Son Heung-min came to Tottenham's rescue in a 2-1 victory over bottom side Norwich City, as Jose Mourinho's men ended a four-game winless Premier League run on Wednesday.

This was no vintage performance from Spurs, who scored their first top-flight goal since December when Dele Alli turned Serge Aurier's cross into the net from close range seven minutes before half-time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The hosts rode their luck as Norwich passed up numerous opportunities to get back on level terms, before Canaries striker Teemu Pukki equalised from the penalty spot following Ryan Sessegnon's foul on Max Aarons.

A point was the most Spurs deserved but they were up against the side with the joint-worst defensive record in the division and Son's winner arrived 11 minutes from time to move his side up to sixth, six points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea.

 

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho was not optimistic as he waited to learn the extent of Harry Kane's hamstring injury.

The Spurs striker – their stand-in captain in the absence of Hugo Lloris – pulled up as he scored a goal against Southampton on New Year's Day that was subsequently ruled out for offside.

Kane had to be substituted, nursing his left hamstring, and Mourinho had not been updated on his status before his post-match news conference.

"It is negative. For Harry to come out is negative," he said. "The hamstring is always negative.

"Is it a tear? Is it a small thing? Is it a spasm, a contraction? At this moment, I cannot say."

Mourinho felt Kane's absence, with Son Heung-min suspended, was a particular hindrance to his side late on at St Mary's Stadium as they chased an equaliser having been trailing since Danny Ings' goal in the 17th minute.

"The game was not easy. The second half was not easy," he said. "They were winning, they were defending, basically with 10 players, fighting hard, being aggressive, the good aggressive.

"There were lots of fouls, lots of stoppages. The ball boys were well coached in the delaying of the game. There was not much play.

"When we lose our target man Harry Kane, we know we don't have the part of the game where we are normally more dominant. We play the last 15 minutes plus added time without a striker. That is even more difficult."

Mourinho was similarly downbeat on the fitness of club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele, who was substituted just 25 minutes into only his 10th Premier League start.

"He's always injured," Mourinho said. "He's injured, he's not injured, he plays one match, next week he's injured, he plays another match, we are full of hopes.

"This is it since the beginning of the season. Of course, it is a concern.

"You think you have a good player, you think he is in an evolution process, he plays very well against Norwich City, you are full of hopes that today he is ready for it.

"And he is not ready for it. I cannot say much more than that. It's a situation from the beginning of the season."

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho praised midfielder Tanguy Ndombele for his performance against Norwich City in the Premier League.

Spurs star Ndombele impressed on his return to the squad as Mourinho's Tottenham drew 2-2 at Norwich on Saturday.

Ndombele – a club-record signing from Lyon in the off-season – was left out of the squad for Tottenham's Boxing Day clash against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 23-year-old Frenchman, however, returned in the absence of suspended duo Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko, and his display pleased Mourinho.

"He played very well," Mourinho told reporters. "We played without a positional player, no Winks, no [Eric] Dier and [Christian] Eriksen and Ndombele played so, so well.

"Totally in control, the football was so fluid, passing, movement, turning, never playing back passes, always getting the ball going forward and between the lines and looking for the wingers. Fantastic football."

Tottenham twice fought back from a goal down to salvage a point away to the Premier League's bottom side at Carrow Road.

Mario Vrancic's 18th-minute opener was cancelled out by Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and his free-kick 10 minutes into the second half.

A Serge Aurier own goal restored Norwich's lead six minutes later, before Harry Kane rescued a point with an 83rd-minute penalty.

"We created from minute one to minute 90," Mourinho said. "We started the game creating chances and we finished the game creating chances. We started well then we had our 28th of December gift. Not Boxing Day but it was a gift on the 28th.

"Second half we played even better than the first half, really offensive, taking a lot of risks and dominating the game. We scored the equaliser and had 30 minutes to win the game and then gift number two."

Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen were all recalled to the Tottenham starting line-up for their trip to Norwich City.

Club-record signing Ndombele ruled himself out of contention against Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day having told Spurs boss Jose Mourinho he was not physically prepared having only recently recovered from a groin injury.

However, on the day he celebrated his 23rd birthday, Ndombele was back in Mourinho's XI at Carrow Road, as were Lo Celso and Eriksen, both of whom came off the bench against the Seagulls.

Juan Foyth came in for Davinson Sanchez in defence, with Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks the others to drop out.

Jose Mourinho admits Tottenham may soon start to feel the effects of playing catch-up in the race for a top-four finish and believes it will be "a different" story next season.

Below-par Tottenham salvaged a 2-1 comeback win against Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday, four days on from a disappointing 2-0 home loss to Chelsea.

Spurs are once more three points behind Chelsea, who went down 2-0 to Southampton, but Mourinho is realistic about their prospects of finishing in the top four.

Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month with Tottenham 11 points adrift of the Champions League places, told reporters: "I started with minus 12 here. Minus 12. 

"With minus 12, you have to recover 12 points - that's a lot. You can tell me, 'A couple of days ago you were minus three and had a chance to go for zero,' and you'd be right. 

"But the problem is that during the recovery process you are not going to win all the time, and the other guys are not going to lose all the time.

"It is very difficult to get from 12, nine, eight, zero - it is very difficult to recover a distance of 12 points. We are minus three and have to try to be there. 

"When we start next season with the same number of points, it is a different story. But for now it is hard and the players are feeling it. So it is not easy, but we go for it."

Citing the 2006-07 Serie A campaign, the season after Juventus were relegated for their part in the Calciopoli scandal, Mourinho added: "Some teams started that season with minus points - minus six, minus 10, minus eight.

"They played until the end of the season and you could see how they were affected by the minus."

Tottenham head to bottom side Norwich City on Saturday without Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko after they picked up their fifth bookings of the season against Brighton.

Mourinho revealed after the Brighton match that Tanguy Ndombele did not want to be selected, despite recently recovering from a groin injury, and he will let the club-record signing decide whether he is ready to feature against Norwich. 

"I think he was honest," Mourinho said. "I think football players want to play football and for them to say, 'I don't feel confident to play, I feel not the best about my condition and previous injuries,' is just being honest. 

"Against Brighton we had Winks and Sissoko, [Eric] Dier on the bench. We had [Oliver] Skipp, a great kid who is fighting to improve and fighting for a place, so we had solutions. 

"Against Norwich there are less solutions. Let's see. I will watch Friday's training session and get a feeling of his condition. After training I hope he can say he is ready to help the team."

Jose Mourinho has criticised the hectic festive fixture list in the Premier League, describing it as a "crime" that clubs will be playing again on December 28.

Spurs were involved in the early kick-off on Boxing Day, rallying from a half-time deficit at home to record a hard-fought 2-1 triumph over Brighton and Hove Albion.

However, the victory came at a cost, with Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko both picking up yellow cards that mean the duo will be suspended for Saturday's game at Norwich City.

Son Heung-min is also banned following his red card against Chelsea, leaving Mourinho with a lack of options - as well as little preparation time - for the trip to Carrow Road.

However, before his focus switched to the next game, the Portuguese took aim at the schedule.

"I cannot imagine these boys, not just my boys, but the [Graham] Potter boys, how they can play in 48 hours," Mourinho told the media.

"If you go to control the distances they run, the intensity, the breaks, if you are going to control that and if we are going to tell anyone who understands physiology, it is a crime that they are going to play football again on the 28th.

"It is against every rule of physiology, biology, biochemistry, every rule. But that is the way it is, even with three guys suspended.

"I think from the three, two of them are unfair, Sonny unfair, Winks unfair, I can only say Sissoko had a reason for the fifth yellow card. We have to go."

Tanguy Ndombele may provide a solution to the absences in midfield after the Frenchman was not involved against Brighton.

Mourinho clarified that while the record signing from Lyon was not injured, the player had raised concerns over his physical condition prior to the game.

"I cannot say he is injured, in five minutes we start a training session and you can go to the stands and watch it, he is going to be training normally so I cannot say he is injured," Mourinho said. 

"I can say that yesterday he told me he was not feeling in condition to play the game. Not based on injuries, based on fears of previous injuries that he has had since the beginning of the season.

"Feeling not ready to start the game, but I cannot say he is injured, I can say he is not in condition to start the game, which is different."

Jose Mourinho says he loves Frank Lampard but wants him to lose on Sunday when Chelsea visit Tottenham in a key battle for a top-four place in the Premier League.

Mourinho's Spurs have cut the gap to Lampard's fourth-placed Chelsea down to three points since the Portuguese replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month.

Last season saw Derby County, who were then led by Lampard, dump Manchester United out of the EFL Cup before Mourinho was sacked at Old Trafford.

Sunday's match will be the first Premier League game with Mourinho and Lampard in opposing dugouts, the pair having had great success together at Chelsea.

Asked if he will invite the Blues boss for a post-match drink, Mourinho told reporters: "I don't think so because our stadium is built in the way that our office is completely on the inside of our private headquarters.

"Until now I didn't invite any managers to go there and I don't think I'll do that with Frank.

"But like I used to say, a big hug before the game and another after the game, that's for sure, independent of results and who is happy.

"I think our feelings will be for ever. I'll always be grateful to him for what he gave me as a player. Nothing is going to change that.

"I love the guy, I will always love the guy. I hope he loses on Sunday.

"I lost against Frank last year, I lost. I don't get an extra buzz [from facing former players] at all."

Chelsea have lost form of late and they head across London to Spurs having lost four of their past seven games across all competitions, but Mourinho played down his old team's recent problems.

"It's a collapse that keeps them fourth in the Premier League and still in the Champions League, playing an amazing knockout [last-16 tie] against Bayern Munich," he added.

"If that's a collapse, it's not a bad collapse. They're fine."

Mourinho also confirmed Tottenham's club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele will be fit enough to play against Chelsea after being sidelined recently by a groin injury.

"He is a player with a lot of quality, just needs to be physically strong and mentally adapted to the Premier League," Mourinho said of the former Lyon midfielder.

"The French league is a completely different story, a completely different profile. But [he is a] fantastic talent so we are happy that he can help us."

Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent Premier League record courtesy of a fortuitous moment in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on a weekend when their nearest rivals kept the pressure on.

There were landmark goals and appearances for major players in Manchester City's 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park, while Tottenham picked up a much-needed win as Harry Kane extended his outstanding record in matches against Southampton.

Spurs went into the weekend under pressure, as did rivals Chelsea who ended an unwanted 11-game streak as they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Our Premier League Data Diary brings to light the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's top games.

 

STERLING HITS THE HUNDRED AS SILVA REACHES DOUBLE CENTURY

There were few of the fireworks that erupted during their eight-goal win over Watford but Manchester City still had enough attacking power to claim a 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring by heading in a Kevin De Bruyne cross, giving him a 22nd goal in his past 21 starts for club and country and an eighth league assist of the season for the in-form De Bruyne.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised before the interval but Riyad Mahrez's fine free-kick and Raheem Sterling's 100th club goal in all competitions ended Everton's resolve and earned substitute David Silva a 200th Premier League victory in record time, the City captain making his 289th appearance in the competition.

The Toffees did manage eight shots on target, the most the champions have faced in a top-flight fixture since November 2015, but Calvert-Lewin's prodded first-half finish was all they took from a fourth defeat of the campaign.

LUCKY WIJNALDUM WINNER MAKES LIVERPOOL'S LONG WAIT WORTHWHILE

Dean Henderson's howler gifted Liverpool a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and a club record-extending 16th successive Premier League win.

England Under-21 goalkeeper Henderson, on-loan from Manchester United, failed to keep out a tame Georginio Wijnaldum volley as the Reds made the breakthrough in the 70th minute with their first shot on target.

Jurgen Klopp's men were forced to battle hard but have now won seven games at the outset of a league season for just the second time, having first done so in 1990-91.

Their undefeated run in the Premier League, which began in January, stands at 24 matches leading into next weekend's home meeting with Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City.

KANE HITS WINNER TO MATCH SIX-GAME STREAK

Tottenham entertained Southampton having won just one of their previous five Premier League matches but survived Serge Aurier's sending-off and a Hugo Lloris howler to pick up their eighth victory over the Saints in nine league attempts at home.

Mauricio Pochettino's men started well, with Tanguy Ndombele scoring his second league goal for Spurs in the 24th minute, and he has now scored more goals (2) in five Premier League appearances for the north London club than he managed in 69 Ligue 1 appearances for Amiens and Lyon combined (1).

Aurier then picked up his second booking of the game for a foul on Ryan Bertrand in the 32nd minute and became the first Tottenham player to be sent off in a Premier League home game since Kyle Naughton against Stoke City in November 2014.

But after Lloris gifted Danny Ings an equaliser, Harry Kane pounced from 12 yards with Spurs' winner in the 43rd minute and took his tally to six in six straight Premier League appearances against Southampton, and only Robin van Persie vs Stoke (8), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink vs West Ham (7) and Romelu Lukaku vs West Ham (7) have had longer scoring streaks against an opponent in the competition.

FIRST CLEAN SHEET BRIGHTENS BLUES' PROSPECTS

Frank Lampard's first home victory as Chelsea head coach came at the expense of Brighton, who suffered a 2-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge - their ninth defeat in nine league matches between the two sides.

The result gave Chelsea the record for most games played against a single opponent while winning every single one, surpassing Bournemouth's eight victories against Wimbledon, as well as their first clean sheet under Lampard.

It was Chelsea's first clean sheet since their goalless draw with Leicester City on the last day of the 2018-19 Premier League season, ending a run of 11 matches in all competitions without a shut-out, and Jorginho's goal from the penalty spot was his second of the season - more than he mustered in 54 games last term.

Willian added a second 14 minutes from time, finding the net for the first time in 17 Premier League appearances for Chelsea despite having 32 shots at goal during that period.

Lampard will have been delighted with the clean sheet, but also with the fact that Chelsea attempted 17 shots in the first half alone - their highest total in an opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game since August 2013 (18 against Hull City).

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will not change his transfer strategy despite completing a £637million refinancing of loans taken out to support the construction of the club's new stadium.

Spurs supporters were left waiting for over a year for new arrivals after Lucas Moura signed for a reported £25m from Paris Saint-Germain in January 2018, with transfers taking a back seat while Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was completed.

That barren interval ended in July when Jack Clarke was purchased from Leeds United for what was understood to be £8.5m, and a club-record deal worth £62.8m for Lyon's Tanguy Ndombele followed soon after.

Ryan Sessegnon also arrived from Fulham for a reported £25m ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, and Levy has no plans to change his approach in the market.

"[The refinancing] will have no bearing on how we run the club… and no bearing on those types of short-term movements [like transfers]," Levy told the Financial Times.

"We could have easily spent more money on players. Who knows if that would have bought us more success or not.

"The right approach is to build from the bottom up. There is no quick fix to becoming a much more significant global club.

"I understand, as I am a fan, clearly you want to win on the pitch. But we have been trying to look at this slightly differently, in that we want to make sure we ensure an infrastructure here to stand the test of time."

Levy described the club's financial manoeuvre as "prudent" and indicated that efforts would be made to utilise the 62,000-capacity ground for more than just football to help recoup their investment.

"We have continued to develop Tottenham Hotspur in line with prudent financial management and investment into the club's key infrastructure and our fast-growing global brand, successfully matching long-term assets with long-term financing," Levy told the club's official website.

"It is a tribute to the team on and off the pitch that we have achieved what is considered to be one of the most attractive financing deals in the world of sport.

"Our club is extremely well-positioned as we move forward delivering the excitement and entertainment of Premier League and Champions League football, NFL, rugby, concerts and much more."

Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min will be ready to take on Newcastle United after serving a Premier League suspension, but warned fans not to expect too much too soon from Giovani Lo Celso.

Son missed Spurs' first two games of the new season due to a ban after he was sent off against Bournemouth at the end of last term, while Lo Celso made his debut in a short cameo at Manchester City last weekend.

The South Korea star hit 12 league goals in 2018-19, a campaign disrupted by the Asian Games, where he led his country to glory and avoided being called up for military service as a result, and their subsequent run to the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Son's availability to face Newcastle on Sunday comes with Tanguy Ndombele ruled out by a thigh injury, while England midfielder Dele Alli has returned to training after a hamstring problem.

"Unlucky for him that [the ban] was over the holiday," Pochettino told a news conference. "I think he was training really, really hard to keep fit and improve in different areas. We are happy in the last few weeks he was unbelievable in the way he was available to train and compete in every single training session and I hope it's going to help the team from now.

"I think it was a good opportunity for him to build his fitness and have a proper pre-season which sometimes when you're involved in competition is difficult. For him, looking at last season which was really, really complicated for him and difficult and we used that situation and trying to be positive and helping him to get really fit to help him and the team.

"Because the pre-season is so important for every player, but sometimes the priority is holidays and this type of situation with him it was so clear that he was going to be suspended for two games and the plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas - and when the moment he is available to play to be in the perfect condition."

Lo Celso, who joined Spurs on loan from Real Betis with a view to a permanent deal, played five minutes from the bench in Saturday's 2-2 draw against champions City.

"I think Lo Celso is a situation that is not going to be easy," Pochettino said of the versatile Argentina midfielder. "He was in extended holidays after the Copa America, he didn't have a proper pre-season and didn't train too much.

"Then signed for us after a week without training. He's training well but is still so far away from what we expect from him. We need to give him time. He was involved [on Saturday] and will maybe have the possibility to help the team in some points, but we won't expect too much from him.

"We need to not put the responsibility on him, only to improve and adapt himself with us and see. It's a natural process to learn and improve. In the moment he will be fit and deserves to play then sure he will have the chance like other players."

Tanguy Ndombele will miss Tottenham's Premier League clash with Newcastle United due to a "minor injury" suffered in training, the club have revealed.

Midfielder Ndombele, who became Spurs' record signing when he arrived from Lyon in the close season, has impressed in his early displays in England, scoring on his debut against Aston Villa.

But Tottenham will be without the France international against Newcastle on Sunday, his absence confirmed via Twitter on Friday.

A post ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's pre-match news conference stated Ndombele had sustained a thigh issue in training, although he was seemingly only ruled out of the Newcastle game.

Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon are continuing rehabilitation from respective ankle and hamstring injuries, but there was positive news elsewhere.

Dele Alli, who has been out with a hamstring problem, is back in full training, while Son Heung-min will return this weekend from a suspension carried over from last season.

Rodri and Tanguy Ndombele made their Premier League debuts on the opening weekend of the new season and two of the division's biggest new arrivals will go head-to-head when Manchester City take on Tottenham.

Ndombele came to Tottenham's rescue against Aston Villa, his equaliser paving the way for a late Harry Kane double as Mauricio Pochettino's side came from behind to win 3-1.

Two-time defending champions City, meanwhile, had a far easier outing against West Ham – Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick in a 5-0 triumph, with club-record signing Rodri fitting straight into Pep Guardiola's engine room.

Now, the two midfielders will do battle on the pitch on Saturday, as two of the Premier League's elite clubs lock horns in Manchester.

 

CITY TO CONTINUE STERLING RECORD AGAINST SPURS?

Sterling was outstanding in the Premier League in the 2018-19 season, scoring 17 goals and providing 10 assists.

The 24-year-old thought he had sealed a magnificent Champions League victory over Pochettino's side back in April, only for his stoppage-time goal to be disallowed by VAR, though Phil Foden's header ensured City got their revenge in the league three days later.

England forward Sterling picked up where he left off with a sublime hat-trick against West Ham, with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero also finding the net.

Sterling has been involved in six goals in his last six games for City against Spurs in all competitions (five goals and one assist), including netting four in his last three meetings with them at the Etihad.

City have won their last four Premier League games against Tottenham, who looked set to be frustrated by Villa in their opening fixture.

Spurs amassed 31 shots in total – more than any other Premier League side on matchday one – though it was through the unlikely source of Ndombele that Tottenham finally restored parity.

Kane did the rest, securing the points by striking twice. Though the England captain failed to score in any of his first 14 Premier League games in August, he has since netted in his last three top-flight outings in the month.

City, of course, have a deadly striker of their own. Aguero has scored 96 league goals at the Etihad - one more will see him go joint-third with Alan Shearer (St James' Park) for the most Premier League goals scored at a specific stadium.

HEAD TO HEAD: RODRI V TANGUY NDOMBELE

Tottenham are not known for spending big money on new players, but Pochettino received the backing his managerial efforts have deserved when chairman Daniel Levy paid up for France midfielder Ndombele.

Spurs paid Lyon a reported £55million (€62m) to secure the 22-year-old, who made an instant impact for his new employers.

City, meanwhile, brought in a club-record signing of their own, Rodri arriving from Atletico Madrid as Fernandinho's heir apparent for a cool sum of £62.8m (€70m). 

While Rodri will likely be tasked with shielding City's defence, Ndombele will almost certainly be given more freedom at Spurs, as was the case at the weekend.

Ndombele had two shots against Villa and created one chance. However, Rodri made more passes (72 to 55), with a passing accuracy of 90.3 per cent, with Ndombele managing an 83.5 per cent accuracy.

Tottenham's man made more tackles, though surprisingly it was Rodri who made more successful dribbles – three compared to Ndombele's zero.

Looking back on last season, Ndombele was more creative for Lyon, making 47 chances across 34 league games, compared to Rodri's 17 for Atleti. The former also had seven assists, while his Spanish counterpart managed just one, despite making 1,031 passes in the opposition’s half.

FORM GUIDE

City lost just once in pre-season – to Wolves on penalties – and after a shoot-out win over Liverpool in the Community Shield, hardly broke sweat against West Ham.

Guardiola's side remarkably won their last 14 league games of the campaign last season and the victory over West Ham means they are just three wins short of matching their record winning streak of 18 from 2017.

Spurs' season ended on a low note with their Champions League defeat to Liverpool, but they enjoyed notable wins over Juventus and Real Madrid in pre-season, as well as a shoot-out triumph against Bayern Munich.

Their opening fixture against Villa proved a tricky one but they eventually found a breakthrough. It was just their second win in their last six matches in the Premier League.

HISTORY SAYS...

Tottenham have taken just four points from their last nine Premier League visits to the Etihad Stadium, losing on seven occasions.

City, meanwhile, have not lost their opening home league match in a top-flight season since 1989-90 – they are unbeaten in 24 matches since that reverse against Southampton.

Spurs lost their last six away Premier League matches of the 2018-19 season. Not since 2000 have they lost seven in a row on the road.

Pochettino was, however, the first opposing manager to win away from home against Guardiola in a league match, doing so in February 2009 with Espanyol when Pep was in charge of Barcelona.

The only manager to win two away league games against Guardiola? Jose Mourinho, of course!

Mauricio Pochettino insisted he has "no issue" with Jan Vertonghen after leaving the defender out of his squad for Tottenham's 3-1 Premier League opening-day win over Aston Villa.

Belgium international Vertonghen started 22 of Tottenham's league games last season but was overlooked against promoted Villa, with Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld getting the nod ahead of him and Serge Aurier on the bench.

After John McGinn's early opener gave Villa a lead they held until the 73rd minute, an equaliser from Tanguy Ndombele and a double from Harry Kane helped Spurs to victory.

Pochettino said Vertonghen's omission was purely tactical, telling Sky Sports: "With all the players fit, in the future we're going to struggle to find the starting 11. We have more than 25 that are knocking on the door of the first team.

"We have plenty of very good players in all the positions. We cannot play with 13 or 14. It's always the judgement of the manager and coaching staff. If we lose, my decisions were so bad; if we win, we keep going.

"I'm going to play the players who I believe deserve to play. There's not any issue.

"Jan for sure, like any other player who didn't play today, is going to have to work hard for the opportunity to play, and show me that I was wrong when they didn't play."

The introduction of Christian Eriksen as a second-half substitute seemed to lift Spurs nine minutes before Ndombele scored with a superb long-range strike on his debut.

Pochettino admitted his first-half game plan did not work, saying: "We were a little bit confused but it's always my fault because I'm the manager.

"Our positional game ... it didn't work in the first half, to be honest. We started to make rash decisions and found positions that didn't help us. That was my fault.

"Second half we fixed that problem. We helped the team to move the ball better.

"Adding Christian fresh helped the team to achieve the victory, but we are talking about a top-quality player."

Opposite number Dean Smith handed debuts to four of his 12 summer signings, with Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Trezeguet and Wesley all featuring for the first time in competitive action for Villa.

Smith dismissed the suggestion his new signings might have struggled to gel, saying: "It's not that hard, actually.

"I've worked with five of the players before so the integration has been quite seamless. They've all adapted and now we've learned the standard of what we need. Anybody who comes here is going to find it tough against the team Mauricio has got. It's a great learning curve."

Looking ahead to his side's clash with Everton at Villa Park, Smith added: "We always looked and thought Villa Park would be massive for us this season.

"We'll go and put in performances for the fans at Villa Park and I hope we can be a threat."

Tottenham fans have a new hero in Tanguy Ndombele.

The France midfielder marked his Premier League debut with a goal to help Mauricio Pochettino's side defeat Aston Villa on Saturday.

With Spurs struggling to break down Villa after going behind to John McGinn's goal, Ndombele levelled matters with an expertly taken strike from 20 yards out that left the excellent Tom Heaton with little chance.

The goal proved to be the catalyst for Spurs, who went on to win 3-1 thanks to two late finishes from captain Harry Kane.

Seventeen players have now scored a debut goal in the Premier League for Spurs, stretching back to Steve Sedgley in 1992, but only five have done so on the first day of the season.

The question is, will Ndombele follow a similar career path in north London?

Jurgen Klinsmann: Sheffield Wednesday 3-4 Tottenham, 20/08/1994

Klinsmann swan-dived his way into the hearts of Spurs fans with a goal in this opening-day thriller 25 years ago.

The visitors had surrendered a 2-0 lead at Hillsborough, but Nick Barmby put them back ahead and Klinsmann made sure of the win with an emphatic far-post header.

The Germany star had a fine season in England, but he left for Bayern Munich less than a year after this famous moment.

 

Sebastien Bassong: Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool, 16/08/2009

Spurs ended the previous season with a 3-1 loss at Anfield but earned some measure of revenge thanks to Bassong.

Steven Gerrard's penalty cancelled out Benoit Assou-Ekotto's opener, only for Bassong to head Luka Modric's delivery into the net and send White Hart Lane into raptures.

The centre-back did not have too many moments to celebrate in a Spurs shirt for the next three years, eventually heading to Norwich City, where he had a more positive time of things.

 

Roberto Soldado: Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham, 18/08/2013

Spurs owed their opening-day win and London derby bragging rights to Soldado, who scored the only goal here at Selhurst Park.

The striker, the man tasked with filling the void left by Gareth Bale's €100million move to Real Madrid, netted from the penalty spot to mark his debut in style.

The goals did not exactly flow for Soldado after that. Just six more followed in 52 Premier League appearances before he left for Villarreal in 2015.

 

Eric Dier: West Ham 0-1 Tottenham, 16/08/2014

Debut goals do not get much better for anyone in a Tottenham shirt.

With the game goalless in the third minute of injury time, and with Spurs having had 10 men since Kyle Naughton's 29th-minute red card, Dier ran on to Harry Kane's pass, moved beyond Adrian and slotted home.

It was a fine finish from a young defender signed for a lowly reported fee of £4m from Sporting CP, who has gone on to enjoy a positive Spurs career - even if regular starts are now sometimes hard to come by.

Tanguy Ndombele scored a sensational debut goal as Tottenham came from behind to beat Premier League new boys Aston Villa 3-1 thanks to Harry Kane's late double.

John McGinn's ninth-minute goal seemed set to mark Villa's return to the top flight in style, with Champions League finalists Spurs – playing without the benched Christian Eriksen for over an hour – struggling to break down Dean Smith's side.

Eriksen's introduction sparked urgency into Tottenham's attack and, after Tom Heaton had made a fantastic stop to deny Davinson Sanchez, Ndombele slammed home a brilliant equaliser at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Another terrific Heaton stop kept Eriksen at bay, but Villa's resistance was ended when Kane capitalised on a mistake from Jack Grealish before excellently tucking in his second to add gloss to a hard-fought win.

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