Birmingham — Son Heung-min struck a stoppage-time winner after a dreadful error from Bjorn Engels as Tottenham Hotspur won 3-2 at Aston Villa on Sunday to move up to fifth in the Premier League.
In an enthralling match, Villa went ahead in the ninth minute when Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld turned an Anwar El Ghazi cross into his own net. But the Belgian centre-half made amends for that mistake when he fired Tottenham back on level terms with a superb shot on the turn from inside the box.
VAR intervened to award the visitors a penalty after reviewing a challenge on Steven Bergwijn by Villa defender Engels and ruling that he had brought down the Spurs forward.
Son’s weak penalty, after a stuttering approach run, was saved by Pepe Reina, but the South Korean was quickest to react as he bundled home the loose ball to send Spurs ahead at the break.
Then it was the turn of Engels to cancel out his error — the Belgian rising to meet a Jack Grealish corner and power in a header to make it 2-2.
Villa’s Spanish keeper Reina made three fine saves to deny the impressive Son, but the South Korean was to strike the decisive blow in the final moments of the game.
Engels ended the match in despair as he miskicked a long ball forward and allowed Son to race clear and fire past Reina to take the three points.
“We were 1-0 down so we showed our character and we didn’t give up. I felt bad because I had a couple of chances to score but I got the winning goal, which makes me very happy and I think the lads deserved the win,” said Son.
The defeat left Villa in 17th place, just a point above the relegation zone, but victory was a major boost for Spurs in their bid for Champions League qualification.
Spurs are a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who host Manchester United on Monday. Fifth may be enough to secure Champions League football if second-placed Manchester City’s two-year ban from the competition is upheld.
The ban was imposed by Uefa on Friday after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules, but the club are appealing the decision.
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