December 6 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Tottenham triumphed 2-0 away against Anzhi in the Europa League tonight, but how did the individual Spurs players perform?
HUGO LLORIS 7
The Frenchman enjoyed a fairly quiet evening but showed his qualities when called upon, coming out quickly to dive on the ball and deny Anzhi around the half-hour mark, while also punching effectively from corners. Lloris was forced into a low save in the second half and he defended his near post well, keeping out Andrey Eschenko’s effort with his legs – and soon after he dived to palm away Pavel Solomatin’s strike. He has now kept seven clean sheets in his nine games for Spurs this season, although of course his team-mates deserve some credit for that as well.
KYLE WALKER 8
Got forward from the start, seeing an early cross from the by-line cleared just ahead of Defoe, and he went on to set up the second goal. Lewis Holtby’s ball from the centre of midfield found the England right-back in acres of space and he delivered a low cross for Nacer Chadli, who tucked it home. Walker nearly repeated the feat a few moments later, getting in around the back and finding Jermain Defoe, who swung and missed inside the box. The defender seemed to get a bit carried away with his success in the second half, twice putting his head down and trying to run the ball out from well inside his own half – and losing the ball on both occasions. However, he can be forgiven for over-reaching.
VLAD CHIRICHES 6
The Romanian was given his second start in a Spurs shirt and endured some nervy moments at the start. He nearly got caught in possession on the edge of the box but managed to bustle his way out of trouble and emerge with the ball. Shortly afterwards he was beaten by a ball over the top, but again he recovered well to make a well-timed sliding tackle. Chiriches looks slightly erratic at the moment but his pace is an asset and Tottenham are yet to concede with him on the pitch.
YOUNES KABOUL 7
The Frenchman took the armband and put in a typically assured display with very little drama. A calming presence alongside the more unpredictable Chiriches, Kaboul was unfortunately unable to complete the game, limping off early for the second match in a row after the home game against Tromso as concerns about his injuries continue.
ZEKI FRYERS 7
The 21-year-old started his second game of the season and looked confident and comfortable at left-back, doing the simple things well and ensuring that Anzhi got no joy at all down his flank. A quick passing exchange with Chadli at the start of the second period showed he can be trusted with the ball, and that he could offer something going forward in future.
Less influential and involved than Mousa Dembele, the Brazilian nonetheless complemented his midfield partner well. When Dembele dropped deep to get on the ball, he moved forward to find pockets of space - indeed he tried his luck with a low 25-yard effort which was comfortably saved. ‘The Beast’ met his match in Anzhi’s giant midfielder Lacina Traore, who appeared at the interval, but also protected the back four effectively as usual and deserves his share of the credit for another clean sheet.
MOUSA DEMBELE 8
The Belgian was the only member of the front six to start against Chelsea and Anzhi, and he was Spurs’ best player for the first 30 minutes. Seemingly immune to the difficulties of the pitch, he kept the ball well, consistently finding his team-mates and gliding past his opponents to open up space. He may not have made the most of those brief openings, but for a while he looked the most likely player to create a telling opportunity – and he was involved a few times in the build-up to Defoe’s opener.
ERIK LAMELA 5
The £26million man has shown glimpses of his talents in recent displays against Tromos, Cardiff and Aston Villa, but he was disappointing this evening. The Argentine endured a poor first half, never getting to grips with the bobbly pitch, and overhit passes looped over his team-mates while underhit balls were intercepted. He was quiet in the second half and eventually replaced by Gyfli Sigurdsson.
LEWIS HOLTBY 8
Like most of his team-mates, the Germany Under-21 captain struggled to make incisive passes in the first half an hour, but he grew in influence, seeing a curling long-range effort punched away and then playing a key role in Spurs’ two goals. First he freed Defoe with a simple through ball, which was emphatically finished, and he then sent Walker away with a ball over the top before the right-back teed up Chadli. Holtby has now set up four of Defoe’s last five goals against Tromso, Aston Villa and Anzhi. The second half was a largely pedestrian affair, with the job already done, but he went for goal with a slow, curling effort before being replaced by Christian Eriksen in the closing stages.
NACER CHADLI 6
The Belgian started brightly and sought to get involved by interchanging positions with Holtby, but he struggled to make anything happen until the 39th minute, when he met Walker’s low cross with his second goal in two games, following his strike against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup. The Belgian sent a curling effort just wide at the start of the second half but was unable to add to his contribution.
JERMAIN DEFOE 7
Predictably adopted a ‘shoot on sight’ policy from the start, unleashing an early range-finder that went wide of the left post – but he then struggled to get into the game for half an hour. Despite that the 30-year-old, who had been called up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad earlier in the day, made no mistake with his first real sight of goal in the 34th minute as he gathered Holtby’s pass and hammered the ball into the roof of the net. He got another half-chance soon after as Walker found him in the box, but the striker miscued. Defoe had a late chance to double his tally after going around the goalkeeper, but the angle was narrow and the Russian side’s defenders got back quickly to snuff out the opportunity.
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