Villa 0-2 Spurs – Mauricio's verdict

We dominated for long periods but had to wait until the final minute of the first half to open the scoring as Dele Alli’s quick thinking and early free-kick into Harry Kane was finished by the striker. The same pair combined again three minutes into the second half and that was just about that.

The win moved us to within two points of leaders Leicester in the Premier League – the Foxes play Newcastle on Monday night – and six and seven ahead of Arsenal and City respectively.

“It was very important to get the three points and to recover the good feeling after the last game against Borussia Dortmund, where the feeling wasn’t very good,” said Mauricio at Villa Park, referring to our 3-0 loss at the Bundesliga side in the Europa League on Thursday night.

“Now it’s important to keep in our way, keep this feeling and prepare for the next game.”

Below: Mauricio speaks to Spurs TV at Villa Park

These games are never easy – and we couldn’t get that key first goal until late in the first half…
“It’s always difficult. The most important thing is that we showed respect from the beginning and at no time played thinking like they are at the bottom of the table.”

What did you think of Dele Alli’s quick thinking for the first goal?
Mauricio: “It’s always important to have players who are clever and at that moment, to be ready to take advantage. It was an important action (from Dele) and key because after the chances we created and didn’t score, it was difficult. It was important for us to go 1-0 up and to score early in the second half as well.”

Harry had chances, hit the crossbar – but he keeps going…
Mauricio: “Harry is a very special player, he’s not just thinking about scoring but also thinking to work hard without the ball, and that’s what makes him so special.”

It’s the good end to the week that we needed…
Mauricio: “It was an important win and now we have some days to recover ahead of Thursday (return leg against Borussia Dortmund). That will be difficult, 3-0 down, but we will try to win the game and turn the tie around. It will be difficult because we have Borussia Dortmund in front of us and think they are one of the best teams in Europe, but we need to try.”

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