The stats tell all about our dominance, 31 shots and 73% possession apparently. As Pochettino said, the win was tough, but deserved. Well deserved.
We played well in the first half, created chances and half chances, forced corner after corner and made Pickford’s life the busy one he must be getting used to between his garishly dressed pink and purple teammates.
But we did not score.
It was Sunderland indeed who had the best chance, and what an opportunity it was. Hugo’s distribution was at a level that would have had Pep reaching for Torino’s phone number if he were in charge and from one of his misplaced passes Janusaj was able to reach the byeline and cut back to Pienaar. Goal at his mercy he somehow managed to find Kyle Walker on the line who hooked superbly clear. Phew and wow, what a clearance.
In the second half we pushed on again, even more fiercely and finally, after some good work again from Walker and also from Alli, Kane scored from 4 yards after Djiliobodji swung at fresh air. Cue relieved celebrations.
Post the goal the last portion of the game was a curiosity in that Moyes released what hounds he had (Watmore, Khazri and Paddy Mcnair[!]) whilst our players succumbed, one by one, to the effects of a long week. Worryingly all of Dier, Dembélé and Kane left the field due to necessity rather than choice which meant we were treated to cameos from Davies, Lamela and Janssen. The latter two should’ve combined to increase our lead and ease the tension at least once but managed to cock it up so we had to settle for one nil.
Sunderland’s level of ambition was obvious from the first whistle, their attacking incompetence less so. In the many many years of watching Jermain Defoe this was one of his most anonymous performances I’ve ever seen, he couldn’t even manage to ‘stray’ offside, to many the defining feature of his time at white hart lane. Kirchhoff was a pain in the bum to Alli, Januzaj occasionally troubled the out of position Vertonghen…erm, that’s it. The on looking travelling fans, who failed to fill their allocation by the way, wouldn’t have gone home happy.
Son Heung-Min was sensational for most of the afternoon. A revelation and easily his best performance in a Spurs shirt. He gave Man City loanee Denayer a torrid time, the Sunderland player resorted to old school clogging before he was taken off.
Gillingham next, the injuries increase the chance that we’ll see more youngsters given a chance, and then to the Riverside to face Middlesbrough.
Fingers crossed for good news on the injury front.
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