Hugo Lloris denies Tottenham have been 'lucky' in surge towards top four
Son Heung-min’s last-minute goal ensured a thrilling 3-2 victory for Spurs at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, and the north London club’s third straight win saw them climb to fifth in the table – a position that could earn them a Champions League spot after Manchester City’s European ban for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
Jose Mourinho’s team beat City 2-0 earlier this month, with Lloris denying Ilkay Gundogan from the penalty spot and the visitors missing a string of chances, then Son’s 50th league goal saw off Villa after the hosts made a defensive error.
“I don’t think it’s about luck,” Lloris told the Evening Standard. “If you look at some games earlier in the season, we were very unlucky. We know we can do much better.
“Especially at this period of the season, only the points matter. We had a difficult game. We have to give a lot of credit to Villa, but we never gave up. We expected a tough game, it was a big battle played in difficult conditions with a lot of wind.
“There are a lot of positive things, we still need to correct the negative ones, but we have to be happy with the result. We could have managed the ball better, especially in the first half. We gave too much possession away, but away from home it’s never easy.
“They are playing for their safety, so we knew they’d start with a lot of energy. We conceded a goal not in the best moment, but then we stayed strong.”
Toby Alderweireld’s own goal gave Villa the lead but the defender redeemed himself by scoring at the right end later in the first half.
Son’s first strike, a rebound of his own saved penalty, put Spurs 2-1 up at the break, but Bjorn Engels’ header made it 2-2.
Pepe Reina frustrated Tottenham by making a string of second-half saves before he was finally beaten by Son in added time after Engels – who gave away the penalty – missed a routine clearance.
“Let’s take heart from the performance we put on the pitch,” Reina told the club’s official site, with Villa a point above the drop zone.
“It happens, we all make mistakes. Engs has had a brilliant game but, unfortunately, it happens. We need to cheer him up because he’s been fantastic.
“During training, over the last week or 10 days after the winter break, the team have done very, very well.
“I think the team has shown a great performance. We believe in the three points all the time and that’s the only way to keep Villa up. We believe in that.”
Additional reporting by PA
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