Tottenham Hotspur were dealt a blow in their pursuit of a UEFA Champions League berth as they were beaten 2-0 at home by a spirited Aston Villa side. Antonio Conte’s team looked lackluster as they conceded two goals and failed to hit a shot on target in the second half to sum up a poor day for the Spurs. The home faithful booed off their side at full time, and with Conte’s contract only running till the end of the season, the signs look ominous.

Spurs went into the game after their 2-2 draw against Brentford on Boxing Day and were unlucky not to be in front when Harry Kane’s effort was cleared off the line by Ashley Young just before the half time break. Villa were stoic in their defending and made themselves hard to break down, which was evident in a tedious first half.

Spurs concede first goal yet again

Despite the home side starting better of the two teams after the interval, it was Villa who took the lead in the 50th minute when Emi Buendia slotted home from 12 yards out. Douglas Luiz had taken aim from 30 yards but Hugo Lloris failed to gather the ball as Ollie Watkins reached the rebound and then took a touch before passing to Buendia who made no mistake to give the away side the lead.

Unai Emery’s side looked the better team after going to front and passed the ball with aplomb keeping Spurs at bay. Villa doubled their lead in the 74th minute after John McGinn found Luiz with a brilliant, lifted pass and the Brazilian took a great first touch and then dinked his shot beyond the helpless Lloris in the Tottenham goal. Luiz, however, had to come off in the 80th minute after twisting his knee but Villa held on for a well-deserved victory on New Year’s Day.

The loss will surely put more pressure on Conte who is yet to commit his future to the club amongst reports that he could walk should Tottenham not finish in the top four.  

The London side currently sit fifth in the table with 30 points, two behind Manchester United having played an extra game.

Photo: IMAGO / Sportimage