Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa: How Nuno got back on track after an awful derby defeat
Tottenham have the winning feeling back after beating Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Nuno Espirito Santo, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after their side's first goal scored by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg and a deflected Matt Targett own goal either side of an Ollie Watkins strike gave Tottenham a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League.
The victory stopped the rot at Spurs who came into the game on the back of a disappointing North London derby last weekend.
Harry Kane who played only half an hour in mid-week against NS Mura in the Europa Conference League started but failed to score again, seeing his late effort saved by Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo will hope that he starts scoring soon but the Portuguese manager made a couple of adjustments that resulted in an improved performance and ultimately the win.
So what were some of the calls that brought the much needed win?
Making the bold call on Oliver Skipp
Oliver Skipp came in for Dele, this was the first time this season that Dele started a Premier League game on the bench.
The 25-year-old started the North London derby against Arsenal last weekend but had to be replaced at half-time following an underwhelming performance.
He has since said he had sleepless nights about being replaced at half-time at the Emirates, but also admitted that he will need to put in extra work if he wants to rediscover the form that made him a nightmare to play against.
Skipp has been brilliant in the last 12 months, helping Norwich gain promotion to the Premier League before returning to Tottenham where he’s started five and has come off the bench twice in the first seven league games of the season.
His energy, passion and tenacity is a great complement to the skill and drive of Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg.
Against Villa, Skipp was adventurous and efficient with both his passing and tackling that gave the team a platform to build the win.
Dropping Lo Celso for the hard working Lucas Moura
When Lo Celso arrived from Real Betis in 2019, he was supposed to be a replacement for Inter Milan bound Christian Eriksen but two seasons down the line, it’s really hard to tell what exactly he brings to the team.
He has been used recently as an attacking midfielder but his final pass hasn’t been incisive and he hasn’t created enough or scored to suggest that is his best role.
Against Villa he was put through by Kane and he fluffed his shot, shooting weakly at the hapless Emiliano Martinez in post for Villa.
Lucas Moura who started in his place, playing on the right side of attack ran tirelessly, and occasionally dropping in to form a midfield four when Spurs were defending.
Moura’s energy and willingness gives the team so much balance and it would be interesting to see if Nuno keeps this team and shape going forward.
Moura down side is that he hasn’t scored in his last 21 league games for Tottenham and was unfortunate not to get the goal today, with the Premier League crediting his deflected effort to Matt Targett as an own goal.
He deserved one for his effort and got a standing ovation when he was replaced late on by Bryan Gil.
Nuno reminding everyone of how bad the defeat to Arsenal was
Tottenham produced arguably their most complete performance since the opening day win against Manchester City against Villa, and that was down to the energy and hunger of the team created from the defeat to Arsenal.
Argentine defender Cristian Romero was throwing his body on the line and new signing Emerson Royal was having his best game for the club since arriving in the summer.
Ahead of the game against Villa, Nuno was quite keen to remind his players that they needed to keep the bad feeling from the defeat at Arsenal in order to produce a complete performance against on Sunday, and that did the trick.
There were indications in mid-week when Spurs put five past Slovenian side NS Mura that the team was improving and the performance today confirmed the growing belief, now is time to kick on and get some consistency.