9 tackles, 1 assist: Who was real hero in Tottenham's weekend victory?

Nathan Baker and Ryan Mason

Ryan Mason impressed as Tottenham earned three points against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

In a hard-fought display, Tottenham's Player of the Season so far, Harry Kane, scored in either half to give the visitors a 2-1 victory against Queens Park Rangers. Former Spurs midfielder Sandro was able to pull a goal back for the hosts in the dying stages, but Kane's 15th and 16th of the domestic season proved enough to secure maximum points for the Lilywhites.

Despite the 21-year-old's heroics in front of goal, those who favour the more industrious player, will have highlighted his teammate, Ryan Mason, as the key man on Saturday afternoon. The English midfielder kept things ticking over in the middle and produced another decent display at the heart of Mauricio Pochettino's ever-improving Tottenham side.

Throughout a performance of real guile, the 23-year-old, who last season enjoyed a spell with Swindon Town, proved a major differential. Operating on the right side of central-midfield, alongside Nabil Bantaleb, and slightly deeper than Christian Eriksen, he impressed in both an attacking and defensive capacity.

  TeamTotal PassesPass Accuracy (%)Key PassesTotal ShotsShot Accuracy (%)TacklesInterceptionsClearancesMins Played
Ryan Mason Tottenham 43 86 1 1 100 7 1 3 90

His Premier League arrival will hardly see him remembered for his creative ability. However, he was able to set up his side's second at Loftus Road, with his through ball putting Kane, who subsequently rounded goalkeeper Robert Green, through on goal. This was his only key pass of the afternoon, and yet, his contribution was imperative to his side's victory.

Mason's ability to command the midfield is impressive and, in fact, it is hard to believe he was playing his football in League One last term. He fashioned a further attempt at goal himself, with which he hit the target, while he proved his comfortability in possession, completing 86.1% of his total attempted passes; the second best success rate of any Spurs player, behind Nacer Chadli (96.9%). 

While he stood out for the Lilywhites in the attacking zone, throughout a battling display his defensive contribution was highly commendable. Few can fault the 23-year-old's energy and desire to influence proceedings, as he won a match-best seven tackles, while weighing in with one interception and three clearances. 

Mason found himself the heart of most of Spurs' good work, playing intelligent, simple football while covering the ground and showing his willingness to battle for the club crest. Based on this performances, it is clear to see why he is valued so highly by the White Hart Lane faithful. 

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