Tottenham Hotspur equalled their best ever start to the Premier League campaign after securing a narrow 1-0 win over Cardiff City. Eric Dier’s early goal in the eighth minute proved to be the only difference between the two sides before an ineffective Cardiff side were reduced to 10-men in the second half.
Let us take a look at three talking points from the match.
Moussa Sissoko’s impressive display
In what was only his second start of this season, Moussa Sissoko surprised people with his impressive display against Cardiff City. The Frenchman, often overlooked by Mauricio Pochettino, was industrious throughout the game before making way for Victor Wanyama in the 85th minute.
He stretched the opposition defence by making a number of marauding runs forward and his interplay with right-back Kieran Trippier was excellent. Furthermore, he was tireless and played a vital role in Pochettino’s pressing scheme. But most importantly, he produced more passes than anyone else on the pitch while completing two dribbles, making him one of Spurs’ best players in their win over Cardiff.
This kind of performance from the Frenchman will surely delight coach Pochettino, especially with matches coming thick and fast. It will be interesting to see if the former Newcastle star plays a prominent role in Spurs’ rotation after the international break.
Lucas Moura lacking the end product
It’s probably fair to acknowledge the fact that Lucas Moura was Spurs’ most active attacker against Cardiff City. The Brazilian looked menacing whenever he got on the ball, making darting runs into the box while easing through opposing defenders. Most notably on one occasion, he went past four Cardiff City players with ease, early on in the game.
At the same time, however, Lucas yielded very little of the desired end product, notably missing a couple of glaring opportunities to double his side’s lead. In addition, the former PSG superstar has struggled to show his productivity in the final third with his last goal coming against Manchester United back in August.
Sure, he’s a talented individual who is capable of wreaking havoc on any defence in the world. But, his lack of end product will serve as a huge worry for coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Should Victor Wanyama start ahead of Eric Dier?
Although Eric Dier’s goal helped Tottenham secure a vital win against Cardiff City, it was another listless display from the English international, whose frequent lapses of concentration allowed the opposition to create a few opportunities in the final third.
Dier has appeared complacent as a defensive midfielder, throughout this season, primarily due to his lack of agility coupled with his poor passing. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise to see Victor Wanyama being given the nod ahead of the English international especially in tougher matches ahead. The former Southampton star is a bonafide central defensive midfielder, who is not only reliable but also has ample amount of experience in the English top flight.
And with Jan Vertonghen facing a spell on the sidelines, utilising Dier as the centre back would be a much wiser choice.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored