Aston Villa 2-1 Tottenham: Player ratings as Aston Villa win improves Europe hopes


Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz ignited Aston Villa’s Europa League charge after a vital win over rivals Tottenham.

Unai Emery’s side moved level on points with sixth-placed Spurs with two games remaining in the race for Europe after a 2-1 win on Saturday.

They were better in every way, Emi Buendia hitting the bar, and they remained in the hunt for a surprise European place after recovering from back-to-back defeats following strikes from Ramsey and Luiz – despite Harry Kane’s late penalty.

Poor Tottenham, aimless and lifeless, looked anything but a top-six contender.

They caused a riot at Villa Park just 13 months ago when Son Heung-min’s hat-trick inspired a 4-0 victory, but despite a brief second-half improvement, it was a performance that underlined their continued regression.

In his program notes, Emery said it was a game Villa fought for and it was worth the wait as the hosts took the lead after eight minutes.

Ramsey widened the play to Leon Bailey, Villa’s only change from last week’s derby defeat to Wolves, and drove into the box to meet Bailey’s low cross in front of Pedro Porro to find a corner.

There was little or no reaction from Tottenham. The away fans were focused on the continued chants of chairman Daniel Levy’s departure, while their side remained passive, even with the ball.

The lead made Villa the more cohesive unit with Spurs’ only chance ending in a well-delayed offside flag when Son hit the post after a drive.

Tottenham went through half-time almost in a daze and needed Fraser Forster to stop them falling further behind after 32 minutes.

Porra’s mistake was capitalized on and Ollie Watkins raced into the area to cross for Bailey, only for the keeper to keep it out with a fine save.

A second looked to seal the game for the visitors and they almost doubled their lead five minutes before the break when a diving Watkins narrowly missed Alex Moreno’s teasing cross.

Villa tore through Tottenham’s non-existent midfield and the exuberant Buendia hit the post when he collected Ramsey’s return pass after breaking through the centre.

Normal service continued in the second half, with John McGinn slicing in from distance and Forster denying Buendio as Spurs floundered.

Still, they had a great chance to equalize from the blue when Oliver Skipp robbed Luiz and the ball rolled to Kane.

The England captain had time and space but shot too close to Emi Martinez from the penalty spot.

It was a relief for Villa and sparked an improvement from the visitors as their hosts pulled back and began to build pressure, Dejan Kulusevski curling wide.

But any hopes of a comeback were extinguished by Luiz with 18 minutes remaining.

Cristian Romero knocked on Watkins 25 yards and all Forster – with his position questionable – could do was help Luiz’s free-kick into the top corner.

There was still time for Kane to score in the 90th minute after being fouled by Martinez – after a lengthy VAR review – but it was too late.

Aston Villa player ratings (4-4-2)

GK: Emiliano Martinez – 6/10 – Important save to deny Kane from a Luiz error. Only brought into action when Spurs broke, but the offside flag went up more often than not. Had a penalty call go against his and couldn’t put Kane off.

RB: Ashley Young – 7/10 – The more cautious of Villa’s full backs and wasn’t even needed for that much defensive work.

CB: Ezri Konsa – 8/10 – Was disciplined as Villa enforced a high line, restricting Tottenham of any space to work and create chances.

CB: Tyrone Mings – 8/10 – Nodded away Spurs’ attempted passes over the top and marshalled the high line well.

LB: Alex Moreno – 7/10 – Rarely beaten in the tackle out wide and stayed compact in defence.

RM: Leon Bailey – 7/10 – Buzzed around out wide, always looking menacing. Picked out Ramsey for the opener and might have scored himself on another day.

CM: John McGinn – 9/10 – Dominated midfield, shielding the ball and setting Villa on their way on the counter. Got booked but was everywhere to deny Spurs away wriggle room.

CM: Douglas Luiz – 8/10 – One brainfart gave Kane a one-v-one which Villa survived. Mattered little as Spurs’ midfield offered little before Luiz curled in the second from a free kick.

LM: Jacob Ramsay – 8/10 – Started really brightly, arriving on cue to belt in Bailey’s pass. Had a few other chances and linked up nicely with his attacking colleagues.

ST: Emiliano Buendia – 7/10 – Tested Forster with a couple of strikes and often found space away from Spurs’ unaware defenders.

ST: Ollie Watkins – 6/10 – Had one shot at goal and created another chance. Might have been on the end of a cross here or there but was dogged in his pressing.


SUB: Jhon Duran (68′ for Buendia) – 6/10

SUB: Boubacar Kamara (68′ for Bailey) – 6/10

SUB: Matty Cash (90′ for Watkins) – N/A


Unai Emery – 7/10 – Villa stifled Spurs and charged at the visitors quickly when they won possession. They dropped off in the second half but a few moments of quality earned Emery the win.

Tottenham player ratings (3-4-3)

GK: Fraser Forster – 6/10 – Made a couple of important stops. Little he could do for the first goal but probably gave himself too much ground to cover Luiz’s free kick.

CB: Emerson Royal – 4/10 – Was erratic alongside his partners in defence.

CB: Cristian Romero – 4/10 – Charged around in chaotic fashion, sometimes mopping up danger and sometimes creating it. Dashed out of the back line before Ramsey fired in the opener.

CB: Clement Lenglet – 3/10 – Won a couple of headers in defence but never looked comfortable when Bailey ran at him.

RWB: Pedro Porro – 3/10 – Few opportunities to find Kane in the opposition box and Villa enjoyed their bursts down Porro’s right hand side throughout.

CM: Oliver Skipp – 3/10 – Nowhere near the levels of McGinn and Luiz but isn’t being helped by the lack of structure throughout the team elsewhere.

CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 4/10 – One piece of harrying earned Kane a shot at goal. Made a couple of tackles but so much of his play looked rushed and last minute.

LWB: Ben Davies – 4/10 – Actually looks comfortable on the left, which is more than can be said for a lot of Tottenham’s left wing back play this season. Couldn’t hold back the tide.

RF: Son Heung-min – 4/10 – Eventually stuck the ball in the net in second half stoppage time, but was once for the fourth and final time.

LF: Richarlison – 2/10 – The Brazilian looked clunky in possession and couldn’t hold his runs when Kane clipped balls in behind. Showed absolutely nothing, really.

ST: Harry Kane – 6/10 – Squandered a gift from Luiz but got on the scoresheet with a late penalty. His excellent individual campaign continues.


SUB: Dejan Kulusevski (62′ for Richarlison) – 6/10

SUB: Yves Bissouma (62′ for Skipp) – 6/10

SUB: Arnaut Danjuma (81′ for Porro) – N/A

SUB: Ivan Perisic (90′ for Davies) – N/A


Ryan Mason – 3/10 – Spurs’ structure needs serious addressing, though it seems unlikely Mason can make any sweeping changes in the remainder of the season.

Player of the match – John McGinn (Aston Villa)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *