Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 4.
Son Heung-min's hat-trick kept Tottenham's Premier League top-four destiny in their own hands as Spurs produced a masterclass in clinical finishing to thrash Aston Villa.
After the South Korea striker steered the visitors into an early lead, Spurs withstood a Villa onslaught to remain ahead at the interval with veteran goalkeeper Hugo Lloris making a string of superb saves.
But they cruised to victory with a breathtaking, counter-attacking second-half performance as Son swept home two more fine finishes, either side of an equally elegant strike from Dejan Kulusevski.
A fourth-successive win moved Antonio Conte's side three points above north London rivals Arsenal - beaten at home by Brighton earlier on Saturday - in the race for the fourth Champions League spot.
Villa, meanwhile, were left to reflect on a fourth-straight defeat, despite dominating long spells of the first half, as returning striker Danny Ings wasted two glorious chances to bring them level.
Son shines - but he's far from alone for Spurs
While the scoreline failed to reflect the overall balance of play - or chances created - in the West Midlands, it was Spurs who possessed the difference-making individual talents.
Chief among them, of course, was Son, who seemingly never ceases to amaze - his first and third goals beautifully struck first-time efforts that both went in off the post, with a composed one-on-one finish to beat Emi Martinez in between.
On-loan Juventus midfielder Kulusevski again impressed, teeing up Son for his hat-trick after firing an accurate finish through the legs of Tyrone Mings and past Martinez to put the result beyond doubt.
Harry Kane took a back seat but was still involved in three of the goals, flicking on headers in the build-up to two, but Lloris was arguably Spurs' stand-out performer.
The France goalkeeper made excellent first-half stops to thwart Jacob Ramsey's solo run and shot, John McGinn's 25-yard thunderbolt and Philippe Coutinho's cheeky near-post free-kick.
Only three weeks ago, Spurs sat eighth, six points off fourth place - a position they now proudly hold, even if Arsenal do have a game in hand.
Tottenham, though, have a superior goal difference - boosted by this win - and an easier run-in on paper with Brighton, Brentford, Burnley and Norwich among their final seven opponents, while Arsenal meet Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham among their next four.
Ings' day to forget as Villa's Spurs curse strikes again
Tottenham are very much becoming Villa's bogey side - they have won 14 of the past 18 Premier League meetings between the sides and this was their seventh-straight success at Villa Park.
Despite Son's early opener, it did not look like ending that way for the majority of the first half though as Villa laid siege to the visitors' goal.
While Lloris deserves the plaudits for his impressive display, the hosts were also guilty of profligate finishing, with Ings - still yet to truly find his feet at Villa with just five goals since his £25m summer move from Southampton - the chief culprit.
Twice he was afforded excellent chances on the volley - one from a dinked Coutinho set-piece and then an Ollie Watkins flick-on - but he scuffed both, one straight at Lloris and the other badly wide.
Watkins also sent a free header over from six yards as Steven Gerrard suffered his heaviest defeat as Villa boss.
- 27DigneSubstituted forYoungat 79'minutesBooked at 82mins
- 6Douglas Luiz
- 23CoutinhoSubstituted forBuendíaat 70'minutes
- 41J Ramsey
- 20IngsBooked at 21minsSubstituted forBaileyat 70'minutes
- 12Emerson RoyalBooked at 74mins
- 5HøjbjergBooked at 29mins
- 2DohertySubstituted forReguilónat 21'minutes
- 21KulusevskiSubstituted forBergwijnat 84'minutes
- 10KaneBooked at 90mins
- 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 78'minutes
- 6D Sánchez
- 19R Sessegnon
- 27Lucas Moura
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 4.
Offside, Aston Villa. Emiliano Buendía tries a through ball, but Ollie Watkins is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Emiliano Buendía (Aston Villa) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Douglas Luiz with a cross.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Cristian Romero.
Attempt missed. Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.
Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur).
Foul by Emiliano Buendía (Aston Villa).
Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Steven Bergwijn replaces Dejan Kulusevski.
Ashley Young (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ashley Young (Aston Villa).
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa).
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ashley Young replaces Lucas Digne because of an injury.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas Moura replaces Son Heung-Min.
Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Sergio Reguilón tries a through ball, but Ben Davies is caught offside.
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