Unai Emery’s impact on Aston Villa is consolidated: with the victory (0-2) at Tottenham’s home to open 2023 in the Premier, he adds three victories in four days, the same as Steven Gerrard had achieved at the helm of the team in the first thirteen appointments of the Premier. The climb in the table now places him almost at the same distance from relegation (eight points) as from Europe, from a fifth place in which Tottenham remains, which in the return after the World Cup accumulates disasters because it not only adds one point of six possible but has given continuity to a calamitous statistic. “Nothing like this had ever happened to me,” warns coach Antonio Conte, who no longer knows what key to play so that his team does not concede the first goal in their matches. In the last ten, seven of them in the Premier, he has had to deal with that slab. And people are already fed up. In mid-October, Spurs were level on points with City and four behind Arsenal, which had 27 of 30 points. Today they are thirteen. A disaster that caused a fire in the splendid London stadium attacked by Villa. A good part of the local fans left before the end and the president David Levy was severely reprimanded.
Lloris, Cristian Romero, Ben Davies, Clement Lenglet, Yves Bissouma (Pape Sarr, min. 80), Perisic (D. Spence, min. 88), Matt Doherty (Emerson, min. 80), Hojbjerg (Oliver Skipp, min. 88), Bryan Gil Salvatierra (Ryan Sessegnon, min. 62), Kane and Heung-Min Son
Robin Olsen, Ezri Konsa Ngoyo (Ings, min. 82), Ashley Young, Digne, Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz (Bednarek, min. 81), McGinn (Coutinho, min. 77), Emi Buendia (Chambers, min. 81), Leon Bailey (Matthew Cash, min. 65) and Ollie Watkins
goals 0-1 min. 49: Emi Buendia. 0-2 min. 73: Douglas Luiz.
Referee john brooks
Yellow cards Cristian Romero (min. 28), Clement Lenglet (min. 31), Ben Davies (min. 36), Tyrone Mings (min. 56), Yves Bissouma (min. 58), Ezri Konsa Ngoyo (min. 66) and Chambers (min. 92)
Tottenham spent 170 million euros last summer and Conte spoke very clearly after the game: “We don’t have many creative players.” Not even the occasional absences of Bentancur, Kukusevski and Richarlison excuse the shortcomings. Emery searched for that vein. Villa folded throughout the first part, they came together well on the inside, where they did not concede spaces while Tottenham insisted on looking for them, with open wingers and wingers like Bryan Gil, who was enjoying his first start in the team, with missions on interior land. The talented Barbate, a one-on-one specialist, played like someone who does with one foot tied behind his back. The Villa was not cut. Forgot the attack, placed the line four on the front and reinforced the sides with their wingers to put together a 6-2-2. Tottenham ran aground.
As soon as they returned from the break, the villains put together several passes in the opposite field for the first time. And they scored a goal. The episode was devastating for Tottenham, which was completely derailed. “It gave us confidence because defensively we were strong,” Emery confessed after the game. The goal put the magnifying glass on goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who reappeared after the World Cup final while his antagonist Dibu Martinez was on the Villa bench. The French goalkeeper botched trying to block a long shot from Douglas Luiz, the rebound was caught by Watkins and the finishing touch was put by Emi Buendia. The sentence was put by the Brazilian footballer himself after the excellent midfielder Kamara cleaned a ball from Harry Kane, who at all times transmitted a withered image.
Tottenham has been moving between emergencies for a long time. Its property, which rests 30% on Daniel Levy himself through an investment fund, injected a capital increase of 180 million euros last summer and is still looking, after three years, for the highest bidder to baptize its magnificent stadium. The agreement with the NFL for football matches to be played in London until 2028 is also a river of gold for the entity, but the Spurs’ showcases are not full. The last title they celebrated was the 2008 League Cup and to remember the previous one we have to go back to the 1991 Cup. Tottenham only won the English league twice, in 1951 and 1961. “Our fans deserve the best and perhaps the best thing is fifth place ”, Conte sentenced after the defeat that opened a 2023 that is not expected to be easy.
Things are not going better for Chelsea, who are five points behind Tottenham and seven from fourth place after drawing a long-suffering draw (1-1) on their visit to Nottingham Forest. Sterling put the London team ahead in the first half after a couple of lucky rebounds in the box, but ended up outclassed by an opponent who grew stronger in the final half hour of the game, just after Aurier’s equalizer. On Thursday night they host Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
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Source: EL PAIS