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8th Jan, 2017 | 8:49pm

Ian Taylor: This player made the difference in Villa FA Cup defeat to Tottenham

By Will Butcher

Ian Taylor believes the presence of Dele Alli proved crucial in Aston Villa’s 2-0 FA Cup third round defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.

The 20-year-old ace was rested by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, but with the score still 0-0 at the hour mark Alli was brought on to supply the winning touch missing against Villa.

Posting on his personal Twitter account, former Villa midfielder Taylor believes Spurs were “too strong” for Steve Bruce’s side and lauded the presence of England international Alli.

New signing Sam Johnstone managed to keep the Premier League title challengers at bay until the 71st minute, when Wales international Ben Davies placed a delicate header into the net.

Davies’ opener was doubled nine minutes later by South Korean ace Heung-Min Son, who converted from 10 yards after good work from Euro 2016 finalist Moussa Sissoko.

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Bruce made four changes to his side to face the north London giants, but was unable to prevent Spurs from progressing to the fourth round of the cup.

Villa will now be left to solely focus on their domestic form, as Bruce looks to secure his fifth career promotion from the Championship despite sitting in 12th place.

Taylor, who played for the Midlands giants between 1994 and 2003, made 296 league and cup appearances for the claret and blues in which he scored 43 goals.

In other Aston Villa news, Bruce is in a four-way tussle to sign this Championship goalscorer.