John McGinn masterclass, Emi Buendia anonymous: Aston Villa player ratings v Spurs
Aston Villa gave their European ambitions a huge boost with a commanding 2-1 victory over Spurs that ended in nail-biting fashion at Villa Park on Saturday (13 May).
The Villans took the lead after just eight minutes when Leon Bailey beat Ben Davies on the edge of the Spurs box and squared a cross for Jacob Ramsey to smash home.
Douglas Luiz curled home a magnificent 25-yard free-kick after 70 minutes to double Villa’s lead before Emi Martinez was penalised for bringing down Harry Kane in the area, with the England striker scoring the subsequent penalty.
The win takes Aston Villa level on points with sixth-placed Spurs in the Premier League with just two games of the season remaining.
Here, Villa News has rated the players out of ten for their performances at Villa Park.
Emi Martinez – 6
Although the chance was later ruled out for offside, Martinez did extremely well to force Son Heung-min wide when one on one with the Spurs attacker, who subsequently slammed his shot into the post from a wide angle. Once again made a cracking stop to deny Harry Kane when in a dangerous shooting position in the second half. Was controversially penalised for bringing down the England striker in the closing embers of the match, diving the wrong way from the subsequent penalty. Prevented a total of 0.33 expected goals from his single save and also made two high claims from corners. [Sofascore]
Ashley Young – 8
Seems to continue ageing like a fine wine, delivering yet another vintage performance at right-back on Saturday afternoon. Dealt with the threat of Richarlison extremely well and the fact that the Brazilian was subbed off just after the hour mark highlights that Young won this personal bout with flying colours. Won 100% of his ground duels (5/5) and chipped in with two tackles and two interceptions.
Ezri Konsa – 6
Played a dangerous game all afternoon long alongside Mings with a high line that Kane and Richarlison were constantly looking to take advantage of with runs in behind. The Englishman had a couple of marginal calls go his way, but was otherwise really strong in marking the Spurs superstar. Impeccable in possession of the ball as ever, successfully finding a teammate with 50/51 passes he attempted.
Tyrone Mings – 7
Mings’ leadership in the heart of Villa’s defence was evident from the offset, making five clearances, three interceptions and a single tackle. The fact that Kane drifted away from Mings and tried to pin himself on other defenders highlights how far he has improved in recent months, with the centre-back only being drawn into two ground duels all game long.
Alex Moreno -7
Started the game with his usual attacking flamboyance, pushing forward whenever he could to support Ramsey in the final third. However, his task was made much tricker in the second half with the arrival of Dejan Kulusevski on the pitch, with the Spurs attacker causing him all sorts of issues and successfully dribbling past him twice in the last 45 minutes. Despite this, Moreno stuck at it and still managed to chalk up three clearances and three tackles.
Douglas Luiz – 7
Took the game by the scruff of the neck from the very first whistle, as Spurs surprisingly dropped into a low block and allowed Villa the bulk of possession. Kept things ticking over in the middle of the park with his usual calm and composed manner, successfully completing 55 of his 58 passes before sending Villa Park into raptures with a curling free-kick that Fraser Forster could only parry into his own net. Also delivered one key pass and completed 100% of his long passes (5/5).
John McGinn – 9
After a disappointing outing last week in the middle of the park, McGinn was back to his very best against Spurs, nipping in with tackles and man-marking Harry Kane whenever he dropped deep to get onto the ball. The Scot was an absolute bulldozer in the tackle, winning eight out of his 14 ground duels whilst also notching up four interceptions and completing 75% of his dribbles (3/4). Was moved out to the right side of midfield when Boubacar Kamara came onto the field in the last 20 minutes and provided Young with some extra defensive cover as Spurs piled on the pressure.
Jacob Ramsey – 8
The England Under-21 international bagged his fifth goal of the Premier League season when popping up on the scene to smash home within the first ten minutes. His link-up play with left-back Alex Moreno was always a threat, and he enjoyed driving through the lines with the ball at his feet. The only negative to Ramsey’s performance was the three occasions he was dribbled past and the fact he only completed 17 passes during his 90-minute showing.
Emi Buendia – 5
Despite the Argentine striking the post with a first-half effort, it wasn’t Buendia’s most influential day at the office for Aston Villa. Was fielded on the right side of midfield but shied away from his defensive responsibilities in aiding Ashley Young, failing to make a single tackle, clearance or interception. The fact he only engaged in one ground duel and zero aerial duels highlights the limited impact the 26-year-old has on proceedings.
Leon Bailey – 8
Got off to a flyer as he turned Ben Davies inside and out before playing a perfectly weighted cross for Ramsey to slam home. Used the ball really well in possession, drawing his teammates into the game whenever getting into the final third. Possibly the Jamaican’s strongest performance in a Villa shirt since the 2-1 victory over Leeds United in mid-January. Successfully completed 5/7 dribbles and won 7/11 ground duels before being subbed off for John Duran with just over 20 minutes left to play.
Ollie Watkins – 6
Was possibly the quietest of the Aston Villa attackers and was starved of the ball for large spells of the second half as Spurs grew into the game. Despite Emery urging Watkins to play more centrally since his arrival at Villa Park, this performance highlighted the need for him to drift into the wider channels a touch more and influence the game more on a regular basis. Only managed to complete 7/13 passes at a 54% success rate. Failed to have a shot on target and won just three out of his seven ground duels.
Boubacar Kamara – (On for Bailey, 67′) – 6
Jhon Duran – (On for Buendia, 67′) – 6
Matty Cash – (On for Watkins, 89′) – N/A
In other Aston Villa news, the club should go all guns blazing for a £60million signing that Gabby Agbonlahor named a “superstar”.