Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa0TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2

Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

By James GheerbrantBBC Sport
Harry Kane scores as Alan Hutton dives in
Harry Kane scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season

Tottenham closed the gap on leaders Leicester to two points after Harry Kane scored two goals in three minutes to sink Aston Villa.

The striker raced onto Dele Alli's quickly taken free-kick and fired past Brad Guzan just before the break.

The combination worked again moments after the interval as Kane poked in Alli's low cross.

Villa mustered just two shots on target as they slipped to a fifth-straight league defeat.

Spurs' title bid appears firmly back on track after two games without a win, while Remi Garde's side remain nine points from safety and look increasingly destined for life in the Championship next season.

England duo spearhead Spurs' title tilt

Kane had already served notice of his threat - hitting the bar with a lob after four minutes - before he and Alli seized control of the match as it neared its halfway point.

The first goal showcased Alli's vision and instinctive awareness as his set piece gave Kane a clear run at goal, the second demonstrated Kane's deft scoring touch as he poked a controlled finish past Guzan at full stretch.

The striker's two goals drew him level with Jamie Vardy at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, on 19, of which 18 have come in his last 21 Premier League appearances - four more than Villa have managed between them in the same number of games.

Alli's assists, meanwhile, took him to eight for the league season - fifth in the standings, and more than any other English player.

The innate understanding they displayed in this performance not only underlined their importance to Spurs' title ambitions - it will reinforce the belief that the duo could play a vital role for England at Euro 2016 this summer.

Gary Lineker tweet
Former England striker Gary Lineker backed Kane and Alli for Roy Hodgson's line-up

Rudderless Villa staring at the drop

Alan Hutton looks dejected
Aston Villa have conceded 17 goals in their last five matches

When Villa beat Norwich on 6 February to complete a much-improved five-game sequence which had yielded eight points, it seemed that Remi Garde's side might have a faint hope of escaping the relegation zone.

That hope has surely now been extinguished, with this the fifth match in a row they have lost since then.

With a paltry 37.8% of possession, the home side could never exert any control on the game, and had Kane's early chance gone in and Erik Lamela not side-footed against the post from Kyle Walker's low cross, the scoreline could have been worse.

Villa have now recorded 20 defeats, equalling their worst-ever tally in a single Premier League season - and there seems little prospect that the eight remaining matches will bring anything but further misery.

Man of the match - Harry Kane

Harry Kane has a shot
Although he had the fewest touches of any Spurs starter, Kane was at his lethal best and could have had a hat-trick if his early effort hadn't come back off the bar

What they said

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde: "The result is not positive but for sure the attitude and commitment for the 90 minutes was better than in previous weeks.

Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham: 'I'm frustrated for Villa players' - Remi Garde

"I am frustrated for the players because they fought, but once again we have been too fragile defensively. We hit the post twice and didn't have the luck. But we have to fight against that.

"It is hard but then it is still mathematically possible so we need to fight. The situation is awful and it is massive challenge to win enough games to stay up. But you have to be proud and fight until the last minute.

"I love football and hate defeat. Five in a row. I don't think I've experienced that in my career."

Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham: Lots of positives from Villa win - Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "It was a good victory and three important points after a few games that have not been so good. We created more chances and played well. It is difficult to play against teams playing for survival but we had the right mentality and I am pleased.

On the title race: "We need to keep the pressure on and win games. You cannot stop the dream of the supporters and they are right to dream. But we need to work hard."

The stats you need to know

  • Tottenham Hotspur have lost none of their last nine trips to Villa Park in all competitions (W7 D2)
  • Only Sunderland (10) in 2005/06 and Derby (10) in 2007/08 have won fewer points after 30 games in a Premier League season than Aston Villa this season (16)
  • Kane has scored four goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Aston Villa - his joint-favourite opponent

What's next?

Villa visit Swansea on Saturday, while Spurs attempt to claw back a three-goal deficit when they host Borussia Dortmund on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.


Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Guzan
  • 21Hutton
  • 5Okore
  • 16Lescott
  • 43Cissokho
  • 15Westwood
  • 8Gueye
  • 25GilSubstituted forSinclairat 70'minutes
  • 17VeretoutSubstituted forGreenat 62'minutes
  • 19J Ayew
  • 39Gestede


  • 4Richards
  • 6Clark
  • 7Bacuna
  • 9Sinclair
  • 30Green
  • 31Bunn
  • 38Lyden


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Walker
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 27Wimmer
  • 3Rose
  • 19Dembélé
  • 15Dier
  • 11LamelaSubstituted forChadliat 90'minutes
  • 23EriksenSubstituted forCarrollat 78'minutes
  • 20AlliSubstituted forMasonat 87'minutes
  • 10Kane


  • 7Son Heung-min
  • 8Mason
  • 13Vorm
  • 16Trippier
  • 22Chadli
  • 28Carroll
  • 33Davies
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamTottenham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Nacer Chadli replaces Erik Lamela.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).

  5. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass following a corner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Kevin Wimmer.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Ryan Mason replaces Dele Alli.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Tom Carroll.

  10. Post update

    Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) hits the bar with a left footed shot from very close range.

  11. Post update

    Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) hits the left post with a right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left. Assisted by Jores Okore.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Ashley Westwood tries a through ball, but Scott Sinclair is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Joleon Lescott tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Hand ball by Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

  16. Post update

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Tom Carroll replaces Christian Eriksen.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

As It Stood

4Man City29156852312151
5West Ham291310645331249
6Man Utd29138837271047
11West Brom29109103036-639
15Crystal Palace2996143239-733
20Aston Villa3037202257-3516
View full Premier League table

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