Despite Tottenham Hotspur crashing out of the Europa League at the round of 32 on Thursday night with a 2-0 second-leg defeat at Fiorentina, playmaker Christian Eriksen can hold his head up high after a spirited effort.
Tottenham travelled to Florence needing to score after last week’s 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane but were unable to find the breakthrough, with Roberto Soldado squandering a golden first-half chance to put his side ahead.
It came back to cost the visitors in the end, with Mario Gomez taking advantage of a mistake from Federico Fazio after the break to give the Italians the lead, before Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah sealed their place in the last-16 20 minutes from the end after a further blunder from Jan Vertonghen.
Nevertheless, despite the disappointing result, Eriksen was a clear bright spot for Spurs, trying his absolute hardest to create something for his side over the course of the 90 minutes, only to be let down by a lack of movement from his teammates.
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The Dane’s efforts were clear at the final whistle from the statistics, having recorded a match-leading five shots, three successful take-ons and 97 touches from the number 10 role, as well as 71 passes for an impressive 89 per cent completion rate.
After experiencing a fine run of form from late-November which saw him net four late winners in the Premier League, Eriksen’s top-flight production has dropped off a touch in recent weeks, having failed to find the back of the net or register an assist in his past five outings.
With Mauricio Pochettino clearly having one eye on Sunday’s Capital One Cup final last night after resting both Harry Kane and Ryan Mason, the Argentine will hope that his star man can break that drought at Wembley with a similar performance to his one in Italy, although hopefully with a better end result.