Tottenham Hotspur put another three points onto the Premier League table this evening with a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Brighton.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:
3-5-2 – Where else could we possibly start apart from the 3-5-2 formation? People have been calling out for it for a long time now and it seemed to serve Spurs well. I would definitely say that Tottenham didn’t look as defensively sound, as the midfield three left way too many pockets for Brighton to exploit. However, I assume that is more down to a lack of in-game experience playing the formation and things will improve. I certainly expect Conte to rotate between 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 all season long.
The high press – Not only were we treated to a new formation, but also a new pressing tactic from Conte, at least in the first half. Spurs camped in the Brighton final third and pressed with Kane, Son, the wing-backs, and Bentancur very high up the pitch. Sometimes they won the ball high and created a good opportunity, other times they forced Brighton to go long and turned over possession. And other times, it left Spurs very open once Brighton broke the press. It was certainly more exciting to watch in the first 45, whatever the case.
Bissouma starts – This was only Bissouma’s second start in a Spurs shirt and probably his first that Conte actually chose (seeing as his last was to replace an injured Bentancur). The former Brighton man definitely looked rusty and sloppy on the ball in the middle, as well as half a yard slower than others at times. And we didn’t see any of his trademark winning back possession and driving down the pitch. But you expect him to feel his way into the game and will obviously improve as his match sharpness grows.
Doherty vs Emerson – It was a very good trial for Doherty today, in my opinion. While he looked very rusty on the ball, which is to be expected just like Bissouma, he just feels like more of a natural RWB. In the first 20 minutes, he got in behind and should have squared to Sessegnon for a tap-in, then volleyed just over at the back post. I feel like, with consistent minutes, Doherty could represent the most potent choice this season. It’s also worth mentioning his last-ditch tackle to secure the win in the dying minutes too.
Premier League Table – Tottenham remain in third in the table, one point behind Arsenal and four above Chelsea, although both London rivals have a game in hand on the Lilywhites. Spurs are three behind league leaders Man City, having both played nine games. A very healthy position!
Honourable mention – Ryan Sessegnon Man of the Match. Superb at the back and a willing runner in attack. Class performance from Sess.
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