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Aston Villa beats sluggish Tottenham as pressure mounts on Conte

Tottenham endured a nightmare start to 2023, while Aston Villa kicked off the new year on a flyer with a 2-0 win in North London thanks to goals from Emi Buendia and Douglas Luiz.

Aston Villa stunned Tottenham on New Year’s Day as Antonio Conte’s sluggish side were deservedly beaten at home as their top four push continues to falter.

This was not a happy start to 2023 for Tottenham.


Second half goals from Emiliano Buendia and Douglas Luiz did the damage as Villa were well organized and spirited on the counter and Unai Emery’s side continue to climb up the Premier League table as his appointments has had the desired impact.

As for Spurs, they were out of sorts from start to finish as they continue to lose ground in the top four battle. The big question now will be about how much longer Antonio Conte will stick around as his contract is up at the end of this season. Anything other than a big splurge of signings in January and Conte could be off.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

With the win Aston Villa move on to 21 points and are pushing for a top 10 finish. Tottenham have now won just one of their last four games and sit on 30 points and are two points behind fourth-place Manchester United who have played a game less.

Conte could walk early as sluggish Spurs lose more ground

Yes they are missing Kulusevski, Bentancur and Richarlison who would have brought more creativity but Tottenham should have much more about them than this display. They looked disinterested from the very start and even though we are used to them starting games sluggishly then roaring back in the second half, they were even worse in the second half this time. The fact Antonio Conte has yet to commit his future beyond this season says it all. He doesn’t truly believe Tottenham will give him the squad he needs to be successful in north London. They are in the Champions League last 16 this season but they are now in a real battle to qualify for it next season by finishing in the top four of the Premier League. There is a malaise at Spurs which centers around the uncertainty about Conte’s future. They need January additions but they also need commitment from their manager. If they doesn’t arrive soon then they should part ways as soon as possible. They have the talent to finish in the top four, as they proved last season, but right now this is only heading one way: Tottenham out of the top four and without Conte as their boss.

Stars of the show

Ashley Young: Locked down Spurs’ left flank and so reliable defensively. Great clearance off the line in the first half.

Douglas Luiz: Scored the second goal and dominated midfield. He is back to his best.

Boubacar Kamara: What a player he is. So dominant in the tackle and went through so much defensive work.

What’s next?

Aston Villa host Wolves on Wednesday Jan. 4, while Tottenham travel to Crystal Palace on the same day.

How to watch Tottenham vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, SundayOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium

FULL TIME: Tottenham 0-2 Aston Villa - That was putrid from Spurs and Antonio Conte had a face like thunder throughout. Unai Emery’s Villa were excellent and took their chances. What a win for Villa but there are some big questions for Spurs to answer, especially regarding the future of their manager.

GOALLLL!!!! Douglas Luiz with a superb goal to make it 2-0 to Aston Villa. John McGinn plays in Luiz and his first touch is good and he clips home a second. Villa in dreamland. Nightmare start to 2023 for Tottenham.

Spurs just haven’t responded to going behind. At all.

GOALLLLL! Aston Villa lead at Tottenham. Douglas Luiz’s effort from distance sees Hugo Lloris spill the shot and Watkins was quick to react and set up Buendia to slot home. Horrible error from the Spurs goalkeeper. 1-0 to Villa and the home fans are stunned.

HALF TIME: Tottenham 0-0 Aston Villa - Yet another slow first half from Spurs. Less said about the first 45 minutes of Premier League action in 2023 the better... We move!

OFF THE LINE! Ashley Young heads the ball off the line as Harry Kane’s header looked destined to sneak in. That all came after Robin Olsen was forced off his line and a cross was clipped in.

Not too much going on in the way of clear chances. Spurs are huffing and puffing and Villa are sitting deep and trying to play on the counter. The away side haven’t had any real chances on the break but Unai Emery will be happy with their defending.

After a slow start to the game for Spurs (shock) the hosts are starting to wake up. Doherty and Gil are causing some problems down Tottenham’s right flank.

Key storylines & star players

Slow starts plagued Tottenham prior to the World Cup break, and the problem appears no closer to being solved after spotting Brentford two goals before the hour mark. Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg struck back in the 65th and 71st minutes, but that’s all Spurs would get despite out-shooting Brentford 6-1 after the equalizer. With 262 career goals for Tottenham, Kane is now just five shy of breaking Jimmy Greaves’ club record of 266 (all competitions).

Aston Villa, meanwhile, returned from the World Cup break with a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool for the first Premier League setback of the Unai Emery era (2W-0D-1L). Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was unavailable for the Boxing Day fixture after playing hero in the World Cup final just eight days earlier, but the Argentine is expected to return to action for his club on Sunday.

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Richarlison (hamstring), Lucas Moura (calf), Rodrigo Bentancur (adductor)

Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Jacob Ramsey (thigh), Diego Carlos (achilles)

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