Hard Working and Resilient Tottenham Hotspur Bounce Back From Arsenal Defeat

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Following the dismal defeat away to Arsenal in the North London Derby last month, Nuno Espírito Santo needed a resilient Tottenham Hotspur performance and got that with a confidence-boosting win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Three defeats in a row in the Premier League with nine goals conceded had overshadowed a good start to the season and piled the pressure onto Espírito Santo. With Villa in good form and beating Manchester United in their last Premier League outing, it was always going to need a good performance for Spurs to take all three points.

Resilient Tottenham Hotspur Show They Are With Nuno

Villa Quickest Out of the Blocks but Spurs Take First Half Lead

Tottenham started the game as if they were still punch drunk and hungover from the Arsenal defeat. Villa were much the quicker at the start of the game, putting the Spurs defence under pressure, with Cristian Romero losing the ball twice in the early exchanges. Villa lacked quality in the final third and gave Hugo Lloris little to do; John McGinn’s volley was the closest they came.

After 20 minutes, Spurs seemed to wake up. Tanguy Ndombele constantly looked to get on the ball and make things happen along with Son Heung-min who was pressing, winning the ball back and looking to create openings.

That was to no avail until the 27th minute when the opener came from a somewhat unlikely source. Son won the ball back and broke free with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for company. He then found the Dane who curled a lovely effort beyond Emiliano Martinez and the relief around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be felt.

Cohesion, Stubbornness and Hard Work Gives Spurs All Three Points

Villa continued to have corner after corner in the second half but the deliveries continued to be poor although it is fair to say that the Spurs defended set-pieces very well, with Eric Dier and Romero proving to be a stubborn and forceful centre back pairing.

Matt Targett had an early chance for Villa but Romero was there to block. It would be at the other end where Targett would have his match-defining moment when he turned into his own net from Son’s cross under pressure from Lucas Moura to give Tottenham all three points.

Son was a clear man of the match-winner, running tirelessly to win tackles, retrieve the ball and was at the heart of everything Spurs did well. The only thing missing was a goal that would have been well deserved and he once again showed just how important he is to this Tottenham side.

This was a Spurs performance that was miles apart from the no show at the Emirates. Every player looked up for the game, did their jobs and it was the most cohesive performance of the season with everyone looking like that they knew what the manager wanted from them and each of them worked hard.

Hojbjerg – Leader of Men

Lloris may be the official captain of Tottenham but Hojbjerg is a captain in waiting based on this display. He was constantly clapping, encouraging and shouting at those around him. At one point he was audibly heard berating Dier, asking him what he was doing when he had given the ball away cheaply.

He was telling Son to get forward and pushing Emerson Royal on at right-back. His goal was the icing on the cake of what was a performance of real leadership where he really pulled everything and everyone together which was not the case against Arsenal.

Oliver Skipp showed why he is so highly regarded at Spurs and Royal let nothing faze him as he dealt with Targett’s wing-back forays all afternoon.

International Break

The international break now comes and in many ways, it’s not what Spurs need. The impetus from this game would be best served by another game in quick succession but instead they will have to hope that players stay fit during international duty and they can put in a similar performance when they return to Premier League action on Sunday, October 17 away to Newcastle United.

Espírito Santo Feels Heat Reduce Following Resilient Tottenham Hotspur Win

Questions were asked of Espírito Santo following the defeat to Arsenal but there was no sign of any players not backing their manager in this win over Villa, with everyone who started and on the bench pulling their weight, pressing high and in many ways, this was a performance that had echos of the football Mauricio Pochettino brought to North London.

Espírito Santo now needs to get ready for the next match and look to ensure that, what is a talented squad, starts to deliver on a consistent basis. He has some of the heat now off his back but he is now always going to be one bad result away from the questions coming back and the heat being turned right back up.


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