The back and forth nature of the Premier League is often what leads many to suggest that English football’s top flight is the best league in world football. As time goes on it feels like that point is becoming more and more validated, and as reported by BBC and The Guardian, the latest slice of evidence came in the form of Tottenham Hotspur’s dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.
Despite Tottenham’s win, it was the relegation strugglers who made the best start, with a Toby Alderweireld own goal handing them the lead in the 9th minute. Thankfully, not long after in the half, the big Belgian was able to make up for his mistake with a wonderful equaliser before Son Heung-min put Spurs ahead. He saw his initial penalty saved after Steven Bergwijn won the spot kick, but he was on hand to tap in the rebound.
One of those games
Bjorn Engels, who gave away the penalty, also made up for his error with an equaliser of his own in a game that Villa will feel like they should’ve gotten at least a point from. The winner came in injury time with Son Heung-min racing clear and breaking the home side’s hearts deep into injury time.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho had the following to say about the win.
“I thought we deserved to win but I think they did not deserve to lose. Villa played to win.”
On the Spurs penalty: “Steven Bergwijn, I don’t know if I call him naive or too honest – the referees tell us pre-match, ‘Don’t ask for anything, don’t surround me, don’t do the motion of the screen’. The action was there and it was a question of to be or not to be, and clearly it was.”
On the opportunity to get into the Champions League by finishing fifth after Manchester City’s ban: “Not just for us. A window opens for many teams. What seemed far, now the fifth place is not far. Arsenal, Everton, Sheffield United, Wolves, everyone will feel they have the chance.”
What will the future hold?
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was proud of his team, but still couldn’t hide his disappointment.
“We have to try and take the positives. The last two games we’ve scored late winners here, so now we know how it feels on the other foot. We had chances to win the game but we weren’t clinical enough.
“They have a front four that can hurt anyone, that’s why we had to get forward and defend on the front foot. On the whole, I thought we dealt with them really well but we’re disappointed with the goals we conceded.
“We probably gave away too many chances from counter attacks, which they’re good at, but we didn’t deserve to lose that. It was a good performance against a team that are fifth in the league but we deserved more than that.”
Now, Spurs will continue their top four (or five) push whereas Villa focus on clawing away from the bottom three.