Tottenham Hotspur’s defensive frailties last season were well documented - with their goals against tally of 53 proving to be the worst of the top 13 sides - but signs of change have appeared.
Spurs have been defensively sound for the most part this season. Manchester United were restricted to very few chances on the opening day, and got the win via an unfortunate Kyle Walker own goal.
The following week’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City saw a Spurs side in complete control for 70 minutes until Harry Kane’s exit brought about a late collapse.
And the subsequent 1-1 draw with Leicester City was a brought about by lapse in concentration after Dele Alli had given Spurs the lead.
Those four goals are all Spurs have conceded this season – a record bettered only by Manchester City – and the last three Premier League games have produced clean sheets.
A penalty in midweek gave Qarabag the lead but Spurs remained assured throughout, even with a re-jinked backline.
Eric Dier has been another key factor and his screening role in front of the defence has been played to perfection, giving his defenders the protection they sorely lacked last season.
Spurs are slowly growing into a team with an identity and cohesion and it’s the defensive foundation, which Pochettino has finally been able to create, that is allowing his young side to flourish.