Pundit drools over Spurs' key midfield duo

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Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed a superb win at the weekend.

Jose Mourinho’s men faced Manchester City in north London at the beginning of a horror run of fixtures.

They will face Chelsea this weekend before the north London derby against Arsenal. Following that is a clash with Crystal Palace and then a game against Jurgen Klopp’s champions, Liverpool.

And they got off to the best possible start.

Goals from Son Heung-Min and Giovani Lo Celso handed Spurs an impressive 2-0 win over Pep Guardiola’s side.

They did not dominate the ball throughout the game, having just 34% possession, while they also had just four shots on goal; two of those were on target, and both ended up in the back of the net.

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Still, this was a display of clinical efficiency and defensive solidity and it has won plaudits from across the game.

And ex-Spurs right-back Alan Hutton believes that the performance was built around the discipline and effectiveness of both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Moussa Sissoko in midfield.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I thought tactically, they got it spot on. I mean not many people keep out City the way they did.

“Even just the two sitters, I don’t know if you noticed, the back-four and then Hojbjerg and Sissoko, whenever City were on they attack, they kind of dropped into positions where it was between the centre-half and the full-back where City like to get their attackers and play one-twos – they just nullified the space.

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“When you’ve got a striker like Harry Kane who can play up, who can sprint, can hold the ball up, bring others up into play, you’ve always got an opportunity. I thought just everyone in general, the full performance was spot on, everything went right for them.

“Defensively now, their very sound, but going forward, they’ve got threats everywhere and just at moment, it must be a great place to be.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Sissoko and Hojbjerg gave Spurs a solid base to build from.

Throughout the game, per WhoScored, Sissoko had a 100% tackle success rate, and made two clearances.

Hojbjerg, by comparison, had an impressive 94% pass success rate, won five of his nine attempted tackles, committed four fouls, and continually looked to recycle possession.

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For a team to be able to sit back and dominate on the counter-attack, they need discipline in defence and in midfield and both the midfielders managed to do that.

Without their contributions, Spurs almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to win the game.

They were central to Mourinho’s master plan, and they likely will be for the next two games too, when Spurs take on their two biggest London rivals.

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