Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Watford

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Heung-min Son
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur left it late against Watford this afternoon in the Premier League as Davinson Sanchez nodded home a 96th-minute winner.

Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:

Huge three points – In what is becoming the race for fourth place, this was a huge three points for Spurs. Tottenham are now just a couple behind Arsenal with two games in hand and a fixture against the Gunners on the horizon. A strong January and Spurs could be in a great position. A second straight draw would have been a disaster.

Achille’s heel – It is becoming apparent that Spurs are very good on the break in a back three under Conte, however, they struggle to break down a compact and deep defence. As soon as a lower-table club puts ten men behind the ball, Spurs look void of all creativity or spark. Perhaps the best way to change that is through the transfer window.

Emerson’s struggles – Emerson Royal probably had more of the ball today against Watford than any of his previous Tottenham appearances. He was left free at right-wing-back for every single attack in the first half, yet struggled to provide any kind of meaningful cross. The lack of end product is becoming concerning and, while I like him as a player, I am now convinced he would be a better RCB than RWB.

Son better out left – Although it was only for 10 minutes or so, the change of formation showed us a different Son. He had spent the game trapped in the pocket and unable to influence anything before Lo Celso replaced Reguilon and the South Korean was pushed out wide. He got on the ball a load in the final few minutes, winning the all-important free-kick and delivering it to assist the winner. Food for thought.

Sanchez rising high – I have been very critical of Sanchez in the past. However, we have seen a lot over recent years that a back three can be the making of a struggling centre-back. Just look at Rudiger at Chelsea these days. Sanchez covered the space in behind Emerson really well today, while also getting forward to head home the winner. Great performance!

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