Confirmed top of their group with a game to spare! Compare their last season’s performance in Europe with this – comfortably dominating a group in which they were supposed to finish third.
Spurs looked better against a team that allowed them to play in between producing silky passing combinations themselves. (Against Arsenal, Spurs were steamrollered by unexpected passion and aggression.) An oddly exhibition atmosphere (despite this being the home of passionate support). Spurs grew in confidence and established complete control by the end. Perhaps knowledge of the flood of goals in Cyprus killed the event here.
Pochettino attempted to address the dearth of creativity by using a midfield three of Winks, Dele and Eriksen – no packing of meat, instead players comfortable on the ball. In a game like this at least, it was a blessed relief and Spurs were fluent and even attractive at times.
Lloris – 7
Could have done better for the goal. Looked composed otherwise.
Dier – 8
Right side is better for him. Could have scored with a great header. Made some excellent tackles and interceptions. Doesn’t look great when he tries the quarter back passes.
Sanchez – 8
Looked composed throughout, remarkable in one so young. Organisation let the defensive trio down on a couple of occasions but surely that will come with time.
Vertonghen – 8
From the start looked immediately like Vertonghen again, which was a relief and a joy. Committed performance.
Aurier – 7
His best performance for me. Wasn’t irresponsible and showed some athleticism. Got forward effectively in the first half.
Rose – 7
Ring rust rubbing off, not Rose of old yet but this run out will have done him the world of good.
Winks – 9
The most mature player on the pitch, superbly controlled the performance, sits at the base for Spurs better than anyone now.
Eriksen – 7
Almost scored on a couple of occasions, once even with his head. Good performance.
Dele – 8
Two assists to shut up the gobshites like me who moan, the second of which was superb. Bringing him back into midfield makes him more involved (less peripheral).
Son – 8
Playing up front with Kane, he gives us something that no one else brings: he’s fast and direct. Especially good in the first half; a devastating finish in the second.
Kane – 7
Still on his way back. Nevertheless, had a half chance, scored. What more can you ask?
The only notable moment was when Llorente was put through. He ended his forty yard run with the touch of a knackered old man. Ah well.
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