Aston Villa came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Sunday afternoon, soaring into the Premier League top four and moving to within just two points of leaders Arsenal in the process. Spurs took the lead through a deflected Giovani Lo Celso effort and probably should've gone into the break with a two or three-goal advantage but couldn't convert their chances. Villa struck back deep in first half stoppage time as Pau Torres made it 1-1 with a bullet header and then Ollie Watkins netted cooly in the second half to complete the turnaround. It could've been very different on another day, however, as Heung-min Son had a hat-trick of goals disallowed and Emiliano Martinez made four or five superb stops to frustrate the hosts. Unai Emery won't care, though, as Villa take home a massive three points in the race for Europe.
It was an all-action opening 15 minutes or so at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, kickstarted by Spurs left-back Destiny Udogie as he exploited a gap in the Villa channel. The Italian ran onto a chipped through ball from Lo Celso but failed his attempt to dink it over Martinez, firing it into the North Stand. Spurs then had an even better opportunity as Dejan Kulusevski skipped past a sliding Diego Carlos and beat Martinez with a curled effort – but it rebounded back off the post to spare Villa's early blushes. At the other end soon after, Pau broke free from a deep Lucas Digne free-kick and headed narrowly wide of the left post. The Spaniard really had to score as he was completely unmarked about 10 yards from goal. Spurs regained their momentum as Bryan Gil stung the gloves of Martinez, Brennan Johnson missed a header from the rebound, Son missed from six yards and Rodrigo Bentancur forced Martinez into another stop.
Ange Postecloglou's side finally took a deserved lead in the 23rd minute as a Son corner made it all the way through to Lo Celso on the edge of the area. The Argentine wasn't picked up by anyone in claret and blue and he struck beautifully on the bounce, cutting across the ball and finding the net, albeit via an outstretched Carlos leg. Villa responded brilliantly and thought they had an instant equaliser as Watkins headed in from a deep Lucas Digne cross but it was ruled out for a narrow offside following a lengthy VAR check. Proceedings quietened down somewhat after Watkins' disallowed goal, with Spurs dominant in possession and Villa struggling to assert any real control whatsoever.
Son found the net just before the break to lift the home support but it was clearly offside due to the effective trap of the Villans' backline. It looked as if it would be 1-0 going into the interval, and deservedly so, but Pau had other ideas as he scored an equaliser with virtually the last touch of the first half. Douglas Luiz curled in a beautiful cross from a deep free-kick and Pau got ahead of his marker to drill a header into the top corner, sending the away support into raptures. VAR took a look for offside but Villa's number 14 was narrowly on to get his team back into the encounter.
Emery made a double substitution ahead of the second period, hooking Matty Cash after a sloppy first 45 minutes and taking off Moussa Diaby for an apparent lack of involvement. Leon Bailey and Youri Tielemans came on in their places and the former very nearly found the net with a whipped strike towards the far corner. Vicario made the necessary save but it wasn't comfortable as the goalkeeper mishandled it against the post. Spurs then went close to immediately making Villa rue their missed opportunity as Kulusevski broke free on the counter and played a clever one-two with Son before playing it across goal. Johnson got agonisingly close to tapping it home at the far post but couldn't quite connect with the ball as hoped.
Fast forward to the 59th minute and Son had a goal disallowed for the second time when he passed the ball into an open net. Johnson was well offside as he squared it to Spurs' number seven, prompting a silencing of the home crowd. Villa then took advantage of the drop in atmosphere as they broke away on the counter and netted to go ahead. Tielemans linked up brilliantly with Watkins to send the England international through on goal and it took just one touch to beat Vicario and find the back of the net for 2-1. Deserved or not, Emey's men didn't care as they wheeled away in celebration. There was no ruling that one out.
Villa gained great confidence from going ahead and really should've gained a two-goal advantage in the 71st minute, as Watkins headed wide. Vicario was nowhere near a Luiz corner and the Villans' number 11 had acres of space to find the corner but failed to do so. It soon went from attack to defence for the visitors, though, as Postecoglou's men piled on the pressure and Son had yet another goal ruled out for offside. Johnson struck the post and the Spurs captain scored with the rebound but he went just beyond the Villa backline. It was an incredibly tense final quarter of an hour or so for all those in claret and blue as Tottenham pushed on to try and find an equaliser but it remained 2-1 as referee Robert Jones brought the game to a close. Here are our Villa player ratings.