How did Ryan Mason fare against Borussia Dortmund?

Nathan Baker and Ryan Mason

The 24-year-old Tottenham Hotspur midfielder dazzled according to several statistics, but do those figures reflect the reality?

Tottenham Hotspur bowed out of the Europa League on Thursday after losing 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund, who sealed a comprehensive 5-1 aggregate win to reach the quarter-finals.

For the second week in succession, manager Mauricio Pochettino illustrated where his real priorities lie this season by naming an under-strength starting XI devoid of several of his heavy hitters.

One of those apparent fringe players was midfielder Ryan Mason who, on the face of it, appeared to turn in a very accomplished performance on the night.

The 24-year-old seemed heavily involved, clocking 107 touches and managing a 93.6% passing accuracy - according to figures provided by WhoScored.com - but do the stats tell the full story? In a word, no. 

 

When Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring on 24 minutes, it meant that Spurs needed to score five goals in the remaining 66 minutes in order to progress.

 

With that in mind, it could be argued that it was almost inevitable for a Tottenham midfielder to see a lot of the ball, by virtue of the fact that the Germans elected to sit back and invite pressure from the hosts.

 

And despite registering 94 passes, not one of them created an opening for the players ahead of him, perhaps suggesting that the Englishman often elected to play the safe pass rather than the killer one.

 

He did complete all 12 of his long passes, but overall he did not appear to be the penetrative figure in midfield which several of his stats seem to suggest.

 

Mason, who also did not attempt a single through ball, failed to split the visitors' defence, but he did succeed in splitting opinion on Twitter afterwards

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