A Son Heung-min hat-trick helped Tottenham Hotspur lay down a huge marker in the top-four race, contributing to an impressive 4-0 victory over Aston Villa and seeing Spurs secure an eighth-successive Premier League (PL) victory at Villa Park.
With Villa currently on the slide, the last thing Steven Gerrard’s side needed was a slow start, but Son Heung-min ensured Villa had just that, as he was quickest to pounce upon Harry Kane’s blocked shot to rifle home from the edge of the area. Villa’s response was exemplary, and they had enough guile to fashion a wealth of chances, the best of which fell the way of Ollie Watkins, who headed over from close range following some impressive work from Philippe Coutinho.
Pressure was incessant on the Spurs goal before the break, but Villa failed to take advantage of the plays they had, and conceded a killer second goal just five minutes after HT. Dejan Kulusevski was the man to put Villa to the sword, feeding off mere scraps before driving forward and arrowing an effort low across Emiliano Martínez’s goal and into the far corner.
Villa came close to halving the arrears almost instantly, and a speculative effort from Danny Ings had a fair amount of whip, but not enough dip to nestle beneath the bar of Hugo Lloris’ goal. What was already a harsh lesson for Villa then became all the more painful, as Son doubled his tally for the day, latching onto Kane’s deft flick-on to add Spurs’ third and place the game beyond any doubt. The South Korean wasn’t finished there though, and he completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute, latching onto a precise through-ball from Dejan Kulusevski, before unleashing an unstoppable shot inside the left post from the edge of the area.
With this magnificent win, the visitors more than capitalised upon the earlier misfortunes of Arsenal and Manchester United to wrestle a stronghold on fourth place. As for Villa, a top-half finish is still possible, though it is becoming more unlikely by the week, with this result marking their fourth successive PL loss and worst top-flight home defeat since January 2020.