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Aston Villa: Boubacar Kamara was Unai Emery’s unsung hero

Aston Villa bounced back from their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool by picking up three points in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in the Premier League.

The first half was bereft of quality attacking play as the Villans sat deep and soaked up the majority of Spurs’ attacks with ease, without offering a great deal on the counter-attack.

Was that Villa's best performance of the season?

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Yes

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Sky Sports co-commentator Don Goodman described the team’s play as “passive” at the start of the second half but that was the last thing that Douglas Luiz was when he decided to hit a long-range effort at Hugo Lloris and the Frenchman’s error allowed Ollie Watkins to tee up Emiliano Buendia for the opening goal.

Emery’s side then doubled their lead with just over 15 minutes to play as John McGinn and Luiz brilliantly combined for the latter to poke the ball past Lloris.

Villa were then able to see out the rest of the match with relative ease as they kept the likes of Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane quiet by remaining solid at the back.

Buendia got the scoring underway with a calm finish and produced some enjoyable trickery at the top end of the pitch but one player who may come away from the game as an unsung hero is central midfielder Boubacar Kamara.

Villa’s summer signing from Marseille bossed the middle of the park as he put in yet another fantastic performance in the Premier League this season.

He was superb in and out of possession for the Villans as he dominated midfield whilst remaining composed and reliable on the ball.

The Frenchman provided a key contribution to the second goal as he anticipated a pass towards Kane and nipped in ahead of the striker to pinch possession back in the Tottenham half, with Luiz and McGinn then doing the damage in the final third.

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David Ginola at Aston Villa

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As per Sofascore, he also completed 83% of his attempted passes and created one chance, whilst completing 100% of his attempted dribbles, and this shows that he was able to deal with the ball in tight spaces and did not gift it back to Spurs on a regular basis.

Defensively, Kamara was immense for Villa and played a vital role in keeping Tottenham at bay. As per Sofascore, the enforcer won nine of his 12 individual duels (75%) and made three tackles, three interceptions, and one block – showing that he was able to cut out multiple opposition attacks and dominate their players in physical battles.

Therefore, he was the unsung hero for Emery as he did all the dirty work in midfield that allowed the likes of Luiz, Watkins, Buendia and McGinn to make things happen in attack.