This was another difficult watch for Villa fans as an initially shaky Spurs side ran out comfortable winners at Villa Park.
It will ultimately be a game remembered for two costly errors that led to the visitors securing their winning goals.
Until 29 minutes Villa had been comfortable, if ineffective, with Tottenham still reeling from midweek defeat in Europe. However, a poor clearance by Martinez led to a swift counter from Spurs, seizing upon Villa being out of position, with Vinicius tapping in the opener.
Villa never recovered and what played out was an increasingly familiar sight; a lack of finesse, composure and threat in the final third.
The damage was done and the game all but over as a contest on 68 minutes as Harry Kane found himself in the area. Despite over-running the ball, the England striker likely couldn’t believe his luck as Matty Cash naively slid in bringing the forward down. With the ball running out of play and the challenge barely on the field, it was a tough one to take.
Kane of course made no mistake from the spot.
COLLAPSE OF FORM
The final period epitomised Villa of late. It was a disjointed performance, lacking composure and leadership on the field. A lack of quality from the bench only served to relieve those who arguably only seem capable of performing in Grealish’s shadow.
Trezeguet is a willing runner but offered nothing against a hodge-podge Spurs defence. Bertrand Traore blows hot and cold. A sublime ball for Matt Targett in the first half was the footnote of an evening of miss-placed passes. Morgan Sanson’s role still remains unclear, the Frenchman struggled for sure.
The fact that the underwhelming Barkley, El Ghazi and Davis were brought on tells it’s own story.
Then there’s the loss of form of Douglas Luiz, unrecognisable from early season and glaringly limited contribution of John McGinn.
Konsa, who can feel aggrieved having been overlooked for an international call-up, and Targett were perhaps the only figures to come away from the game with any real credit.
Overall, it was another difficult watch and it’s now a growing concern just how lacking we appear in the final third. Indeed, Villa didn’t register an effort on goal until the hour mark.
Whilst the focus remains on getting Grealish fit and playing, we cannot be a one-man side nor one in which there aren’t the players capable of stepping up in his absence. With Jack, Villa win 50% of the time, without him, just 17%.
Dean Smith now has a fortnight to ponder correcting this Villa side, whose form and fortunes are undeniably off course.
Villa 0-2 Spurs
Match Ratings & Report – FT: Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur – Villa slump to defeat at home after costly mistakes from Martinez & Cash.