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  • By Yann Tear at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Insipid Spurs get new year off to worst possible start as Aston Villa make off with the points

Tottenham (0) 0

Aston Villa (0) 2 Buendia 50, Douglas Luiz 73

Spurs slipped to a third home defeat of the season as they failed to ignite the New Year’s Day crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

They turned in an anemic performance against a Villa side with only one away win in the league before today and never looked like recovering after falling behind following a blunder by skipper Hugo Lloris.

Antonio Conte’s side were subjected to boos at the final whistle and catcalls were aimed at chairman Daniel Levy soon after his team shipped a second goal.

It was all very different from the positive World Cuppy mood ahead of kick-off, with none other than Ossie Ardiles turning up to present Qatar winner Cristian Romero with an inscribed keepsake ahead of the match.

One former Argentinian Spurs World Cup winner to another.

Lloris was not present for that particular ceremony and maybe wishes he hadn’t been on the pitch during the match itself.

Back-slapping aside, this was a match Spurs badly needed to win to reignite top four ambitions, especially given the way their north London foes have been tearing it up to lead the Premier League table at the turn of the year.

This result will not have helped.

Romero certainly seemed intent on keeping up his personal momentum, but an over-enthusiastic lunge – to be polite – earned him the first yellow card of the match and two frustrated team-mates followed in Clement Lenglet and Ben Davies during a poor first half.

The closest Spurs came was when Ashley Young cleared a Harry Kane header off the line with his head after Ivan Perisic had checked back to chip up to the far post.

Lloris was the one with the World Cup hangover.

The skipper, a member of France’s beaten side in the final, really should have done better with a routine shot from distance by Douglas Luiz but he spilled it back in front of him for Ollie Watkins to recycle to Emi Buendia and the midfielder put it away.

Yet more Argentinian woe for the Tottenham stopper, given the national identity of the goalscorer.

And it got worse for Spurs when they were carved open with ease by man of the match Douglas Luiz, who played a nice one-two on the edge of the box with John McGinn before nudging the ball past Lloris.

There was poverty in the home side’s display. They looked increasingly listless as the game wore on and apart from a great chance for Perisic – which the Croatian skied over – there was little to trouble Robin Olsen in the second half.

Spurs: (3-4-3) Lloris – Lenglet, Romero, Davies – Doherty (Emerson Royal 80), Bissouma (Sarr 80), Hojbjerg (Skipp 88), Perisic (Spence 88) – Gil, (Sessegnon 63) Kane, Son. Subs not used: Sanchez, Dier, Forster, Tanganga

Villa (4-4-2) Olsen – Young, Konsa (Ings 82), Mings, Digne – McGinn (Coutinho 77), Kamara, Douglas Luiz (Bednarek 82), Buendia (Chambers 81) – Bailey (Cash 66), Watkins. Subs not used: Martinez, Sanson, Augustinsson, Archer

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