Crisis? What crisis? José Mourinho responded to the week that he threatened to derail Tottenham Hotspur’s season by selecting a second striker, Carlos Vinícius, to take some work off Harry Kane and both scored to help his team return to sixth place in the Premier League. just three points from the Champions League standings.
After the uproar that followed two emotional losses in five days, the Spurs manager was able to make his point to any player in the disenchanted squad with a basic team selection to field a big man with a big man up front. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.
Villa will be glad the Spurs won’t be here again anytime soon. This makes it 10 wins and a draw in his last 11 visits and Dean Smith, Villa’s manager, can’t get his own talisman back from a shin injury soon enough.
If Jack Grealish’s absence for the sixth straight game was disappointing for Villa, the makeup of the Spurs’ lineup after their horrendous week will likely always be intriguing.
Making seven changes from the team that fell out of the Europa League with a three-goal second-leg loss to Dinamo Zagreb, Mourinho did not throw any punches. Not only were there four changes from the team that lost the North London derby to Arsenal last Sunday, but youngsters Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine were also named as substitutes.
“Two bad performances, two bad results,” the Spurs coach said beforehand. “I feel like we need a change, and we need positivity and we need fresh minds and we need two 16-year-olds on the bench to show the other guys that we are also looking to the future.”
That sounded like a sharp comment to those who were getting lost, so Harry Winks and Matt Doherty could ask their agents to start exploring. Serge Aurier and Toby Alderweireld were reportedly ill; It was fascinating to find out if the Spurs could get up from their sickbed.
Perhaps the most surprising inclusion was Vinícius, starting on offense with Kane for the first time in the Premier League. It has been a long time since the Spurs lined up two center forwards in the same league game, more than three years since Fernando Llorente joined Kane in an FA Cup tie with AFC Wimbledon, although Kane stopped playing in the paper of your t-shirt. number for much of the first half.
Despite looking heavy and defensively indecisive in the opening stages, the Spurs made the breakthrough thanks to their new pair of forwards.
Villa had been threatening to get behind the Spurs, especially down the inside left channel, where the gap between Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sánchez was vulnerable. Matt Targett slipped into a cross to Bertrand Traoré’s post, but couldn’t make a clean connection.
With Gareth Bale and Dele Alli on the bench, Erik Lamela suspended and Son Heung-min lost with a hamstring injury, the Spurs were less likely to play in midfield. So when Sergio Reguilón played a long channel to Vinícius and Emiliano Martínez ran from his goal to punt, the Spurs at least had men up to capitalize.
Lucas Moura did it brilliantly to win the first ball and then after finding Kane, better yet to run into the return down the left and square the ball for Vinícius to score his first Premier League goal.
Villa has been in a bad mood without Grealish and did not bother Hugo Lloris before the break. Spurs’ confidence increased from the goal, although their play was far from fluid, and just before the break, Kane came close to heading into a Lucas corner and Tanguy Ndombele missed a looped shot on top of the goal. .
It was the first time since April 2014 that Villa had missed a shot in the first half of a home game and the Spurs were more likely to score the next goal.
Kane was given too much freedom, as he was allowed to shoot wide from 20 yards, while Lucas turned so much while running from the left that Matty Cash, back after five games with a hamstring injury, was it fell. However, the final pass did not reach Kane.
Villa finally got his first attempts at goal when Morgan Sanson, with a rare start since his £ 14 million move from Marseille in January, crossed, but Trezeguet failed to make a clean connection with his volley. Traoré was unable to convert the follow-up before his replacement Anwar El-Ghazi showed more incisiveness with a deflected right-footed shot from outside the left that waved the wrong side of the side net.
When Cash hit Kane’s heels unnecessarily, with the ball about to run out of play, the Spurs had their platform to rebound. The England captain approached the mark to score his 27th goal in a season that could still work out well for the club and its coach. Mourinho’s bet seemed to have paid off.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism