A third 1-0 defeat in four games for the Mags tonight, but one that’s tough to take, with Harry Kane’s fine second half strike being the difference despite us creating several chances.
Afterwatching the full 90, here’s some thoughts on each player’s performance and my marks out of 10.
NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – Gayle:
Dubravka – 7.5 – Another strong display from the Slovakian. Couldn’t do much about Kane’s superb finish, but was quick off his line and made a solid stop late on to keep it at 1-0. Didn’t have much to do but continues to look a calm and confident keeper. He looks the part and a real safe pair of hands.
Yedlin – 7 – Got forward well and combined with Ritchie effectively down our right-hand side from start to finish. Was a constant out-ball for Ritchie on the overlap and put some decent balls into the box.
Dummett – 6 – Was rarely troubled, but tracked runners down their right hand side pretty well to stop crosses. Didn’t give Kenedy enough support offensively and didn’t have a great deal of defending to do either, summing up how little Spurs got going as an attacking force really.
Diame – 8 – Another dominant display from Big Mo, who made his presence known from start to finish. Didn’t give Eriksen time on the ball and won back possession on countless occasions. Got stuck in, broke things up and also drove us forward on a few occasions to create openings in the final third. He cost about a tenth of Sissoko’s £30m fee, but looked twice the player, completely outshining the Frenchman in the middle of the park.
Shelvey – 9* – A perfect advert as to why he should be in Southgate’s squad for the World Cup this summer. He went off the boil against Everton and West Brom recently but was brilliant tonight after an improved display at Watford over the weekend. Showed a sublime range of passing and looked razor sharp, slipping several balls out wide and in behind. Wasn’t wasteful, was calm and composed in possession and very unlucky not to score, smashing a curled free kick off the post in the first half.
Ritchie – 6.5 – Put some decent balls into the box and was bright and busy on and off the ball. Combined well with Yedlin well down the right, finding him several times on the overlap. Looked sharp after being rested at Watford on Saturday.
Perez – 6 – He stretched the Spurs defence and made some good runs in behind, but, in typical Perez fashion, there were some frustrating moments too. He makes things happen and can be inventive at times, but he’s also one of the main culprits when it comes to us failing to capitalise on big openings in games. One of our more capable attackers, but his final ball remains very mixed.
Kenedy – 5 – Showed his quality in possession on the odd occasion in the first half but was quite quiet once again. Dragged a shot wide late on and ended up fading out the game. He gets stuck in so was no luxury to the team, but possibly needed a little more support from Dummett down our left.
Gayle – 4 – Yet another display where you couldn’t fault his effort, but his lack of confidence in the box and on the ball is there for all to see. Spurned a few decent chances in the first half and never really looked like troubling the Spurs defence despite some of Shelvey’s brilliant passes in behind. I feel for him, but a better striker in his place could’ve been the difference between winning and losing.
Murphy – Almost made an immediate impact, making a great run to burst past Sanchez and into the box, but he blazed his eventual shot over. Should have scored. He shows glimpses, but he’s still very raw and clearly lacking in confidence.
Joselu – Didn’t offer a great deal. He’s half decent in the air and held the ball up quite well, but never founds himself in any dangerous attacking positions. He’s a striker, but he’s not the player you want coming on when you’re chasing a game..