After a wide open affair, a touch of good fortune and a Heung-Min Son brace led Tottenham over Aston Villa for three huge points in the race for the top four.
Persistence paid off, and a late injury time winner, on their 23rd attempt, took Tottenham to victory. The weather was awful and mistakes stole the show, as a late error by hero-turned-goat Bjorn Engels gifted Son his second.
At least two, if not three, of the five goals were due to mental errors. The first was the opening own goal by Toby Alderweireld, although Hugo Lloris’ was more at fault.
Sure, folks can point out that Serge Aurier made a couple mistakes prior, but it was the captain who ultimately cost Spurs the first goal. It was a relatively simple play that the two internationals have dealt with a thousand times. Lloris’ Indecision left Alderweireld in no man’s land with an attacker barrelling down. As the Belgian stretched out his leg, he redirected the El Ghazi cross passed Lloris.
Toby later redeemed himself by tying the game with a wonderful shot on the second action following a corner. Then just before the half, Steven Bergwijn was brought down by Engels. Son stepped up with his unorthodox approach but Reina guessed right to block the shot. Son was quicker to react and beat Reina to the ball to touch in for a 1-2 Spurs lead.
Early in the second Villa struck back with Engels again involved. He bagged a header off a corner. On the play Lloris had another lapse in judgement. Lloris started to come and then stepped back to his line. While it was the right decision to get back on his line – as Lloris never would have gotten to the ball – those steps forward left the skipper on his heels when the header came in.
Late in injury time, Pepe Reina blasted a goal kick way up field, which Davison Sánchez knocked back into Villa’s half. Instead of knocking it clear, Engels tried to trap the clearance with the sole of his boot. The ball skipped on the wet turf and slid under Engels.
Son pounced on the ball and drove toward Reina. Son, after a number of missed chances, slotted away with aplomb to guarantee victory.
As has been the case of late, Mourinho has taught his side how to win when they are not at their best. These three big points have to be a massive lift as Spurs prepare for their midweek battle versus Leipzig and a following collision against Chelsea on Saturday.