Villa continue their perfect start to season with fourth straight victory

By Christopher Owuor
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
Aston Villa’s striker Bertrand Traore (left) celebrates with goalscorer Aston Villa’s English midfielder Ross Barkley during their English Premier League match against Leicester City at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England, on October 18, 2020. Photo/AFP
In summary

London, Monday

Aston Villa extended their perfect start with a dramatic 1-0 win at Leicester on Sunday as West Ham ruined Gareth Bale’s Tottenham return with a stunning late fightback from three goals down to rescue a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Villa left it until the 90th minute to seal their fourth successive victory at the King Power Stadium.

Ross Barkley, on loan from Chelsea, took John McGinn’s pass and fired home from the edge of the area. Just months after avoiding relegation on the final day of last season, Villa move up to second place.

They thrashed champions Liverpool 7-2 before the international break and now sit three points behind leaders Everton.

Villa have won their opening four games of a league season for the first time since 1930-31 and boss Dean Smith said: “It is a really good start. To come here and get the win, this is a really good team. 

Tottenham were leading 3-0 when Bale came on as a 72nd minute substitute for his first appearance since joining on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

But he suffered a debut to forget as Tottenham capitulated in astonishing fashion.

The Wales star was one of the main Tottenham culprits as he missed a golden opportunity to wrap up the points before West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini snatched a stoppage-time equaliser.

Tottenham took the lead with just 45 seconds gone when Son Heung-min and Harry Kane combined to create a goal for the seventh time this season.

Kane was the catalyst, dropping deep into midfield before unfurling a majestic long pass that found Son, who cut into the West Ham area and curled his shot into the far corner.

It was Kane’s turn to get on the scoresheet in the eighth minute as he nutmegged Declan Rice and fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Tottenham’s sizzling start featured a third goal in the 16th minute, with England captain Kane heading in from Sergio Reguilon’s pin-point cross for his 10th goal of the season.

Back at Tottenham seven years after leaving for Real in a then world record deal, Bale hopes to prove he is still a world-class talent despite a long spell out of favour with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.

But it was West Ham who were the dominant force after Bale’s introduction to replace Steven Bergwijn.

Fabian Balbuena nodded in from Aaron Cresswell’s cross after 82 minutes and Davinson Sanchez’s headed own goal from Vladimir Coufal’s delivery three minutes later left Tottenham panicking.

Bale should have scored in stoppage-time, but he shot wide after bursting into the area and Lanzini made him pay with a brilliant 25-yard blast into the top corner.  -AFP