Vertonghen v Kaboul: How the Spurs and Sunderland defenders compared

Taking a closer look at the performances of the Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland centre-backs this weekend.

It was a long time coming but this weekend Tottenham Hotspur finally got their first win of the new Premier League season.

While Harry Kane continued to struggle despite his recent international heroics, fellow England international Ryan Mason stepped up to score the only goal of the game against Sunderland with just eight minutes of normal-time remaining.

In a game of few chances both sides’ defences were on top for much of the encounter, with Sunderland mustering just two efforts on target and Tottenham recording four. But how did Spurs centre-back Jan Vertonghen compare with his former teammate in North London Younes Kaboul?

The Frenchman signed for Sunderland earlier this summer and this is one match he would have wanted to be particularly impressive in given his final couple of years at White Hart Lane.

  Passing AccuracyOutfield BlocksTackles WonEffective ClearancesEffective Headed ClearancesInterceptions WonDuels WonAerials WonMins Played
Jan Vertonghen 81% 0 1 6 2 3 3 1 90
Younes Kaboul 55% 3 2 4 2 3 10 6 90

Vertonghen’s passing accuracy was a cut above the Sunderland player’s, with the Belgian international managing 81 per cent passing accuracy compared with Kaboul’s woeful 55 per cent.

However, the recent Black Cats addition won a very impressive 10 duels and six aerial battles (compared with Vertonghen’s three and one) and had Kane in his pocket for much of the encounter.

Kaboul made three more outfield blocks than his former teammate, also outdoing him in terms of tackles and matching Vertonghen when it came to effective headed clearances and interceptions won.

For a time it looked as though Kaboul would earn a much-needed clean sheet for the hosts, but ultimately it was Vertonghen and his fellow Tottenham players who headed back to London with big smiles on their faces.

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