SON HEUNG-MIN moved Spurs into the Champions League places with a dramatic stoppage time winner at Villa Park.
Joe Mourinho’s side looked set to come away with just a point against a Villa side battling to avoid the drop.
But, with fifth place now taking on a whole new meaning, Spurs stuck to their task and claimed a crucial victory.
Manchester City’s two-year ban from the Champions League means that Mourinho can smell a return to Europe’s top competion.
And Son made that a real possibility with his second goal of the game on the day he passed the 50 goal mark for Spurs in the Premier League.
He pounced to slide the ball past keeper Pepe Reina who had looked set to deny Spurs victory.
But after wasting a string of chances, Son finally sealed the points.
Mourinho’s side came to Villa Park knowing victory would put them into the prized fifth spot which has now become the focus for a string go teams following Manchester City’s two year Euro ban.
But they gifted Villa the lead with a Toby Alderwiereld own goal before he then levelled the scores.
Son put Spurs ahead before the break after seeing his penalty saved by Pepe Reina and netting the rebound.
But Villa boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop with a second half equaliser from Bjorn Engels – who gave away the Spurs penalty.
Villa dominated the early stages with Jack Grealish causing problems for the Spurs defence.
But it was Alderwiereld who gave Villa a ninth minute lead when he tried to deal with an Anwar El Ghazi cross only to put through his own goal under pressure from Ally Samatta.
Villa should have made it two when Grealish set up Douglas Luiz only for the Brazilian to waste his chance in front of goal.
Spurs got a grip on the game after that and levelled when Alderwiereld made amends for his own goal.
Alderweireld made the most of Villa’s failure to deal with a corner and turns and rifiled the ball into the roof of the net from inside the box after 27 minutes.
And Spurs were ahead on the strobe of half time when Son netted his 50th Premier League goal for the club – but only after seeing a penalty saved by Villa keeper Pepe Reina.
A VAR check ruled Engels had fouled Steven Bergwijn. And while Son missed his first attempt, he was quick to follow up and score – much to Reina’s frustration.
Son is the sixth player to hit the 50 mark for Tottenham.
But this was end to end stuff now and Engels became the game’s second player to make amends for a mistake with an equaliser.
El Ghazi impressed again to earn a corner and Engels rose highest to head home.
It was breathless stuff with both keepers being called into action and both sides looking capable of winning it. But it was Son who made the difference.
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