Many viewed Tottenham Hotspur’s tough run of fixtures in December as the point at which the club would fall away from their title challenge. However, in fact, it’s done quite the opposite.
The clever thwarting of Pep Guardiola, the sensible clean sheet against Chelsea, and the counterattacking destruction in the North London Derby alarmed Spurs’ rivals.
The results showed that Mourinho’s Tottenham are so in tune with their system that they might just have enough to challenge Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to the 2020/2021 Premier League.
Football, however, is never that easy. After those three games, Crystal Palace away was the next challenge that stood in front of Mourinho.
Although the feeling was that the game wasn’t easy, after you’ve just picked up seven points and three clean sheets against Man City, Chelsea, and Arsenal – there was a tinge of complacency manifesting throughout the fans and players alike.
This was heightened when they went into half-time 1-0, after Son-Heung Min and Harry Kane combined again. Déjà vu, right?
Not quite. The second half saw the Spurs side look very awkward, almost like they were stuck in a stalemate between continuing the theme of sitting deep or controlling the ball and searching for a second goal.
As it turns out, they didn’t do either. They didn’t defend deep by choice or hold the ball in the final third. Palace controlled the play and got a deserved equaliser and the game ended 1-1.
Two points dropped, and the first time in a while Spurs fans have turned Sky Sports off with a disappointed feeling lingering around their presence.
Next up, Liverpool away – the hardest game on paper in the whole calendar. A valiant performance, but ultimately a momentum crushing last-minute goal in the form of Roberto Firmino’s bullet header.
Three points gone.
A slick, devastating and calm reaction is required against Leicester City and then Wolverhampton Wanderers. And then, but only then, can Spurs cement their status in the title race.
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