Tottenham Hotspur were not at their best last night, looking good for a gritty point before Mario Balotelli came off of the bench to undo the hard work of Spurs shot stopper Hugo Lloris.
Spurs kept themselves in the game through goals from in form striker Harry Kane and midfielder Mousa Dembele.
Kane refused to be overawed and while he may grab some of the headline space, Dembele deserves a mention for the way he played.
He’s a very difficult midfielder for the opposition to get the better of when he’s in his best form.
He looks good playing slightly further forward because he can use his core strength and power to hold off players trying to get at him and tackle him and he’s also intelligent enough to keep his composure from an attacking sense.
He’s got a good pass on him and makes positive basic decisions in and around both the defence and attack, which suggest he can become the most complete midfielder for the side over the rest of the season.
The challenge for him is to keep his place in the side and to stay effective across all competitions.
Spurs still have a high ratio of games to play between now and the end of the season, including an important League Cup final and a vital Europa League campaign.
Arguably the most encouraging aspect of Dembele’s performance is that he’s stepping up and trying to take some of the pressure away from Kane as well as Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen.
The more players who can put a hand up and show the guts and responsibility to try and make a difference the better. It’s now a case of the side getting their heads down and working hard towards reacting positively to this result.
Here’s what Tottenham fans had to say on Twitter about the midfielder’s performance.
#Dembele what a player. Finally playing higher up the pitch and more license to drift past players— Shaun Charles (@ShaunCharles10) February 10, 2015
I'm certain he's not offside when the ball is played! #Dembele— Ginola #14 (@biblicaltito14) February 10, 2015
We didn't deserve the end result played really well I thought!! Dembele and Lamela were awesome aswell!! Pressed and harried! Rose tho!#yids— DJ WiZ (@Benjaminwiz1) February 10, 2015
Pochettino is a great manager... But his subs have lost him this game! Dembele has been awesome all game.— DAN!EL ✌️ (@DanielStLeger) February 10, 2015
Awesome to see Dembele back to form, played brilliantly sat and tonight #THFC— Matt Oliver (@mattoliver1980) February 10, 2015
Dembele is simply awesome when playing well!— Chris Shannon (@CPShannon) February 10, 2015
Moussa Dembele is an awesome player— Jabir (@jabz98) February 10, 2015