Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele was the best player on the pitch as his side drew 0-0 against a Liverpool side buoyed by the appointment of new boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Belgium international arguably only started the game due to Eric Dier’s suspension and injuries ruling out last season’s number one midfield pairing of Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason.
With competition usually strong at White Hart Lane, speculation has arisen regarding Dembele’s future at the club, and some could argue that the playmaker is approaching the last-chance saloon.
Well, if the former Fulham man needed to make a statement of intent on the pitch, then he certainly achieved his goal as he stood out as Spurs’ most impressive performer by quite some distance.
|Touches||Accurate Passes||Take-ons||Tackles||Duel Winners||Interceptions||Ball Recoveries||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Dembele impressed in a number of key categories and proved a reliable shield for his defence against an energetic Liverpool side.
The 28-year-old contributed with 15 defensive duel winners, 10 ball recoveries, five interceptions and six tackles as he formed a solid partnership with former MK Dons youngster Dele Alli.
In possession, Dembele was reliable with 62 touches and 29 accurate passes and his ability to break through the midfield was evident, illustrated by his five successful take-ons.
In an entertaining game full of effort and endeavour, both teams ultimately cancelled each other out, with clear-cut chances few and far between, especially in a competitive second period.
Much of the praise has to go to the defensive shape of both teams, and Dembele in particular earned plenty of plaudits from his own supporters as Spurs fans acknowledged his efforts on Twitter.
Not a bad result all things considered. Thought Dembele played really well, & defensively Spurs look so much more solid than last year #thfc— Daniel Thomas (@mynameisdaniel) October 17, 2015
IF Dembele can maintain that kind of form he showed today on a consistent basis believe me Pochettino won't be letting him go anywhere #THFC— Ricky Sacks (@GlobalSpur) October 17, 2015
After today it should be Dembele and Dier in the middle next week to give Alli a rest! #THFC— John Hall ™ (@JohnHall1985) October 17, 2015