Aston Villa top Tottenham, 2-0, in New Years Day clash

Aston Villa opened 2023 with a 2-0 Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur on New Years Day.

After a scoreless first half, Villa scored twice on the other side of the break to help secure a first win in London this season.

Emi Buendia opened the scoring in the 50th minute, capping off a frantic sequence that begun with a Douglas Luiz screamer from way outside the box. Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris bobbled the save into the feet of a surging Ollie Watkins, who turned and fed Buendia for a tidy finish.

From there play opened up, and in the 73rd minute Luiz recovered the ball in the final third, played a give-and-go with John McGinn, and beat Lloris in front of goal to double the Villa advantage.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Emi Buendia of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 01, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The win sees Villa move to 6-3-8 on the season as they hold onto 12th place with 21 points.

Spurs 0-2 Villa: a closer look

Villa out chanced Spurs, generating 1.07 expected goals (xG) to the hosts’ 0.51 on the back of an impressive second half display.

Ashley Young was bright at right back, and McGinn and Buendia — wide midfielders in a 4-4-2 formation — impressed in attack and defense.

But the stars of the show were Boubacar Kamara and Luiz, who made up a double pivot in central midfield. Kamara continued to show his quality as a top-notch ball-winner, and Luiz seemingly had his hand in everything.

Aston Villa’s Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on January 1, 2023. – – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Brazilian boasted a 92% passing accuracy, 0.46 xG, and nine ball recoveries. He had a hand in both Villa goals and now has more goal contributions this season than Ilkay Gundogan, Bruno Fernandes, and Jack Grealish.

Manager Unai Emery said post-match: “We are so happy because we deserved to win.

“We played with the tactical discipline that we were speaking about in the days before the match. We did really good work and scored two goals. We got a clean sheet as well and Robin Olsen was fantastic.”

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