The FA Cup - Third Round
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2Aston VillaAston Villa0

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa

By Tom RostanceBBC Sport
FA Cup fourth-round draw
Date: Monday, 9 January Time: 19:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website

Ben Davies scored his first goal for Tottenham as the eight-time winners ground out an FA Cup third-round win over a stubborn Aston Villa side.

After a dreadful first-half showing, Spurs improved and the Wales left-back found the breakthrough against their Championship opponents with a deft header.

Son Heung-min then wrapped up the victory when he converted Moussa Sissoko's pass to put Mauricio Pochettino's side in Monday's fourth-round draw.

Tottenham have moved into third place in the Premier League on the back of a five-match winning run, but their second string struggled to click against a Villa side set out to frustrate.

Without the rested Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, the hosts were short of ideas and the tie looked destined for a replay until unlikely goalscorer Davies arrived inside the penalty area.

Villa mustered one shot on target all game and Steve Bruce will now turn his attention to overhauling a seven-point gap to the Championship play-off places.

Spurs lack spark without trio

Tottenham were excellent in beating Premier League leaders Chelsea 2-0 in midweek but, perhaps unsurprisingly, were nowhere near that level in the opening hour.

Of the XI who started against Chelsea, only Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier kept their places - and it showed.

Alli, Kane and Eriksen had contributed 30 of Spurs' 51 goals this season, and 11 of 33 assists, before kick-off and without them Pochettino's side looked toothless.

Vincent Janssen
Vincent Janssen had just one shot on goal in his hour on the pitch, and he has yet to score in open play for Spurs.

Stand-in striker Vincent Janssen, who has scored just three penalties in 23 appearances now, was particularly lightweight and it was only when Alli finally replaced him after an hour that Tottenham found a way through.

It was another replacement, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, who crossed for Davies to head home before Son - who had moved up front once Janssen went off - buried the second.

A top-four finish remains Pochettino's most pressing assignment but, after a dismal Champions League campaign, a first FA Cup win since 1991 is also surely high on his list.

Six at the back, one shot on target

Villa were beaten FA Cup finalists in 2015 and Bruce took Hull to Wembley a year earlier, but a repeat never looked likely as the visitors effectively played with a back six for large periods.

With top goalscorer Jonathan Kodjia away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, they posed little threat and their only real chance came when James Chester and then Gabriel Agbonlahor had shots blocked from the same free-kick.

A return to league duty now awaits. Villa were 19th when Bruce took charge in October, but after just three defeats in 14 games since they could challenge for a place in the play-offs.

Man of the match - Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Son Heung-min
Spurs had had one effort on target when Son Heung-min took the substituted Vincent Janssen's place up front after an hour. They ended with seven - and the South Korean had three of them.

What the managers said

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "It's always difficult in the FA Cup, but we played a team that had very good organisation and it was tough to break them. We had lots of possession and a lot of patience to try and build from the back.

"At 0-0 we changed the system a bit to try and change the game and from that we scored.

"I'm pleased for the players that haven't played too much, it's important for them to build their confidence."

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce: "We had to defend well and run a million miles because they are a very good side. We had a big chance in the game.

"I was a touch disappointed with the goal because they didn't have to do much - one cross into the box and we didn't deal with it.

"You need your goalkeeper to play well and Sam Johnstone looks a very good young goalkeeper - I think he'll relish the challenge to play week in, week out.

"They are a very good side and that has to be the aspiration for us at Aston Villa."

Analysis

Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas

This year Tottenham have taken Manchester City to the cleaners, beaten Chelsea and were the better team against Manchester United for 60 minutes.

A trophy is the obvious thing they are missing. The big thing Mauricio Pochettino has changed is the mentality. It's about delivering it now.

Former England captain Alan Shearer

Vincent Janssen is making life far too easy for defenders. He keeps coming towards the ball instead of getting into the six-yard box where he could actually score goals.

He is taking the easy way out and he looks to me that he is frightened of missing chances.

Unless he starts getting into the right areas, he is not going to score goals.

The stats you need to know

  • Tottenham have won nine of their past 10 games in all competitions against Aston Villa, including the past three.
  • Spurs had just one shot in the first half at White Hart Lane for the first time since failing to register one against Hearts in a Europa League qualifier in August 2011.
  • Excluding penalties, Vincent Janssen has had a total of 33 shots without scoring in all competitions for Spurs - the most of any Premier League striker.
  • Son Heung-min has scored as many goals already this season as the whole of the last campaign for Tottenham (eight).

Line-ups

Tottenham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 13Vorm
  • 38Carter-Vickers
  • 4AlderweireldSubstituted forNkoudouat 70'minutes
  • 27Wimmer
  • 16Trippier
  • 15Dier
  • 29Winks
  • 33Davies
  • 17SissokoSubstituted forOnomahat 84'minutes
  • 9JanssenSubstituted forAlliat 60'minutes
  • 7Son Heung-Min

Substitutes

  • 5Vertonghen
  • 12Wanyama
  • 14Nkoudou
  • 20Alli
  • 25Onomah
  • 30López
  • 37Walker-Peters

Aston Villa

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 34Johnstone
  • 21Hutton
  • 12Chester
  • 2Baker
  • 23Amavi
  • 37AdomahSubstituted forGreenat 77'minutes
  • 8Tshibola
  • 25JedinakSubstituted forDavisat 77'minutes
  • 7Bacuna
  • 40Grealish
  • 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forMcCormackat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Gollini
  • 6Elphick
  • 15Westwood
  • 19Green
  • 28Cissokho
  • 39Davis
  • 44McCormack
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
31,182

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Josh Onomah.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Aaron Tshibola (Aston Villa).

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ross McCormack (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Tottenham Hotspur).

  8. Post update

    Aaron Tshibola (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur).

  11. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Josh Onomah replaces Moussa Sissoko.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Aaron Tshibola tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur).

  16. Post update

    Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Aston Villa 0. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.

  18. Post update

    Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Davies.

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