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Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Son Heung-min hat-trick keeps Spurs on track for top four

By Michael BeardmoreBBC Sport
Son Heung-min's hat-trick was his second in the Premier League, having netted four goals in a 5-2 win at Southampton in September 2020
Son Heung-min's hat-trick was his second in the Premier League, having netted four goals in a 5-2 win at Southampton in September 2020

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.

Dejan Kulusevski's goal was his third in 11 Premier League games for Tottenham since joining on loan from Juventus in January
Dejan Kulusevski's goal was his third in 11 league games since joining Spurs on loan from Juventus in January

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.

Scoreline is harsh on Villa - Gerrard

Player of the match

Son Heung-MinSon Heung-Min

with an average of 9.23

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number23Player namePhilippe Coutinho
    Average rating

    4.87

  2. Squad number1Player nameMartínez
    Average rating

    4.52

  3. Squad number2Player nameCash
    Average rating

    4.47

  4. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey
    Average rating

    4.47

  5. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    4.40

  6. Squad number11Player nameWatkins
    Average rating

    4.23

  7. Squad number27Player nameDigne
    Average rating

    4.22

  8. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz
    Average rating

    4.12

  9. Squad number4Player nameKonsa
    Average rating

    4.07

  10. Squad number5Player nameMings
    Average rating

    3.97

  11. Squad number20Player nameIngs
    Average rating

    3.89

  12. Squad number10Player nameBuendía
    Average rating

    3.62

  13. Squad number31Player nameBailey
    Average rating

    3.30

  14. Squad number18Player nameYoung
    Average rating

    2.74

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min
    Average rating

    9.23

  2. Squad number1Player nameLloris
    Average rating

    8.58

  3. Squad number21Player nameKulusevski
    Average rating

    8.44

  4. Squad number10Player nameKane
    Average rating

    8.40

  5. Squad number4Player nameRomero
    Average rating

    7.98

  6. Squad number30Player nameBentancur
    Average rating

    7.62

  7. Squad number15Player nameDier
    Average rating

    7.51

  8. Squad number3Player nameReguilón
    Average rating

    7.45

  9. Squad number33Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    7.44

  10. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating

    7.39

  11. Squad number27Player nameLucas Moura
    Average rating

    7.11

  12. Squad number23Player nameBergwijn
    Average rating

    7.11

  13. Squad number2Player nameDoherty
    Average rating

    6.96

  14. Squad number12Player nameEmerson Royal
    Average rating

    6.88

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 27DigneSubstituted forYoungat 79'minutesBooked at 82mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 23CoutinhoSubstituted forBuendíaat 70'minutes
  • 41J Ramsey
  • 20IngsBooked at 21minsSubstituted forBaileyat 70'minutes
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 8Sanson
  • 10Buendía
  • 15Traoré
  • 16Chambers
  • 18Young
  • 19Nakamba
  • 25Olsen
  • 31Bailey
  • 33Chukwuemeka

Tottenham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Lloris
  • 4Romero
  • 15Dier
  • 33Davies
  • 12Emerson RoyalBooked at 74mins
  • 30Bentancur
  • 5HøjbjergBooked at 29mins
  • 2DohertySubstituted forReguilónat 21'minutes
  • 21KulusevskiSubstituted forBergwijnat 84'minutes
  • 10KaneBooked at 90mins
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Reguilón
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 8Winks
  • 14Rodon
  • 19R Sessegnon
  • 22Gollini
  • 23Bergwijn
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 42White
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
41,949

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamTottenham
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home19
Away11
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 4.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Emiliano Buendía tries a through ball, but Ollie Watkins is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    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.

  5. Booking

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Cristian Romero.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  8. Post update

    Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Emiliano Buendía (Aston Villa).

  11. Post update

    Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Steven Bergwijn replaces Dejan Kulusevski.

  13. Booking

    Ashley Young (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Young (Aston Villa).

  15. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa).

  17. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Ashley Young replaces Lucas Digne because of an injury.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas Moura replaces Son Heung-Min.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Sergio Reguilón tries a through ball, but Ben Davies is caught offside.

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