Neither Tottenham nor Liverpool sported their finest lineup or performance in this morning’s scoreless draw. Both teams had crucial pieces missing from their starting XI; Liverpool was missing Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke.
Tottenham felt the absence of Hueng-Min Son as well as Eric Dier. Moussa Dembele, after missing most of the season, stepped up in absence of Eric Dier and performed beyond expectation.
Dembele’s challenges were perfected timed as he recorded eight successful tackles. He often started up the offense by running up with the ball instead of a simple pass out of traffic. This works well for Spurs because they like to move up quickly as one in a quick-strike type offense.
This performance unquestionably reaffirmed his starting role for Spurs moving forward. Expect Dele Alli to come out next week as Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele would create a very physical and defensive unit in the holding midfield role.
Dembele completed 91% of his passes, five take-ons and won 75% of his tackles. In Dier’s absence, Dembele played a huge defensive role in the midfield making him the player of the game for Spurs.
Spurs defensive cohesion has been nothing short of spectacular and if Dembele and Dier becomes a regular occurrence, it will make scoring even tougher for opposing forwards.
However, the drawback of this potential unit is the lack of creative ball movement and speed. Injured Ryan Mason, and Nabil Bentaleb as well as Alli have some offensive prowess and have each had performances to make their case to Mauricio Pochettino.
Nacer Chadli picked up an ankle injury which brought Clinton Njie into the game. Njie struggled throughout the game and whether or not Chadli or Son is available will certainly impact their chances for a victory next weekend against Bournemouth.