Tottenham fell to their third straight defeat, leaving them fifth in the table, and there was more bad news as Bentancur was replaced by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after injuring his ankle in a robust tackle from Matty Cash.
It was Bentancur’s first start for Spurs since February, when he suffered a serious ACL injury against Leicester. It follows a number of other injury woes in recent weeks for Tottenham — most notably those suffered by James Maddison and Micky van de Ven that will keep them both out until 2024.
The Uruguayan midfielder was then seen limping as he left the stadium after full time on Sunday.
Asked about the severity of the injury, Postecoglou replied: “Not sure. It’s his ankle, I think. It wasn’t a great tackle. I thought he started the game so well.
“That’s the last thing we need — another injury. We’ve got eight [players injured], Bentancur nine. We lost Ashley Phillips in the week as well. It’s just the situation we’re in at the minute.
“We’ll get through it. It might take a while, but we’ll get through it. I’m sure when you come through the other side, we’ll be a very good football team. We’ve just got to make sure the players stay focused on what’s important right now.”
Postecoglou was upbeat about the performance of his team, who had three goals disallowed for offside but fell to a defeat to Unai Emery’s Villa.
“You need to win football games to keep yourself in the mix at the end of the year, but today was about trying to play the football we wanted to play”, said Postecoglou. “If we fall short, we fall short, but I didn’t think we did fall short today.”
The Aussie, 58, added: “The outcome is obviously disappointing for our fans and particularly disappointing for our players. They were doing a fantastic job and playing the football we want to play.
“On any other day, we win it comfortably, but that’s football: it’s fine margins sometimes. I thought some of our football was just outstanding today. The positives definitely outweigh the negative of the result.”