BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Son Heung-min scored in stoppage time to give Tottenham a 3-2 victory at Aston Villa to boost its hopes of Champions League qualification on Sunday.
The South Korea forward cashed in on Bjorn Engels’ stoppage-time error to snatch the victory for Jose Mourinho’s side after Engels’ 53rd-minute header had looked like earning Villa a point in its push against relegation.
Son’s first goal, following up after Pepe Reina saved his penalty, had given Spurs the lead just before halftime after Toby Alderweireld’s equalizer cancelled out his early own goal.
Fifth place in the Premier League is now likely to offer a Champions League spot following Manchester City’s two-year European ban, although it is yet to officially be confirmed and City are appealing.
The result moved Spurs above Sheffield United into fifth, while Villa remained a point above the drop zone in 17th.
It all started so well for Dean Smith’s Villa, which was gifted the lead after just nine minutes.
Anwar El Ghazi’s deflected cross completely flummoxed Alderweireld and, under little pressure from Mbwana Samatta, the defender stabbed into his own net from five yards.
The visitors appeared unnerved and Villa looked for an instant second, swarming all over Tottenham with Jack Grealish curling wide from the edge of the box.
Spurs were floundering but still found an opening when Lucas Moura seized on El Ghazi’s loose pass and Dele Alli’s shot was blocked by Kortney Hause.
The visitors desperately needed to regain their composure as they struggled to handle a marauding Grealish, who continued to create clear openings for Villa.
The midfielder was on top form and, after 18 minutes, he breezed past Alderweireld to cut back for Douglas Luiz only for his goal-bound shot to hit a covering Ben Davies and fly over.
Villa was the dominant force and Spurs had struggled to create yet levelled out of the blue after 27 minutes when Alderweireld made amends.