Tottenham 2-1 Middlesbrough: Tottenham Player Ratings
It was a game of two halves but in the end, Tottenham held on against a spirited Middlesbrough fightback.
The North London side had their Argentinian duo to thank as first-half goals by Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela propelled them to a 2-1 victory in the FA Cup third-round replay.
Having not won in four games, Tottenham started off with vigor and energy. Lamela and Lo Celso were heavily involved and were two of their best players n the night.
Lo Celso made sure Middlesbrough were punished early on when the Boro goalkeeper Tomas Mejias gave away the ball cheaply. The midfielder bore down on goal and finished smartly to put Spurs ahead.
Lamela extended his side’s lead to give his team a cushion going into the break. It could have been more had Japhet Tanganga, Lamela or Ryan Sessegnon taken their chances. Davinson Sanchez had a few nervy moments, but thankfully Boro weren’t able to take advantage of them.
Christian Eriksen forced a smart save from Mejias as he went close for Spurs’ third. Boro offered more of a challenge in the second half and halved the gap when George Saville scored in the 83rd minute.
It ensured a nervy closing for the Tottenham faithful. Thankfully our Argententian duo had done enough for the night. We next face Southampton if the FA Cup fourth round this month.
Here we take a look at how the players performed.
Tottenham Player Ratings
Paulo Gazzaniga (7.5/10)
Exuded calmness under pressure and was forced into a couple of smart saves at either end of the break. Could have done better for the goal.
Spurs would have been in serious trouble if not for the shotstopper.
Japhet Tanganga (7.5/10)
Plenty of positives after another mature performance by the youngster. Starting at right-back, he was mostly assured and dominant as he proved an attacking threat down the flank. Went close to his first Spurs goal only to see the effort flash across goal.
Davinson Sanchez (5/10)
Struggled against the Middlesbrough attack and was easily turned in the first half almost leading to a Boro goal. A sloppy performance by the defender who was responsible for Saville scoring in the second half.
Jan Vertonghen (7/10)
A better performance by the Belgian who has been out of form. Marshaled the defense well and was at hand to cover the mistakes of the people around him.
Ryan Sessegnon (7.5/10)
A promising display from the youngster. He combined his energy and pace with intelligence as he made smart runs down the left flank. Should have scored after a surging run into the box.
Eric Dier (6/10)
A solid if not unspectacular performance by the Englishman. He looked wobbly early on, but steadied himself as the game went on. Asserted himself in midfield and showed good strength as Boro rallied in the second half. Did not look happy when subbed off.
Harry Winks (6.5/10)
Tidy in possession and kept the ball rolling. An improved performance from the midfielder who looked assured with the ball. Made sure the ball was rotated about and helped link the defense to attack well.
Giovani Lo Celso (8/10)
A lively performance by the Argentine. Gave Tottenham the lead early on as he pounced on the keeper’s mistake. Made a number of darting runs and had an eye for a pass. A constant threat in the final third, the performance would have given him plenty of confidence.
Christian Eriksen (7/10)
Earnt boos and cheers from the crowd as he looks to be on his way out of the club. That did not prevent him from putting in a shift as he ran the game at points in the first half. Went close to getting a goal in the second half, but Mejias was equal to the task.
Erik Lamela (7/10)
Brought flashes of dynamism as the midfielder was heavily involved in the first half. Extended his side’s lead after he brilliantly weaved through the Boro backline. Pretty quiet after the goal.
Lucas Moura (7/10)
Put in a good shift as the makeshift striker. Made good use of his ability to run into spaces and caused the Boro defense problems. Could have scored in the first half but his finishing let him down. Came off for Son Heung-Min in the second half.
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Son Heung-Min (6/10)
Brought his side to life after coming on as Spurs threatened to finish off the tie. Couldn’t do much as Boro were in the ascendency after Saville gave them hope with a late goal.
Dele Ali (NA)
Came on late for the unhappy Eric Dier. Didn’t have much to do.