Spurs wilt after lightning start as Villa recover to add to home sadness after Venables news
Tottenham (1) 1 Lo Celso 22
Aston Villa (1) 2 Torres 45+7, Watkins 61
Spurs fell to a third defeat in a row as the mountain of injuries and suspensions again took their toll.
Their patched-up team were superb at the outset and deservedly led, but they were hit by a sucker-punch equaliser just before the break and went on to suffer their second home loss in a row.
In many ways they paid for the monumental effort they put in before the interval. The high pressing is good, but it needs to be rewarded or the task becomes magnified.
Villa soaked up Tottenham's energetic salvos and then hit back to get them the points which take them up to fourth and above a Spurs side who have hit a wall after starting the season like a train.
On a day marked by the passing of former player and boss Terry Venables - whose death was announced in the build up to kick-off - Spurs did their best to put on a great show in his memory.
They really ought to have had their noses in front in the opening moments, with Destiny Udogie lofting over after racing onto a long through ball and Dejan Kulusevski smacking against the inside of a post, with only Emi Martinez to beat.
Bryan Gil forced the Argentine keeper into a save, with Pedro Porro heading the rebound over the bar and a Gil cross was inches away from finding the head of Heung-Min Son.
The pressure had to tell and it was no surprise when a corner found its way to Giovani Lo Celso - his first start of the campaign - and his low shot flew in off the thigh of Diego Carlos.
Villa were denied an instant equaliser by a lengthy VAR review and decision to call offside on an Ollie Watkins header but Spurs were also denied by a tight decision when Son raced onto a through ball from sub Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg which was also just offside.
In the last knockings of the half, Villa levelled against the run of play when Pau Torres got across Porro to head a deliciously curled free-kick from Luiz past Guglielmo Vicario.
There was to be more injury woe for Spurs when an illegal clattering challenge by Matt Cash put paid to the recently returned Rodrigo Bentancur after half an hour.
The Uruguayan's ill fortune is another headache Ange Postecoglou didn't need. He was without Micky van de Ven, James Maddison and the suspended duo Cristian Romero and Yves Bissouma and his back four had a makeshift look about it with full-backs in the central positions.
Leon Bailey came on and gave Vicario a fright after the break when his effort was spilled onto a post by the scrambling Italian keeper, and it was foretaste of danger to come, when, on the hour, Watkins had his goal.
A simple one-two with Youri Tielemans and sharp acceleration opened up the Spurs rearguard, with Emerson Royal struggling to keep up. A low shot into the far corner gave Vicario no chance.
World Cup winner Martinez was still needed to see Villa home. He had to save twice in quick succession to deny Brennan Johnson from close range and Hojbjerg from outside the box.
It was that kind of day for the hosts.
Spurs: (4-2-3-1-1) Vicario - Porro, Emerson Royal, Davies, Udogie - Bentancur (Hojbjerg 32), Lo Celso (Veliz 86) - Johnson, Kulusevski, Gil (Skipp 71) - Son
Villa: (4-4-2) Marinez - Konsa, Diego Carlos, Torres, Digne - Cash (Bailey h/t), Kamara, Douglas Luis, McGinn (Ramsey 90+1) - Diaby (Tielemans h/t), Watkins (Duran 90+1)