Another three points against a relegation-caliber team! That’s good. Tottenham Hotspur hosted Norwich City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium today, and despite a bit of a tepid start were able to see off the visitors by the final score of 3-0. Tottenham got a first half goal — a real banger — from Lucas Moura, and added second half strikes from Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-Min in what became a pretty comfortable victory.
Here are some of my notes from the match.
- Tottenham absolutely let Norwich have a lot of possession in the first half. It’s a little hard to know whether this was more rope-a-dope or if Spurs were just exhausted after playing 90 minutes on Thursday. Could be a little of both? Spurs did have more energy in the second, so I’m inclined to think it was more conservation of energy.
- Standout players today were Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp. Lucas was exceptional today — his goal was a banger, and he had a number of really good touches and passes throughout the match. Very impressed with him. Wish I had confidence he could do this every match.
- Skippy had another very good and fun match. His defensive work was great — I noted especially two instances where he went low to pick out a free ball and had the presence of mind to find players to start a counter — and he was constantly moving higher up the pitch and picking out progressive passes. Think he had another hockey/Modric assist too.
- Harry Kane’s finishing is off, but he was doing all the right things. How you feel about his finishing right now is probably a Rorschach test of your fandom, but he had five shots on the day, and that’s pretty, pretty good.
- Davinson Sanchez had a number of pretty YIKES moments defensively, but credit where due, he took his goal very very well. Loved the celebration, too.
- Reguilon’s injury and sub was weird. He apparently felt something in warm-ups and had his thigh taped, the same one that forced his first half sub. He probably shouldn’t have started and it’s weird that he was allowed to.
- That said, Ryan Sessegnon had a pretty nice game today. He’s not as quick as Reggie but he has good attacking instincts and put in some nice crosses and passes from the left flank. He did well! He’s a different look on that side, but he needs to play as he’s pretty clearly Reggie’s primary backup.
- Spurs’ third goal was another excellent team effort, from Skipp starting off the move to Ben Davies (!) in the opposition third and finding Sonny in the box. Son’s finish was clinical. It’s so much fun watching Spurs do these kinds of goals because it feels like they haven’t been there for a while now.
- [EDIT] I forgot this little note — Matt Doherty was subbed in for Japhet Tanganga, and weirdly I didn’t hate the idea. Japhet struggled today. He looked like he was very uncomfortable with what was expected of him as a wingback under Conte; the difference between playing RB under Mourinho/Nuno and RWB under Conte must be staggering. But he didn’t play well today. (Doherty was, at best, inoffensive, which is an improvement!)
- Spurs are now fifth, two points behind West Ham but with a game vs. Burnley in hand. Pretty good! Next match is Thursday at home vs. Rennes in the ECL, followed by a tricky trip to the AmEx to face Brighton next Sunday.