Tottenham 0-2 Aston Villa: Miserable stat underlines abject performance to start 2023

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Tottenham suffered a terrible start to 2023 with a New Year’s Day 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa.

Spurs, shorn of the injured Dejan Kulusevski, lacked spark early on as they looked to avoid a tenth consecutive game conceding first.

Ollie Watkins dragged a shot wide after breaking in behind before Heung-min Son’s frustrations were expressed by the winger chucking his facemask to the ground having lost possession.

Ashley Young denied Harry Kane’s header with a smart goalline clearance in the moment of a first half with almost as many yellow cards (three) as shots (six).

Spurs looked relatively bright early in the second half but went behind for the tenth game in a row when Douglas Luiz’s speculative effort bounced off Hugo Lloris’ chest and into the danger zone.

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Ollie Watkins spun the ball back to Emi Buendia for a snapshot finish after 49 minutes.

Kane sent an awkward half-volley off target as Spurs struggled to assert their authority in the search of an equaliser.

It was little surprise when Villa were the ones to score next, Douglas Luiz rounding off a swift move up the pitch with a calm finish from John McGinn’s fine pass.

The defeat leaves Tottenham outside the Premier League’s top four with a two-point gap to Manchester United above and Liverpool below, both of which have played a game fewer.