Pochettino’s men today had a real opportunity to make ground on the league leaders and push two points in front of fellow North Londoners Arsenal, on a day where they dropped all three points losing 2-1 to Watford at the Emirates.
Even pre-match, the tides were turning against Tottenham with Captain and first team goalkeeper Hugo Lloris not travelling with the team due to illness. Even so, a strong side was fielding, where Pochettino deciding to return to a four at the back formation with Kevin Wimmer dropping to the bench and match winner at the weekend, Heung-Min Son returning to the squad.
It was clear that something was missing and that quality from players such as Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen was lacking. In a game of not many chances, the biggest talking point of the first half was definitely the appalling challenge from Jack Rodwell on Moussa Dembele which should of seen him with marching orders down the tunnel.
The biggest chance of the first half arguably fell to a man in red & white as Fabio Borini had a shot on the edge of the box which kindly fell into the area of back up goalie, Michel Vorm.
Chances were few and far between in this tie for reasons not easy to see for many fans alike. On a day that was already looking against Spurs, matters got worse as on the 38’ minute Danny Rose limped off with an expected ankle injury. Overall uneventful and quite frankly boring first half.
No changes were made by either manager at half time but the game was certainly in need of rejuvenation. This game wouldn’t see any changes made until the 72’ and 73’ minutes respectively.
Spurs looked most dangerous from crosses flying into the box from either sides but even then the joy was short lived. Heung-Min Son and Kyle Walker were the main two wide threats but did not manage to conjure up anything that resulted on an attempt on target.
Shots and pressure on Vito Mannone’s goal were so scarce that holding midfielder Victor Wanyama decided to try a couple of very ambitious long shots which ultimately came to nothing,
Right up until Lee Mason blew the final whistle, Tottenham looked lacklustre and not up for the challenge ahead.
On a day where every other top four team, Arsenal, Chelsea & Liverpool dropped vital points, it is easy to say that Pochettino’s men missed an opportunity to open up the title race and for once in the season apply real pressure to the league leaders. Although Spurs move up to second, the performance was nowhere near good enough.
Michel Vorm – 5/10
Kyle Walker – 6/10
Eric Dier – 5/10
Toby Alderweireld – 5.5/10
Danny Rose (38’) – 7/10
Victor Wanyama – 6.5/10
Moussa Dembele – 7/10
Dele Alli – 5/10
Christian Eriksen – 6/10
Heung-Min Son – 6/10
Harry Kane – 5/10
Man On The Match:
A tough decision in a tough game to watch. Moussa Dembele although not spectacular was certainly the best player in a golden journey, especially in the first half. It was thee sort of day where fans were screaming for the Belgian to go all the way, all alone. The box to box midfielders talents were on full display today as he breezed past some Sunderland players as if they weren’t there. Notable mention goes to Dembele’s midfield partner who put in another solid shift today.
Middlesborough at home in the Premier League. Saturday 4th February. Kick Off at 17:30.