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Dier’s defensive solidity and more: 3 things we learnt from Tottenham’s FA Cup loss to Norwich

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Three things we learned as Tottenham Hotspur suffer Krul blow

It was another night of misery at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium as Spurs once again threw away a lead to lose at home. Norwich City were the benefactors this time around as a Michel Vorm ensured that they took advantage of Tottenham’s inability to finish off matches.

Returning to captain the side, Jan Vertonghen led a rather solid vanguard as Jose Mourinho’s side put up one of their better defensive performances this season. The Belgian was equally effective at the other end as he opened the scoring courtesy of a Giovani Lo Celso freekick.

Although Norwich threatened after the break, Spurs weren’t overtly troubled until Josip Drmic bundled home after Vorm made a hash of Kenny McLean’s shot.

Gedson Fernandes Tottenham Hotspur

Gedson Fernandes missed the decisive spot-kick

Serge Aurier came close to win it late one before Gedson Fernandes spurned a good chance in extra time. With penalties to decide the winner, Only Eric Dier, and Lo Celso could keep their nerve while Tim Krul emerged the hero for Norwich City.

Tottenham now faces Burnley in a must-win clash before traveling to Leipzig as they aim to overthrow a 1-0 lead. We now take a look at three things we learned from the match.

1. Redemption in defence

Tottenham have failed to keep a clean sheet since the 2-0 victory over Manchester City on 2nd February. It was just one of Spurs’ two clean sheets in the last 19 matches in all competitions.

The defence has often been the Achilles heel preventing us from seeing games through. Tonight, however, was a different story as the inclusion of Eric Dier at centre-back makes the side appear much more solid at the back.

Eric Dier Tottenham Hotspur

Eric Dier performed well at center-back

Dier and Davinson Sanchez did not have a flawless game, but it was a much-improved performance over what has become the recent norm. Jan Vertonghen put in a performance that rolled back the years reminiscing fans of the defender in his prime. Surprisingly, even Serge Aurier looked more disciplined in defence as he was able to keep his natural attacking tendency in check.

Jose Mourinho’s side could have had a clean sheet had it not ben for Michel Vorm’s error. In spite of the result going against us, Mourinho for the first time could be looking at a defensive system that could work going into the end of the season.

2. All guts but no glory..yet

Troy Parrott came on for Dele Alli to loud cheers in the first half of extra time. It represented a rare occasion where an out and out striker played upfront since Harry Kane’s injury.

It was no fairytale but Parrott will sure have learned some hard lessons. The youngster showed the awareness to make a number of good runs only for the ball to not reach him.

Troy Parrott Tottenham Hotspur

Troy Parrott did not have a fairytale introduction

His natural awareness was a breath of fresh air as stand-ins up front have so far failed to perform with conviction. Parrott showed courage to step up to take the penalty. Although he missed it can prove to be a lesson to the 18-year-old about the unforgiving lessons of top-level football.

Parrott has a long and hopefully successful career ahead of him. Such lessons will hold him in good stead as he aims to take the next step in his career.

3.Skipp the answer in midfield

Oliver Skipp was a surprise inclusion in the midfield. The youngster, however, performed with intelligence and maturity that belied his lack of experience.

He proved to be an excellent foil to Harry Winks as the duo showed good understanding to provide decent protection to the back four. It was Skipp’s tackle to win back the ball that led to Spurs’ opener among a number of other chances. His assured performance also allowed Winks to get further high up the pitch, although without much effect.

Oliver Skipp

Oliver Skipp put in a mature performance alongside Harry Winks

More Tottenham Hotspur News

The 19-year-old is held in high regard at Tottenham and today he showed why. It remains to be seen how he will be used for the remainder of the season. Tottenham could have discovered another player on the cusp of making the grade here.

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