Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 3, Aston Villa 1.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Aston Villa
New boss Remi Garde watched from the stands as Aston Villa lost at Tottenham to suffer a club record-equalling seventh straight Premier League defeat.
Garde had barely taken his seat when Mousa Dembele went unchallenged before beating Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Dele Alli doubled Spurs' lead from 18 yards as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 league games.
Villa rallied as Jordan Ayew scored from the edge of the box but Harry Kane put the result beyond doubt late on.
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Former Lyon boss Garde, who was announced as Villa's new manager hours before kick-off, saw a team which looked bereft of confidence in the first half as they recorded the club's worst ever start to a top-flight season after 11 games.
But they almost completed an unlikely turnaround as substitutes Ayew, Rudy Gestede and Carles Gil gave them added purpose.
Despite the result, Villa's second-half improvement will offer some encouragement for the Frenchman as his team seek to climb off the bottom of the table.
Garde sees nightmare start
The build-up to the game was hardly ideal for Villa given that Garde's arrival from France was delayed by fog. The club also learned hours earlier that defender Micah Richards would miss the match after pleading guilty to a misconduct charge.
Garde arrived at White Hart Lane shortly before kick-off and he barely had time to pull out his notebook before the visitors went behind to a goal which owed to poor defending.
The ball was chipped forward to Dembele on the left wing where he wrestled with Ciaran Clark as he advanced on goal. With no Villa challenge forthcoming, he duly scored his second of the season.
After Villa's woeful start to the season, which in the words of chairman Randy Lerner has left them "way behind", Garde needs to inject purpose and leadership into a side who are struggling for goals.
That seemed to change 20 minutes before the end when Leandro Bacuna struck the post before Ayew found the net as his effort deflected in off Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen.
But Villa need to work on their first-half performance, which saw them register only three shots, compared to 10 after the break. They also suffered a blow when midfielder Ashley Westwood was substituted after taking a whack to the face from Dembele.
Spurs gather momentum at right time
As impressive as Tottenham's unbeaten run has been, Mauricio Pochettino's team were rarely tested before Villa's late surge. The hosts appeared guilty of complacency before Kane wrapped up the result with a fine strike following a flowing team move.
The result moves Spurs up to fifth in the table going into the north London derby at Arsenal on Sunday. But they will need to ensure they are more consistent across 90 minutes against their neighbours, who have been in fine form this season.
Having been gifted the opener, Spurs took control of midfield and did not let go as Kane and Danny Rose went close to adding a goal before Alli struck his first at White Hart Lane since his move from MK Dons in the summer.
Gestede's rugged approach caused problems in the Spurs defence with Hugo Lloris almost caught out after coming off his line as the Villa forward beat him to a cross.
Substitute Ryan Mason was also guilty of giving the ball away as Ayew struck to give Villa hope in advance of Kane's fifth goal of the season.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "You saw in the last few minutes that, after we had conceded a goal, we got a bit worried because we didn't want to lose our position. Our mentality is to go forward but we need to handle the game better. But then I think it was a fantastic game for us, I'm pleased with the players.
"It is true that we haven't lost since the first game of the season but in football the present is always important. If we try to think too much about our position in the table or the objective for the end of the season, this is wrong."
Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald: "When you're bottom of the league there's always a lack of belief and confidence, particularly with young players. But they have to toughen up. Their performance in the last 20 minutes will have given them a little bit more belief.
"The one thing Remi Garde has is a group of players with a tremendous work ethic. He was a cultured player himself and these players need to take a bit more care on the ball.
"I'll give him my thoughts on who does what and it's up to him to decide. He's got a lot better CV than me in coaching. How we play will be down to him. We've got 27 games left and that's a lot of points to play for. We need probably another 36 points and that's Champions League form."
Former Manchester City and England defender Danny Mills: "For much of the game, Villa had no belief when they went forward. That's what Remi Garde has to change. When you are losing game after game it is so difficult."
Stats you need to know
- Tottenham have lost just one of their last 14 Premier League games against Aston Villa (W10 D3)
- Harry Kane has bagged five goals in his last five league games after netting just twice in his previous 14 appearances in the competition.
- Kane has 21 goals in 2015, three more than any other player in the Premier League.
- Villa have equalled their worst ever run of seven consecutive Premier League defeats.
- Aston Villa are only the fourth team in PL history to lose nine of their opening 11 games. No team has lost more than nine
Remi Garde's Premier League baptism starts at home to Manchester City on Sunday. Tottenham face Anderlecht at home in the Europa League on Thursday before facing Arsenal at Emirates Stadium three days later.
- 3RoseSubstituted forDaviesat 82'minutes
- 20AlliSubstituted forOnomahat 89'minutes
- 19DembéléSubstituted forMasonat 69'minutes
- 21HuttonBooked at 90mins
- 18RichardsonBooked at 67mins
- 24C Sánchez
- 15WestwoodSubstituted forJ Ayewat 38'minutesBooked at 42mins
- 40GrealishSubstituted forGilat 65'minutes
- 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forGestedeat 45'minutes
- 19J Ayew
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 3, Aston Villa 1.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 3, Aston Villa 1. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Erik Lamela.
Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ryan Mason (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alan Hutton (Aston Villa).
Attempt saved. Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Alan Hutton.
Attempt blocked. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Josh Onomah replaces Dele Alli.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Carlos Sánchez.
Attempt missed. Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Kieran Richardson.
Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Leandro Bacuna.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Ben Davies replaces Danny Rose because of an injury.
Hand ball by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Kyle Walker.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Aston Villa 1. Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.
Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Jordan Ayew.
Attempt saved. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dele Alli.