A Harry Kane masterclass helped Tottenham Hotspur seal a comfortable 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur have a firm grip in their Round of 16 tie in the UEFA Europa League following a convincing 2-0 over Dinamo Zagreb at home, on Thursday.
However, it was the away side who made a brisk start to the game, getting two excellent opportunities within the first minute of the game. Their end product, though, was borderline concerning, not only in early periods but throughout the course of the game. It was coupled with some diligent defending from the hosts that largely kept the Croats quiet from an attacking perspective.
As for Tottenham, Jose Mourinho’s decision to start with both Son Heung-min and Harry Kane paid off as the duo was key in helping team break down the Dinamo backline. Kane scored from the rebound of a brilliant effort from Erik Lamela, before pouncing on another such opportunity in the second half. effectively sealing the victory.
The win helps Spurs secure an important first leg advantage before the two sides meet again next week. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at how the Lilywhites’ performed in their comfortable 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
Hugo Lloris: 6/10
Hugo Lloris did not have much to do in a game where Tottenham restricted Dinamo Zagreb to just five shots on goal, with only two finding the target. As such, the goalkeeper managed to retain an easy clean sheet that should further lift his confidence ahead of the upcoming north London derby.
Serge Aurier: 7/10
Back into the starting lineup, Serge Aurier did not really influence the game as much as he would have liked. He did provide offensive support with his forays down the flanks, though. In addition, the right-back played a key role in the build-up to the second goal, even though he scuffed his cross.
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) March 11, 2021
Eric Dier: 7.5/10
Eric Dier had a solid game at the heart of the Tottenham backline. The experienced centre-back used his physicality to make it difficult for the opposing attackers to dominate the game. His passing was also top notch, with one of his cross-field balls in the second half notably catching the eye.
Davinson Sanchez: 7/10
Davinson Sanchez complemented Dier in central defence, with the duo managing to keep Dinamo largely quiet for the most part of the game. They were, however, a bit lucky to have the opposing attackers scuff most of their efforts on goal, including Ivanusec in the second half. A good performance from Sanchez nonetheless.
Ben Davies: 7/10
Ben Davies did npt provide much attacking support, as usual, as Tottenham continued with their right-sided overload. Defensively, Davies was not flawless, but did make some important tackles and interceptions to prevent the wingers from bombarding the Spurs backline. A solid performance yet again from the left-back.
Moussa Sissoko: 7.5/10
Moussa Sissoko was a vital cog in Tottenham’s second line of press. His urgency, tenacity and work-ethic were vital in hassling the Dinamo ball-carriers. While in possession, the Frenchman looked very comfortable in spreading the play, even going on to register a pass completion rate of 93% – one of the best on the pitch.
Tanguy Ndombele: 7.5/10
Tanguy Ndombele lacked sharpness in the early stages of the game, with one of his misplaced passes leading to an excellent opportunity for the away side. The midfielder did eventually settle into the game, notably providing an excellent cross-field pass to Aurier in the build-up to the second goal. Looked more combative than usual, but was taken off during the final stage of the game.
Erik Lamela: 7.5/10
Erik Lamela was another impressive performer for Tottenham in this fixture. The Argentine single-handedly contributed to the opening goal with his remarkable run and was extremely unlucky to not find the back of the net all by himself. Fortunately for his team, the rebound found Harry Kane lurking inside the box.
Erik Lamela has averaged a ball-roll once every 13.4 minutes in all competitions this season – more often than any other player in world football. pic.twitter.com/UKb2dPhTbf
— Spurs Stat Man (@SpursStatMan) March 11, 2021
Apart from the goal, Lamela looked like a threat for Dinamo with his box of trickery. The attacker also impressed with his tenacity and willingness to win back possession for his team.
Dele Alli: 6.5/10
In what was a marvellous opportunity to earn a more prominent role in the first-team, Dele Alli squandered it with another average performance in the no. 10 role. While it was not particularly a bad display as the playmaker was indeed involved in a lot of Spurs’ attacking play, it might not be enough to convince Mourinho from giving him the nod ahead of Giovani Lo Celso.
Son Heung-min: 7/10
Son Heung-min enjoyed yet another bright game in the final third. His link-up with Harry Kane was integral to Tottenham’s attacking game, with the duo often causing a threat for the Dinamo defenders. The South Korean international, though, may have preferred to be involved in the game a bit more and perhaps even score a goal considering how Tottenham dominated the game.
Harry Kane: 9/10
Kane was the undisputed Man of the Match in this victory for the Lilywhites as it was his attacking endeavours that helped his team secure a two-goal cushion in the first leg. The Englishman was alert to the opportunities in both instances, but it was his overall passing, link-up play and work-rate that gave Tottenham the upper hand throughout the course of the game. A true professional.
25 goals and counting this season for Harry Kane 🔥 pic.twitter.com/9R4BPF55wl
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 11, 2021
Gareth Bale: 6.5/10
Gareth Bale made an impact minutes after coming on, as his sumptuous cross led to an excellent opportunity for fellow substitute Steven Bergwijn. Did n0t do much afterwards, though.
Steven Bergwijn: 6/10
Bergwijn had an excellent opportunity to either score or assist minutes after coming on but it was not to be. A welcome appearance for the Dutchman nonetheless.
Lucas Moura: 5.5/10
Lucas Moura did not really make much of an impact after coming on for Son around the hour-mark.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 5/10
Replaced the tiring Ndombele to provide more energy in the middle of the park. Did pick up a yellow card, though.
Carlos Vinicius: N/A
A late replacement for Kane. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.