Dean Smith disappointed by second half performance in Aston Villa defeat

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Dean Smith admitted disappointment with Villa’s second half performance after their Premier League return ended in defeat at Tottenham.

Dean Smith

Villa led for more than an hour courtesy of John McGinn’s ninth minute opener but were eventually overpowered by last season’s Champions League runners-up.

Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane, with two late goals, earned the hosts a 3-1 victory.

Though Smith found plenty of encouragement in Villa’s first-half showing, he was less pleased with what happened after the break.

"I was disappointed with our second half performance really,” he said. “We were too cheap on the ball, gave it away very cheaply. We never retained the ball.

“Giving the ball away and chasing as hard as we did today, defensively, I thought their physicality shown through at the end hence them getting the win.”

Smith gave debuts to four new players but it was one of last season’s heroes, John McGinn, who sent Villa’s 3,000-travelling supporters wild when he raced through before finishing past Hugo Lloris.

Villa created further openings but were unable to take them, with Egyptian international Trezeguet in particular looking impressive in his Premier League bow.

Belgian defender Bjorn Engels also impressed alongside Tyrone Mings in the heart of defence.


Spurs, who brought Christian Eriksen off the bench in the second half, eventually proved too strong.

“It was always going to be a baptism of fire coming here,” said Smith. “Performance-wise I thought we were very good. Defensive organisation was very good.

“We came up against a superior team who deserved to win at the end.

"A few of their goals: one deflected of Tyrone another ricocheted between Tyrone and Engels and the third one we were chasing trying to get back into it.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.


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