Ange Postecoglou: Spurs boss says they were ‘outstanding’ despite suffering third consecutive loss to Aston Villa

Aston Villa came from behind to beat Spurs 2-1; Giovani Lo Celso opened scoring as hosts dominated first half but Pau Torres headed equaliser against run of play; Ollie Watkins’ second-half winner moves Villa above Spurs into fourth

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Roy Keane analyses Aston Villa’s winning goal from Ollie Watkins and labels Tottenham’s defending as ‘Spursy’ following the home side’s 2-1 defeat, despite taking the lead

Ange Postecoglou believes his Tottenham side were “outstanding” despite a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa which saw Spurs suffer a third consecutive defeat.

Tottenham had four goals disallowed, took 18 shots and hit the woodwork twice but ended up surrendering a 1-0 lead to see Villa produce a comeback victory with Ollie Watkins grabbing a second-half winner.

After going unbeaten in their first 10 Premier League games and spending time at the top of the table, Spurs now find themselves outside of the top four as Unai Emery’s side climbed above them into fourth place.

But despite the result, Postecoglou was delighted with his side’s performance considering their growing absentee list with several key players out either with injury or suspension.

Spurs' absences stacking up

  • <strong>Rodrigo Bentancur</strong> – Ankle
  • <strong>Ryan Sessegnon</strong> – Hamstring
  • <strong>Richarlison</strong> – Groin
  • <strong>Micky van de Ven</strong> – Hamstring
  • <strong>Manor Solomon</strong> – Knee
  • <strong>James Maddison</strong> – Ankle
  • <strong>Ivan Perisic</strong> – Knee
  • <strong>Ashley Phillips</strong> – Ankle
  • <strong>Alfie Whiteman</strong> – Ankle
  • <strong>Pape Matar Sarr</strong> – Unconfirmed
  • <strong>Cristian Romero</strong> – Suspension

He told Sky Sports: “Tough outcome but I couldn’t be happier with the way the boys played – I’m really proud of them.

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“I thought we played some fantastic football and on another day we’d have probably won the game comfortably.

“I can’t fault the effort, the intent and everything they put into the game.”

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Highlights from the Premier League as Tottenham faced Aston Villa

Asked if there was frustration with the defeat, he replied: “There’s no frustration. We played well and as a manager that’s all you can ask for.

“Sometimes the outcomes don’t go the way you want but as a manager you’re looking for how the players are committed to what we’re trying to do and they were totally committed to it today.”

The Australian added in his post-match press conference: “Gio [Lo Celso], Rodrigo [Bentancur], Bryan [Gil] all started their first game this year. I think we had four full-backs and four wingers out there.

“I just thought the way the lads handled all of that, there were plenty of excuses for us to not be dominant today against a very good and very settled Villa side.

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Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou claims he ‘couldn’t be happier’ with the performance despite losing 2-1 vs Aston Villa

“I thought some of our football was as good as we’ve played all year. We don’t get the rewards today and we’ve got to take the pain of the defeat but in terms of our progress I think if we continue down that road we’ll get to where we want to.

“Some of our football was just outstanding today. Some of the goals we could’ve scored would’ve ended up being show reels for us in the way we want to play our football. For me, the positives definitely outweighed the negative of the result.”

Tottenham became only the fifth Premier League side in history to lose three consecutive games despite opening the scoring in each match.

Questioned whether there was concern at losing leads, he told Sky Sports: “No, because the players played an outstanding game of football and as a manger that’s all you can ask for. You can’t ask for any more than that from your players.”

Keane: Villa winner was ‘really Spursy’

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Ollie Watkins and Youri Tielemans combine to give Villa the lead against Tottenham

Roy Keane said after the game that Tottenham’s defending for Ollie Watkins’ second-half winner was “really Spursy”.

He told Sky Sports: “Just really poor defending from Spurs [for the Watkins goal]. You’ve got to get tight and you’ve got to be aggressive; they’ve just switched off at the wrong time. Brilliant goal for Villa, lovely finish, but defensively from Spurs, really Spursy.”

When asked if it was an opportunity missed for Spurs, ex-Tottenham defender Michael Dawson told Sky Sports: “Massively. You take the result out of it, they didn’t get what they deserved from the performance.

“However, if you give teams that are good in attack a little opportunity then they’ll take it. Disappointing day for Spurs but a big result for Villa.”

Analysis: Spurs following in unwanted footsteps

Sky Sports’ Joe Shread at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

The 10-game unbeaten run that Spurs embarked on at the start of Postecoglou’s reign feels a long time ago now.

Three successive defeats and a catalogue of injuries have seen the Premier League pacesetters drop out of the top four and set an unwanted record.

Spurs are now the first team in Premier League history to lose three successive games after starting a season with a 10-game unbeaten run. Talk about a shift in momentum.

Torres’ header at the end of the first 45 minutes was also the fifth consecutive goal Spurs had conceded in stoppage time at the end of a half.

The way in which Villa wrestled control of the game away from the hosts in the second half adds to questions over whether Postecoglou’s injury-riddled squad are running out of steam in games.

Unfortunately for Spurs, the fixture list provides no let-up, with Manchester City, West Ham and Newcastle next up. Those games will be crucial in determining how realistic their European hopes are this season.


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