Spurs are best team in the league: Five things we learned from Manchester City 1 Tottenham 2
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Tottenham have the best all-round side
Leicester have the nation behind them. City have the individual flair. But Spurs are a team in the truest sense. The maniacal way in which they denied space to City, particularly in the first half, was further proof of how well drilled they have become under Mauricio Pochettino. The hosts barely had room to breathe, let alone carve out the glut of chances which is the norm at their Etihad Stadium stronghold. Spurs also attack as a team, with pace and potency. To their huge credit, they have become more than the sum of their parts.
Spurs look the team to beat
Long-suffering Tottenham fans must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Since losing at the King Power Stadium on 13 January, Tottenham have registered seven consecutive wins, the club’s best run in over 20 years. Nineteen goals have been scored in those matches and just four conceded. Those are the statistics of title contenders. This win lifted Spurs back above Arsenal to second in the table, just two points adrift of leaders Leicester. In this wonderfully topsy-turvy season, it is Pochettino’s side who are emerging as the team to beat. Spurs have youth, swagger and a winning formula. Crucially, they also have momentum.
Eriksen is back to his best
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The manner in which he dispatched the winning goal was great from the Dane. He has made a habit in his Spurs career of scoring late winners and this could prove to be the most crucial of all. Christian Eriksen’s strike increased his league tally for the season to five, which has been supplemented by nine assists in the competition. His return to top form also takes some of the goalscoring burden off Harry Kane, who scored the opener from the penalty spot, and gives Spurs a goal threat from across the team.
Iheanacho is a superb impact sub
The 19-year-old has showed this season why City allowed Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic to leave last summer without replacing them. Kelechi Iheanacho’s emphatically struck equaliser came just six minutes after he was summoned from the bench to replace Fernando. It was his ninth goal of the season, and third in the Premier League, and provided further demonstration of his finishing ability.
Vertonghen is barely missed
In the four matches Spurs have played without the injured Jan Vertonghen, they have conceded just two goals, a consolation strike by Colchester and Iheanacho’s equaliser for City. To say understudy Kevin Wimmer has settled in seamlessly is an understatement. The Austrian is not as smooth in possession as Vertonghen but has looked totally at home in Pochettino’s ultra-mean backline.