Spurs spell v for victory over Villa


Written By: Robert Halter


The third round of the F.A. Cup gave Tottenham Hotspur home advantage over Aston Villa for a Sunday afternoon clash in early January. After Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish crashed into Harry Winks, a free kick on the left by Kieran Trippier was pushed clear by the Villans stand in keeper, Sam Johnstone, after a cagey start to the game. In the twenty ninth minute a right footed shot by Leandro Bacuna from outside the box was comfortably saved by the Spurs second choice keeper, Michel Vorm, following an assist by Aaron Tshibola. Two minutes later, from a cross by Adomah, a header by Villa’s captain, James Chester, went left of the target. On thirty two minutes, Grealish sent a left footed strike from outside the box high and wide to the left, after collecting a pass from Adomah. In the next two minutes, Spurs captain, Eric Dier, also miss fired with a left footed strike from the centre of the box, which flew over to the left following a corner by Trippier. Just before half time, after a piece of interplay between Vincent Janssen and Heung Min-Son, a vital interception was made by Jordan Amavi, as he got his foot in to avert the danger as Son threatened. At the start of the second half, following a lay off by Son, a left footed strike from outside the area by Janssen, was comfortably caught by Johnstone, towards the bottom right corner. In the fifty second minute, from a cross on the right by Trippier, a header by Son on the left side of the area was cleared by Chester. From a Trippier corner on fifty seven minutes, a header by Janssen was forced wide of the right post and it was the last piece of action for Janssen as Dele Alli took his place. In the sixty first minute, after Ben Davies lost possession, a cross on the right by line from Adomah, was cleared by Cameron Carter-Vickers. But a minute later from an incisive pass by Dier, a snap shot by Son from the right side of the box produced a flying tip over save by Johnstone. On sixty three minutes from a ball over by Davies, a header by Carter-Vickers from the centre of the box missed to the left. But in the following three minutes, through a foul by Winks on Bacuna, the free kick by Grealish, caused problems for Spurs, as from a crunching challenge by Carter-Vickers, the ball was forced forward by Chester, and it took a vital touch by Toby Alderweireld to keep out a right footed shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor, on the right side of the six yard box. In sixty seven minutes, Chester put a header from the left side of the box wide to the left from a corner by Adomah. A minute on, after a forward run by Alli, a first time strike by Winks was plucked from the air by Johnstone, as he leaped to his left. Spurs then changed Alderweireld with Georges-Kevin Nkoudou. But on seventy one minutes, the Lilywhites got the breakthrough with a cross on the left by Nkoudou from an Alli assist, and on target was Davies to turn a header from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner of the net. After a Dier right footed strike from outside the box went too high from a Davies assist, Aston Villa made a triple change of Andre Green for Adomah, Kevan Davis took the place of Mile Jedinak and Ross McCormack went on in favour of Agbonlahor. In the seventy ninth minute, from a through ball by Davies, it took a close range block by Johnstone to keep out a low shot by an unmarked Moussa Sissoko. But on eighty minutes, Spurs sealed the tie after a one two with Trippier and Sissoko, whose cross on the right was driven into the centre of the goal by Son. In the final Lilywhites change Josh Onomah took over from Sissoko. On eighty six minutes, as Alli cut in from the right, Johnstone pushed the ball away with his legs before the rebound was put wide of the right post by Onomah. Three minutes on, after Grealish was brought down by Carter-Vickers, a free kick by McCormack was whipped over the top of the upright from long range. In stoppage time, Alli opened up space for Onomah and it took a close range stop by Johnstone to block a right footed strike by Son as Spurs secured a place in the fourth round.