Tottenham Hotspur remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season after a 1-0 win over struggling Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
It was certainly not a vintage performance from the North London side and it took a piece of calamitous defending to break the deadlock, but the most important thing is the three points.
Harry Kane’s injury put a severe dampener on the celebrations, but here are three reasons for optimism after the victory.
A ray of Son shine
Son Heung-min put in another stellar performance down the Spurs left and was rightly awarded the man-of-the-match award.
Son Heung-Min vs. Sunderland:
7 attempts at goal
90% pass accuracy
5 chances created
— Spurs Stat Man (@SpursStatMan) September 18, 2016
The South Korean has returned this season like a man with a point to prove and looks set to be a vital player for Mauricio Pcohettino’s side.
Son’s versatility is an asset for the North London club and his current form make him as good as a new signing.
Dele moved further forward
Dele Alli is a wonderful talent and clearly good enough to play in a central midfield role if asked by Pochettino.
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) September 19, 2016
However, this ploy was part of the side’s downfall against Monaco and a deeper role is not right for the 20-year-old at his point in his career.
It was good to see Alli deployed in his much more suited number ten role and with Kane getting injured the England international will need to be at his best in the final third for the next while.
Tottenham are a different team with Mousa Dembele in it, simply because the Belgian maestro is a unique talent.
We are happy to have you back, @mousadembele!
— Tottenham Hotspur (@Spurs_India) September 20, 2016
The former Fulham deep-lying playmaker has an enviable blend of physicality, intelligence and technique – he runs the team’s possession play and is the funnel all things positive channel through.
Having Dembele back is critical to the side’s chances and despite the summer arrival of Victor Wanyama, the Belgian should always be in the team when available.