Mauricio Pochettino's decision to rotate pays off during Tottenham's win over Aston Villa

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Following the club's reality check against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League last Thursday, Tottenham got back to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Premier League strugglers Aston Villa on Sunday.

Fans and pundits alike - Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker included - questioned Mauricio Pochettino's decision to make changes against a strong Dortmund side at the Westfalonstadion, yet the gamble paid off.

Of course, Pochettino's inclination to play a weaker starting XI in Europe raises the question of whether an English side will ever win the Europa League, but Tottenham fans will tell you their Argentine manager made the right call.


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Against Remi Garde's men at Villa Park, Harry Kane and co. were fresh, slick and dominant against a side bereft of confidence.

Full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, both rested against Dortmund, were outstanding down the flanks, bombing forward at every opportunity and defending well.

Walker's impact was particularly potent, his excellent run and cross to Erik Lamela almost helping to break the deadlock.

The English duo provided a constant threat down the wings through their pace and aggression - just one vital cog of many that might not have run so smoothly had they played on Thursday.

Equally - and perhaps most importantly - Kane's fitness and energy came to the fore against Villa after playing only a cameo role last week.

His persistent pressing of the opposition defence helped recover possession and in what was an all-around impressive performance, the 22-year-old scored a brace for his 18th and 19th goals of the season.

What's clear is Pochettino abides by his philosophy and a major part of that is high-intensity pressing.

Rotation, therefore, is not only key to that but necessary. Whilst some may question and complain about important players being rested in Europe, the simple fact of the matter is Spurs have bigger and tastier fish to fry - the Premier League.

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