If you had asked most Tottenham Hotspur fans coming into Sunday's match against Everton, what matchup on the pitch worried them most, it is likely that most would have tipped Vlad Chiriches against Romelu Lukaku. The powerful Belgian striker seemed like he would cause our slight Romanian defender all sorts of problems, but that turned out not to be the case.
Tottenham's new signing from Steaua Bucharest proved more than equal to the task of containing Lukaku. Sure, Lukaku won 7 aerial duels, to Chiriches 1, but Lukaku didn't manage a single shot in the match and completed less then 60% of his passes. He also turned the ball over three times. Much of this can be attributed to the dogged defending that Chiriches did. In total, Vlad managed three tackles, four interceptions and six effective clearances. Vlad's offensive performance was very good as well, completing 84% of his passes and all four of his long balls.
Now, by singling Vlad out, I don't want to diminish the role that Sandro played in containing Lukaku. Sandro was probably the best player for Spurs and had he not suffered an injury in the second half he might have garnered this award.
If nothing else, Chiriches has shown in the past month that he is a competent defender who Spurs fans don't need to worry about when he plays in big games. As Tottenham's third or even fourth choice at the back he offers the team much more than William Gallas ever did and, in my opinion, is better than Steven Caulker. This performance was really great from Vlad.