In the opening quarter of the game, the spanking looked on. They played through us at will; there were playmakers everywhere. Two goals duly followed. Both had the look of good fortune about them. We were caught out by a punt upfield, delivered at full pelt, that turned out to be inch perfect and then a mess that wasn’t really a penalty.
We looked the second best team in the country but a long way short of the best. And then … we came back. Our goal had its own element of fortune but second half we were the better team. The goal perhaps should have come our way … but it went theirs. A comfortable score line but the boys showed enough belief to get back into it and make the score look unjust.
Lloris – 6
On the basis that class is permanent, I’m backing Lloris but he’s on a bad trot. Another game, another rash misjudgement (even if it was outside the box). No chance for the goals and one good save. I just don’t want to hear he’s banging down the door demanding more money – a little humility required and plenty of work in the background.
Sanchez – 6
Particularly in the embattled first half, another magnificent game but again spoilt by a tendency to let his man go as he did on a couple of occasions in the second half. He clearly couldn’t believe that hopeful ball in the first half would fluke into brilliance and was caught out of the blue for the first. He is a great find – are these just lapses in concentration?
Vertonghen – 9
Jan is rapidly becoming a Spurs legend. We expect the last ditch heroics as a given, even flat on his arse, but will he also have topped the successful dribbling stats? Another colossal performance.
Trippier – 7
Trips was faced with some considerable talent on the wing which he managed to subdue over the course of the night. A hard working performance we’ve come to expect.
Davies – 6
I’m not sure if it was entirely his fault but we seemed more vulnerable down their right flank.
Dier – 7
Dier chose to be robust when he saw we were struggling. He played some elegant balls too and showed authority as we began to establish ourselves second half, either from midfield or when he dropped into centre back.
Dembele – 6
Always capable of spectacular feats of ball retention in impossible situations, he faded as the game progressed and was replaced.
Eriksen – 8
Alright there was a touch of good fortune about the goal, but he continued his sparkling run of form. Who played that ball?! Almost invariably it was the man himself. He looks to have so much time; on the day, he looked better than de Bruyne.
Dele – 7
He has more time on the ball than others but then his head fills with the multiplicity of options he’s capable of producing and sometimes he dwells too long. He was perhaps more guilty than any of just not registering the shots on goal we should have had.
Lamela – 4
A surprise pick, perhaps based on his show in training. He didn’t avail himself of the opportunity and had little or no impact on the game. It wasn’t long before we yearned for Sonny dynamism.
Kane – 5
Poor old Harry! Let’s just say ‘he’s on his way back’. It’s just that he ran about at times, following the game, and clearly bewilderedly musing on what enabled everyone else to do everything twenty per cent faster than he could. That said it might have been his assist for the goal? And he played at least one other great ball. As I say, on his way back.
Well, if there’s one player who should be threatening Sonny’s place, it’s not Lamela – it’s Lucas Moura. Yet again, he looked sooooo classy. Play him every week. Interesting to see Kasiah Sterling on the bench.
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