Skip to main content


Aston Villa beats injury-hit Tottenham, move just two points off the lead in Premier League

Aston Villa Pau Torres, Diego Carlos - The Canadian Press

LONDON (AP) — Aston Villa came from behind to win 2-1 at injury-hit Tottenham and move two points off the lead in the Premier League on Sunday.

Ollie Watkins found space at the heart of a makeshift Spurs defense to roll a shot into the bottom corner in the 61st minute, scoring his seventh league goal of the season and completing the turnaround by Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was a third straight league loss for Tottenham, whose campaign is in danger of unraveling when not long ago the team managed by Ange Postecoglou was in first place. Joining a lengthy list of injuries and — in the case of Cristian Romero and Yves Bissouma — suspensions was Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, who was making his first start after eight months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was forced off after a foul by Matty Cash.

Villa climbed to fourth place, tied on points with Liverpool in third and two points behind leader Arsenal after 13 games. Tottenham is two points behind Villa in fifth.

Giovani Lo Celso, playing as a replacement for injured playmaker James Maddison, lashed in a deflected shot from the edge of the area for the opening goal for Tottenham in the 22nd after Villa failed to clear a right-wing corner.

Watkins had a goal ruled out for offside almost immediately after the restart, Bentancur went off injured, and Villa then equalized in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time when Pau Torres headed in Douglas Luiz’s free kick.

Villa saw more of the ball in the second half and after Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario tipped a shot from substitute Leon Bailey onto the post and away, the visitors took the lead when Watkins exchanged passes with Youri Tielemans and sent a low shot beyond Vicario from a central position.

Tottenham applied late pressure as goalkeeper Emi Martinez produced a double save to deny Brennan Johnson and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before Son Heung-min had a goal disallowed for offside.

There was a minute’s applause ahead of the game and both sets of players wore black armbands as a tribute to Terry Venables, the former England and Tottenham coach whose death was announced Sunday. He was 80.


AP soccer: