This was it. In all those seasons when the summit of our ambition was fourth in the Premiership, this was it: the dream of playing the aristocrats on the greatest of stages. And the night didn’t disappoint. Not even Wembley could swallow down the night’s atmosphere.
The question was how would we play. Our best games this season (Dortmund, Madrid, Liverpool) were about playing on the break. Would we concede possession again?
We did better than that. The team performance was what stood out. We moved the ball quickly; we provided movement off the ball, creating space and options; we transitioned rapidly from defence to attack. It was a night to be a proud Spur! And these ratings reflect the quality of the team performance on a huge night for Tottenham.
Their manager talked about enjoying the prospect of coming to Wembley. Well, his team looked embarrassed by the end. They were thoroughly beaten – the first loss in a Champions League group game since when … 2012?
LLORIS – 8
OK, beaten in the end in one of the goal mouth scrambled but prior to that dealt with everything comfortably.
TRIPPIER – 9
Trips played out of his skin tonight, notably in the first half. There is not a full back in this country that hits the first time drive volley cross like he does. No surprise he produced the first goal with one. Kane must love him on the ball almost as much as he does Eriksen, curling passes into space down the channel.
SANCHEZ – 8
Needed to take responsibility with Alderweireld gone … and he did.
ALDERWEIRELD – 8
Was super prior to a ridiculous run the length of the field into the RM box. Stretching for the final touch, he did his hamstring on 22 minutes. Perhaps defenders move differently to attackers?
VERTONGHEN – 9
Verts was massive tonight. Time and again his work was exceptional.
DAVIES – 7
Quieter than Trippier, he nevertheless worked tirelessly, and gave RM nothing down his flank.
DIER – 8
Dier gets the marks for his versatility. He moved the centre of defence and hardly put a foot wrong.
WINKS – 6
Not a faultless display, nor one of his best, but he held the territory against what some say is the best midfield in Europe. Still stuff to learn from Modric – I’m sure he’s still watching and learning.
ERIKSEN – 8
Eriksen, having a quiet season, nevertheless came to the party in the second half. He took his goal with all his exceptional touch and finesse.
DELE – 9
Seems Dele doesn’t want a collection of footballs in his designer pad – he spurned an open goal for his hat trick. He took his goals; he came to life; welcome home, Dele!
KANE – 9
We wouldn’t have played this way without the presence of this player up front, always an outlet, a threat, a monster. Ramos and co will be begging the club to buy him; they won’t want to face that again. Here’s the thing: why would he want to join the losers?
Sissoko – 5
Extra points for being part of this display but he will only ever convince total optimists. His touch was awful, especially when faced with a shooting opportunity.
Dembele – 7
Came on to use his strength and experience to see out the game. Winks is still young. He did. He also contributed his strangely emotion, on the edge side.
Llorente – 6
Came on. Held the ball up well on occasion.
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