The performance proved Spurs ARE capable of positive attacking football
For much of the game Tottenham played as they had in so many games this season, plenty of possession, but toothless when it comes to creating genuine scoring chances, and vulnerable at the back. The unrushed, overconfident approach their attacking moves often exhibit have ensured that they have failed to utilise the energy and pace within the team. For the last 15 minutes however, Spurs smelt blood, and really went for the throat of Benfica, scoring two and having 3 or 4 other decent chances. This is the kind of approach they need to adopt in all their fixtures, for as much of each game as they can, for they look a different outfit when they do.
Nabil Bentaleb had an impressive game
Often criticised recently, the young Algerian midfielder had an excellent game as the only central midfielder to play in his natural position. Pushing forward at times, and tracking back excellently as Danny Rose struggled against the superb Salvio on the right wing, Bentaleb showcased his talent as one of the most promising midfielders to have emerged from Spurs in recent years. The youth product looked every inch a first team player, despite being away to a top European team, and such performances earn him the right to continue to be in or around the starting lineup. Tottenham should be grateful they have a youngster of his calibre at the club.
One player who failed to banish his recent poor form however was Roberto Soldado. In his first start since his goal at home to Cardiff, Soldado again looked isolated up front and was guilty of wasting two outstanding chances to get Spurs on the scoresheet. Even more disconcerting for the Spaniard was the fact that Harry Kane made such a positive impact once he took to the field in Soldado's place, with the young Englishman dangerous both in the air and with the ball at his feet. Kane set up Chadli's second goal with an excellent knockdown, had his own chances, as well as a penalty shout, and the fact that his natural game is more similar to first choice frontman Emmanuel Adebayor's than Soldado's is makes him a more natural replacement.
Nacer Chadli, and other summer signings are good players - they just to be utilised better
Much has been made of Tottenham's failed summer signings, with many admittedly struggling to do the impossible and replace the departed Gareth Bale. But after Nacer Chadli's impressive showing in Lisbon, it leaves somewhat of a belief that at least some of these multi-million pound players have something to offer, and the key is finding the right way to help them become a success. The Belgian has been one of the most criticised individuals to have arrived, but playing just off the front man he displayed the power, pace and skill that continues to see him selected in a competitive Belgium midfield. Chadli, like Eriksen, Lamela, and Capoue, all need to find a place in this Spurs team, be given the chance to employ their strengths alongside those of the rest of the team, and this has been the fault of the two Tottenham managers so far this season.
If Sherwood can get his side playing as they did in the last 15 minutes, he may keep his job come the summer
If the match would have gone on 10 minutes longer, Sandro would have likely been more careful with his last minute challenge, and Tottenham would have almost certainly scored a third. The tempo they displayed in the last quarter of an hour is exactly what Spurs are capable of, what Liverpool have employed in many of their impressive recent victories, and the way forward for Tim Sherwood and co. It is the Blackburn Rovers legend's best chance of keeping his job, and the side's best hopes of being successful.