Three unanswered goals were enough for Tottenham to take the Round of 32 tie against Fiorentina by an aggregate score of 4-1. It was overall a hugely impressive performance from a side that looked a tad lackluster last week in their trip to Florence.
Most of their quality came down to an expertly worked pressing game that began deep in midfield and extended all the way up to right in front of Fiorentina’s goal.
That’s a style of football that coach Mauricio Pochettino has become known for, but few were expecting it to be so well represented in a competition that Tottenham likely considers to be secondary to their Premier League title push.
Let’s break down the team performance into the individual contributors and see who came out on top.
Hugo Lloris – 8.5
Tottenham’s indomitable Frenchman returned from a shoulder injury that kept him out over the last two matches and did almost all the things that he does so well. While Fiorentina never quite got the angle on goal to provoke a stunning save from Lloris, he showed once again why he’s the complement for Tottenham’s backline.
Ben Davies – 7.0
Though he might have been surprised to line up against Federico Bernardeschi – the scorer of Fiorentina’s only goal of this tie – on the left, the Welshman did well to contain the precious Italian while also moving forward in support of the attack when possible.
Kevin Wimmer – 8.0
Alongside Toby Alderweireld once again, Wimmer continued to look promising. Tottenham fans can be confident that Wimmer will continue to capably cover for Jan Vertonghen until the Belgian’s return at the end of March.
Toby Alderweireld – 8.5
Yet another wonderful display from Alderweireld here, one in which he continued to grow into the leadership role that was left vacant after Vertonghen’s injury. Even if Fiorentina rarely tested him, he showed character by staying in the game throughout.
Kieran Trippier – 8.0
Pochettino made the correct decision playing Trippier here. Though he remains defensively suspect, Fiorentina’s lack of protection on the flank meant that Trippier could move forward when Tottenham had possession.
Eric Dier – 9.0
In truth, Tottenham’s defensive effort was almost entirely done in the midfield. The press was unimpeachable, and Dier’s towering status in midfield was confirmed multiple times over with each successful interception and tackle.
Ryan Mason – 8.5
The 24-year-old scored his second goal of the season for Tottenham in the first half and likely should have had another late in the game. Otherwise he did everything he needed to do from the central midfield position.
Erik Lamela – 9.5
The Argentine had had plenty of time off lately while Heung-min Son has been given some minutes, and it showed. Though he’s had a great season overall, here he looked refresh and up for everything Fiorentina threw at him. His goal was scrappy but excellent all the same.
Dele Alli – 10.0
The 19-year-old continues to defy and exceed expectations. After a reckless incident in Florence last week, Alli was clearly determined to show that he is more than just a petulant child. He tracked down the ball where ever it was, and deserved a goal of his own.
Christian Eriksen – 8.5
Not quite as impressive as his two attacking midfield partners, Eriksen still looked composed and in control throughout this match. A couple of well-placed shots from distance could easily have been goals.
Nacer Chadli – 8.0
Given that it’s not his natural position and that he hasn’t played all that much since returning from injury, Chadli’s turn at striker over the past week has been surprisingly decent. He kept Fiorentina’s defenders busy even if he never looked like that big of a threat on goal.