Tottenham vs. Aston Villa: 5 Observations from Spurs' 2-0 Victory over Villa
On Sunday, Tottenham walked off the pitch with all three points for their fourth consecutive Premier League match.
This time, it was a relatively easy 2-0 victory over Aston Villa, as second-half goals from Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon proved the difference in the match.
So what did we see from Spurs in this nice victory?
Here are five things to take away from Tottenham's Sunday.
Hugo Lloris Is Ready
There was little doubt before this match that Tottenham's big summer signing, the 25-year-old keeper Hugo Lloris, would one day be a vital part of the squad. There were only a few problems holding back the captain of France.
First, there was the perceived adjustment period to a new league, as Lloris had just moved from Ligue 1 side Lyon and had never played a Premier League match.
Further, there was the continued excellence of 41-year-old keeper Brad Friedel, who had done little to lose his job.
However, in somewhat of a shocking move, manager Andre Villas-Boas handed Lloris his first Premier League start.
The result? Spurs' first clean sheet of the Premier League season.
Obviously, Lloris made a clear statement that he needs no adjustment to English football and is ready to roll with Spurs' first-team squad.
For Friedel, the benching ends his record 310 consecutive matches in the Premier League. The question now is if he will get another opportunity with Spurs.
Gareth Bale Is Getting a Bit Embarrassing
Don't get me wrong: Given that he plays for Tottenham and provides the flare and talent that he does, Gareth Bale is one of my favorite players in football.
However, I have to say that this makes me a bit embarrassed when the Welshman starts diving.
Over the past year, Bale has begun diving for fouls more and more and has been doing less and less to hide his flops.
On Sunday, his dive in the 10th minute of the match was one to behold, as it was clear even in real time that he slid to the ground under no contact. Take a look at it here to judge for yourself.
Here's hoping that from now on Bale stays on his feet until there is contact.
Aaron Lennon Validated His England Spot
Earlier this week, Spurs winger Aaron Lennon was recalled to the England national team for their World Cup qualifiers this week, marking the first time in two years that Lennon was named in the squad.
Lennon was quick to validate Roy Hodgson's selection, as he scored his first goal in nine months for Spurs on Sunday.
The goal was not a soft one, either, as Lennon used his speed to race into the box and then beat the keeper with a nice roller to the far post.
Lennon's form is good news for Spurs and England alike.
Spurs Continue to Overcome Late-Match Collapse
Through the first four Premier League matches of the season, four of the five goals Spurs conceded came within the final 10 minutes of a match. Obviously, mental let-downs and defensive fatigue were issues with the club.
Thankfully, it looks like AVB has done some good work improving the problem since, as Spurs have not let in a goal in the final 10 minutes of any of the past three matches.
Now, it cannot be overlooked that Villa were down to 10 men for the final 15 minutes of the match, which lessens the impressive nature of the feat.
However, it's still nice to see Spurs play through the final whistle.
Top 4 Within Sight
It's quite early in the season, but the Premier League table is starting to take shape a bit.
Meanwhile, an Everton draw has allowed Tottenham to move level with them on points and sit fifth based only on goal differential.
Now, Spurs have had an easier schedule thus far than other sides, meaning sides like Arsenal (who have had quite a difficult run) are still lurking below.
However, given their poor start to the season and their inevitable top-four goal, Tottenham should be happy with their close proximity to the top four.
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