Aston Villa beats toothless Spurs 2-0 in Premier League
LONDON (AP) Aston Villa continued its resurgence under Unai Emery with a hard-fought 2-0 away victory over Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.
Emiliano Buendia took advantage of an error by Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal to open the scoring and Douglas Luiz doubled the advantage to secure a second consecutive away league victory for Villa.
Tottenham has endured a disappointing string of results with just two victories in the club's last seven games undermining its push for a top-four finish.
Villa's victory extended Emery's unbeaten record against Tottenham to four games and inflicted more misery on Antonio Conte's side, which has conceded first in its last 10 matches and has now dropped to fifth in the Premier League table.
Spurs struggled to create chances throughout and players were booed off after a third home defeat from their last five games.
While Tottenham was boosted by the return of World Cup finalists Cristian Romero and Lloris, Dejan Kulusevski became the latest player unavailable to Conte due to a minor muscle injury.
Romero's compatriot Emiliano Martinez was also at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but only named on the Villa bench a fortnight on from his heroics in Lusail.
The visitors started the brighter side and Ollie Watkins came close to putting Villa ahead when he raced through down the left but the forward dragged his 14-yard shot wide.
It was not a sign of things to come with a lackluster opening half featuring as many yellow cards as shots.
Each of Tottenham's three center backs received bookings in a rash nine-minute period with Ben Davies a touch fortunate after lunging into a tackle with Ashley Young.
Chances had been few and far between before Young was well placed to clear Harry Kane's header off the line in the 40th minute after Ivan Perisic had rounded Robin Olsen in the Villa goal.
The chance woke up Conte's side with Son Heung-min, who chucked away his protective mask midway through the half, curling a free-kick into the arms of the Swedish goalkeeper soon after.
Despite making it to the break without conceding, Tottenham's habit of falling behind continued five minutes into the second period.
Lloris was at fault in his first appearance since the World Cup final and Buendia profited.
Luiz's shot from range was spilled by Lloris and the alert Watkins reacted quickest to tee up Buendia, who slotted home from close range to help make up for his Qatar disappointment after he failed to make Argentina's squad.
Perisic sent an effort over the bar moments later before Conte turned to his limited options on the bench and introduced Ryan Sessegnon in place of Bryan Gil after he struggled to make an impact on his first Premier League start.
Matt Doherty, Spurs' other wing back, prevented Villa from doubling its tally with 64 minutes on the clock when his sliding tackle thwarted Watkins.
Kane fired wide on the half volley soon after before he made a costly error to allow the away side to double its advantage.
Boubacar Kamara won possession from the Spurs forward and John McGinn exchanged passes with Luiz, who poked home to spark chants from the home faithful against Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
Conte made a flurry of late substitutions with Pape Sarr being brought on for his debut and Djed Spence earning a rare appearance but they proved futile with boos greeting the full-time whistle.
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Updated January 1, 2023