June 19, 2024

Here’s the big match verdict as Aston Villa sweep aside European rivals Tottenham thanks to goals from Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz

Aston Villa’s European hopes are alive and kicking after a brilliant and comprehensive victory over rivals Tottenham at a euphoric Villa Park.

It was local hero Jacob Ramsey who got the celebrations off to an early start as the 21-year-old fired Unai Emery’s men into an eighth-minute lead.

The head coach drafted in Leon Bailey in his one and only change to the starting line-up and the Jamaican came up trumps, teeing up Ramsey with a pinpoint cross as Villa started quickly.

Bailey, 25, then had a huge chance of his own with Ollie Watkins the provider this time. Bailey ghosted into the box and scuffed his effort which allowed Fraser Forster to palm the ball out of harm’s way.

Villa continued to keep their foot on the gas, though, with Emi Buendia firing at the crossbar just before the break with Ramsey picking him out.

After the restart, Spurs came into it with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg forcing Douglas Luiz into an error. The Brazilian was pickpocketed on the edge of Villa’s penalty area and there was Harry Kane one-vs-one with Emi Martinez. Villa’s stopper denied Spurs’ 26-goal striker when he had no right to.

Spurs continued to apply some pressure with substitute Dejan Kulusevski firing just wide while, with 20 minutes to go, Emery drafted on Boubacar Kamara and Jhon Duran in a bid to regain some control in the middle of the park.

Villa, meanwhile, got their noses further in front when Douglas curled home a beauty of a free-kick. It was Watkins who won the foul up against Cristian Romero and up stepped Villa’s Brazilian, arrowing his effort past Forster from 25 yards out for 2-0.

Spurs did make it an incredibly nervy finish as Kane raced through into Villa’s box before Martinez rushed out and collided with him. After a lengthy VAR check, referee Peter Bankes was told to check his pitchside monitor and subsequently awarded a penalty.

Up stepped Kane who converted from 12 yards to pull a goal back prior to the six minutes of added time.

The ball was in the net again in the sixth minute of stoppage time when Heung-min Son placed it past Martinez – only for the offside flag to be raised once more.

And that was that, with Villa winners in what Emery labelled as “our cup final” with his side now level on points with Tottenham with two games remaining.

Aston Villa 2 Tottenham 1 player ratings

Emiliano Martinez 8

Did so well staying on his feet as Son rounded him, forcing the South Korean to hit the post while Martinez then denied Harry Kane’s effort – only for the offside flag to be raised. Then came Martinez’s moment, though, with the World Cup winner pulling off a world-class save to deny Harry Kane one-vs-one from 12 yards out. Martinez had no right to save Kane’s effort after Douglas’ error. Swept up long balls and always remained an outlet to pass to but, in stoppage time, was perhaps too keen to get the ball as he fouled Kane before the England striker fired past him from the penalty spot. Martinez was huge for Villa though today. Superb.

Ashley Young 8

Steady as you like at right-back with Young marshalling Son well. Young had to stay alert as Kane kept turning and looking for Son with some chipped passes in behind. Faultless all afternoon.

Ezri Konsa 8

Was told by Emery to rewatch how Alaba and Rudiger defended against Haaland in the week, with Konsa following suit as he was up tight and aggressive against Spurs’ top marksman. Solid.

Tyrone Mings 8

Liked his work again here, with Mings bossing Richarlison from the get-go. Mings, as is often the case now, takes his time in possession which allows Villa to remain in their structure as they build from the back. Mings cut out some dangerous through-balls and kept a high line with the offside flag – albeit late – being raised to alleviate some of Spurs’ pressure.

Alex Moreno 7

Yet again, Villa’s attacking output was down Moreno’s side with the Spaniard putting some brilliant crosses into the box, including one he cut across but Watkins couldn’t get enough on his header. Did OK in the second half with Spurs coming on strong down his and Ramsey’s side.

Leon Bailey 7

Back in the starting line-up in Emery’s one and only change and, within eight minutes, Bailey marked his return with his fourth assist of the season. A decent shift from the winger who teed-up Buendia for a chance after the break.

John McGinn 9

Played so well in that first half and, as expected, was a real pain in Spurs’ backsides, winning possession back from the likes of Son, Richarlison and Harry Kane. McGinn was really fired up today. The captain was everywhere while it felt like he was also playing against referee Peter Bankes this afternoon. Some shift from Ginny, that. Booked.

Douglas Luiz 9*

Villa’s tempo-setter in the middle of the pitch, with everything coming through the Brazilian. Douglas had everything today, keeping things simple while showboating as he scissor-kicked a pass out wide to Alex Moreno. The midfielder did gift Spurs a way back in as he was pressed by Hojbjerg which led to Kane’s big chance. However, he soon came up trumps with a sublime free-kick to effectively win it for Villa. Classy.

Jacob Ramsey 7

Notched his fifth of the season, starting and ending the move as he continued his run into the box before converting Bailey’s cross to make it 1-0. Ramsey was full of confidence and he knew he had the beating of Royal. Really grafted for the cause, JJ, with his moment of quality helping Villa to get on the front foot.

Emi Buendia 7

Tasked with being Villa’s link man between midfield and attack. Buendia struck the crossbar with a well-struck effort 16 yards from goal prior to half-time. The Argentinian was at it again after the break, working some magic inside before forcing Forster into a save. Found space well at times.

Ollie Watkins 8

Villa’s opener was all down to Watkins as his cute touch with Romero behind him allowed Ramsey to pick out Bailey before scoring. Watkins turned provider again as he teed-up Buendia for his effort that struck the crossbar. Watkins would have been kicking himself for not converting his header after Moreno’s brilliant ball in. Watkins, selfless all afternoon, won the free-kick which led to Douglas’ free-kick with Romero again found wanting.


Boubacar Kamara on for Buendia, 68 minutes: Helped shore things up to put Villa back in control prior to Douglas scoring the second. Played an important part in the second half. 7

Jhon Duran on for Bailey, 68 minutes: A decent runout for the Colombian who slipped at the vital moment as he raced down the right. Almost raced in on goal in stoppage time but Romero got back in time. 6

Not used: Robin Olsen, Matty Cash, Diego Carlos, Bertrand Traore, Calum Chambers, Lucas Digne, Leander Dendoncker


Tottenham (3-4-3): Forster; Royal, Romero, Lenglet; Porro (Danjuma, 82), Hojbjerg, Skipp (Bissouma, 62), Davies (Perisic, 90+1); Son, Kane, Richarlison (Kulusevski, 62).

Subs not used: Austin, Sanchez, Moura, Sarr, Craig.


Aston Villa: Jacob Ramsey (8), Douglas Luiz (72)


Attendance: 42,164

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)

Next up for Villa: Liverpool (a) on Saturday, May 20; kick-off 3pm

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