Gary Neville criticises Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen

Gary Neville felt Jan Vertonghen should have done better for Jordan Ayew's goal.

Tottenham Hotspur eased to a win over Aston Villa, but it was not quite an immaculate performance.

Jordan Ayew scored late in the second half to make for a nervous finish, before Harry Kane scored in the closing stages.

Former Premier League title winner Gary Neville felt that Tottenham could have prevented Ayew's goal, and singled out Jan Vertonghen for criticism.

Vertonghen has been excellent this season, forging a superb partnership with Toby Alderweireld at the back, but Neville believed a clean sheet was attainable against Villa.

Speaking to SkySports' Monday Night Football, Neville said: "As a goalkeeper, you've got to set your feet, and its the same for a defender. That deflection is not bad luck that's poor defending, a million defenders do it.

"I think that's poor defending, the ball is five yards away from Vertonghen, if he stands still he's got a chance of reacting. The only chance of that goal going in is via a deflection, stay on your feet."

Vertonghen backed off from Ayew and turned his back on his shot, before the ball deflected off him against a stranded Hugo Lloris.

Neville may be nitpicking, but it is very possible the goal will be scrutinised by Tottenham's coaching team, who could impart the same advice to Vertonghen.

Fortunately for Spurs the goal was not costly, only serving to give Villa a brief confidence boost before they rallied, with Harry Kane scoring a late third.

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