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Another off day for Tottenham gives ‘want-away’ Harry Kane more food for thought
The Spurs striker, who reportedly wants to leave the club, failed to find the target as his side lost 2-1.
Tottenham provided further evidence why Harry Kane might think he needs to leave to be successful after an abject display in a 2-1 loss to Aston Villa which severely hurts their Europa League chances.
Kane has reportedly told the club he wants to be sold this summer and there is no surprise as this performance shows how far Spurs have fallen in recent years.
A top-six finish is now out of their hands as after Steven Bergwijn’s first goal of the season put them in front early on they capitulated, with Sergio Reguilon scoring an own goal and then being culpable for Ollie Watkins’ winner.
They will go to Leicester on the final day of the season and likely have to win and hope that West Ham drop points at home to Southampton after they fluffed their lines.
It was perhaps befitting of a disappointing campaign that the return of 10,000 fans was greeted by one of the worst performances and they were left booing their team off at the end of the match.
Even Kane, so often the man Spurs could rely on, was a no-show and if this does prove to be his final home game as a Tottenham player – which is by no means certain – he will certainly have regrets.
Villa, with nothing to play for, were sharper, more determined and more creative and they could easily have won by a bigger margin.
The only downside to their night was seeing Jack Grealish finish with an ice pack on his leg, having made his first start since February.
It has been an odd season for Bergwijn, a lynchpin under the Jose Mourinho team that went to the top of the table in December but was then frozen out after missing two key chances against Liverpool, which started the descent down the table.
He has been a bit-part player since, but delivered on a rare start by scoring his first goal of the season in the eighth minute.
The Dutchman nicked the ball off Marvelous Nakamba before powering an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
It was the perfect start for Spurs, but things turned sour quickly.
They were lucky not to have conceded a penalty when Hugo Lloris’ moment of madness saw him wipe out Ollie Watkins after the ball had passed, but it survived a VAR check.
Spurs did not escape in the 20th minute, though, as Villa levelled in fortunate circumstances.
Reguilon got his attempted clearance with his wrong foot from Nakamba’s cross all wrong, skewing past Lloris, who got a hand to it but could not keep it out.
Things went from bad to worse for Spurs and Reguilon as Villa went ahead in the 39th minute.
The Spanish full-back hit two successive clearances at Bertrand Traore, the second of which fell straight to Watkins, who closed in on goal and fired into the near post.
Spurs were masters of their own downfall and could easily have conceded two more before the break.
Anwar El Ghazi curled wide after Harry Winks had been caught in possession and then Lloris saved from Watkins when Eric Dier had been brushed off the ball.
It might have been their first time in the stadium since December, but the fans were not about to let their team get away with it and they were roundly booed off at half-time following an abject display.
Spurs did not need to do much to improve after the break and they had two quickfire chances to level, but Bergwijn was wasteful.
He twice shot at Emiliano Martinez in good positions at the far post as Spurs knocked on the door.
Kane then had his first shot of the match, but he was too ambitious with a first-time effort at the far post which went flying over.
Spurs quickly went off the boil, though, and a frustrated crowd demanded the introduction of Gareth Bale, with the Welshman making his first league appearance in front of fans since his return to the club.
He could not inspire a comeback, though, and in fact Villa could have won by a bigger margin.
Traore curled an effort just wide and then Carney Chukwuemeka struck the post at the death as Spurs’ season looks like ending in misery.