penalty area. The Spurs captain delivered an emphatic finish for his 13th league goal of the season.

Substitute Werner, on loan from RB Leipzig, then delivered a fourth and his second in as many games after being teed up by Son. The Germany international was surrounded by five Villa defenders, but none tight enough to stop his strike.

Postecoglou urges consistency after 'significant' win

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Ange Postecoglou says Spurs fans should get excited after their win at Villa

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou told Sky Sports: "I think we made it tough for Aston Villa, they worked hard just to contain us. Last 10 minutes of the second half you could already see them starting to tire a little bit.

"We just had to continue to do that and we got our rewards in the second half.

"We knew it was a big game obviously, everyone was talking it up as a game where it could lead to something significant. I never saw it like that, there's a good chunk of the season still to go.

"We just needed to stay calm, play our football.

"Get excited, why not? The supporters, if they don't get excited by a performance and result like that, in what was a significant've got to enjoy that.

"We know every game is a challenge in the Premier League, especially a team like us who are trying to gain an identity.

"The next step for us is to maintain a consistency of quality performances."

Emery: We lost control of our emotions

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Unai Emery says Aston Villa lost their emotions against Spurs

Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery to Sky Sports: "We compete very well in the first half, there weren't very many chances from them.

"We weren't clinical because they were defending very well and we didn't control the game. The match was controlled more or less in the plan we prepared.

"In the second half, the first two goals were crazy. After the red card it was more difficult to get a result.

"We have to control our emotions, even when we are losing 2-0. We have a responsibility to be mature. We are still fourth in the table but of course we have to accept to lose. Today we weren't clinical and we weren't better than the opponent. Then we lost control of our emotions and the red card was disappointing for me.

"Of course John McGinn is always very, very important. He wishes to compete after the second goal.

"Then the match was difficult to come back. They score two goals. Still, there is two points difference but they have one match in hand. Of course we have to move on.

"Now we are thinking of Thursday. We have a very good match against Ajax, that is our focus."

The stats behind Spurs' sensational win

  • This was Unai Emery's joint-heaviest home defeat as a manager, with today's 0-4 scoreline in charge of Aston Villa equalling a 5-1 loss against Dinamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League in November 2012 (while in charge of Spartak Moscow).
  • ·Unai Emery suffered his first Premier League defeat against Spurs, having been unbeaten across his first six against them in the competition (W4 D2), and winning his first three while in charge of current club Aston Villa.
  • This was Spurs' first away win against a team starting the day above them in the Premier League table since February 2022 (3-2 v Man City), while they're unbeaten in their five games against sides above them in the table under Ange Postecoglou (W3 D2).
  • Aston Villa have lost three of their last four home games in the Premier League (W1), as many defeats as they suffered across their first 23 home matches under Unai Emery in the competition (W18 D2).
  • Each of the last six instances of a Spurs player being directly involved in 3+ goals in a Premier League game have been by Son Heung-Min, with two of the games in this run being away to Aston Villa (one goal and two assists today and a hat-trick in April 2022).
  • What's next?

Aston Villa host Ajax in the second leg of their Europa Conference League last-16 tie on Thursday March 14. Kick-off 8pm. Three days later they head to West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday March 17. Kick-off 2pm.

Live: SNF

Tottenham's next league fixture is at Fulham on Saturday March 16, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 5.30pm.

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