Emiliano Buendia and Douglas Luiz condemned Tottenham to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in their opening match of 2023.
Antonio Conte’s side missed the chance to return to the top four as their opponents ended a run of five successive Premier League defeats in London.
Villa, who also claimed a first clean sheet in the English capital in 14 attempts, struck twice after the break at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with neat finishes from Buendia and Douglas Luiz.
Tottenham remain fifth after suffering only a second loss from their last nine matches played on New Year’s Day.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 1, 2023
The visitors enjoyed most of the possession during the early stages of the first half.
A swift counter culminated in Ollie Watkins drilling a low 20-yard effort narrowly wide of the near post, while an important Boubacar Kamara block denied Matt Doherty at the other end after the Spurs full-back’s strong run into the box.
Villa then had Ashley Young to thank five minutes before the break, the full-back showing brilliant reflexes to clear Harry Kane’s goalbound header off the line.
But the visitors snatched the lead within five minutes of the restart. Watkins reacted quickly after Hugo Lloris spilled Douglas Luiz’s fierce long-range effort, the England striker teeing up Buendia to slot home.
The roles almost reversed in the 62nd minute when Buendia’s neat through-ball found Watkins, who was blocked by the recovering Doherty.
Villa did grab the second goal to seal the points 17 minutes from time, Douglas Luiz latching onto John McGinn’s precise pass before neatly beating Lloris from close range.
What does it mean? Unlucky seven for Tottenham
Tottenham have now conceded the first goal, and also conceded at least twice, in each of their past seven Premier League games. This is their longest run of conceding first since November 2010 (also seven games).
Meanwhile, 12th-placed Villa closed the gap on the Premier League top half with only a third victory in 22 meetings between the sides.
Douglas Luiz the unlikely hero
Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz is not a player renowned for his goalscoring exploits. Indeed, he had not scored in the league since the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal at the end of August.
However, the Brazilian recorded a game-high five shots. One of them was spilled by Lloris that culminated in Buendia breaking the deadlock, while another saw him neatly flick the ball over the Spurs captain to secure all three points.
Meanwhile, he completed the most successful passes for Villa (48), while only Ashley Young (70) bettered his tally of 68 touches.
Kane unable to maintain impressive New Year’s Day form
The record books tell you Kane enjoys playing on New Year’s Day, with no player scoring (five) or being directly involved (eight) in more Premier League goals on January 1.
However, the England captain only registered one shot on target – his first-half header that was cleared off the line – while Bryan Gil (32) was the only outfield Tottenham starter to record fewer touches (35).
Key Opta Facts:
– Spurs have conceded at least twice in seven consecutive league matches for the first time since November 1988 (eight).
– Each of Aston Villa’s last four victories against Spurs in the Premier League have come away from home.
– Unai Emery is the first Villa manager to win both of his first two away games in charge in the Premier League since John Gregory in March 1998.
– Tottenham players have made a combined five errors leading to opposition goals in this season’s Premier League, at least two more than any other side, with goalkeeper Lloris responsible for three of those five.
– Four of Buendia’s last five Premier League goals have been winning goals, while his seven totals goals in the competition have been scored under four different managers – Daniel Farke, Dean Smith, Steven Gerrard and Emery.
Both sides return to Premier League action on Wednesday. Tottenham will be seeking a response when they travel to Crystal Palace, with Villa eager to build on this victory at home to Wolves.
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