Tottenham Hotspur remain top of the Premier League.
Spurs headed into their last three fixtures knowing that it would be something of an acid test for manager Jose Mourinho and his squad.
However, they beat Manchester City 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and then drew 0-0 with Chelsea to maintain their position in first place in the table.
At the weekend, they then defeated Arsenal 2-0, thanks to a wonder goal from Son Heung-Min and a vicious strike from Harry Kane after a lightning quick counter-attack.
It leaves Spurs with 24 points from 11 games, so they are level with Liverpool in second, though they have a better goal difference, of 14 compared to nine.
One player who has been central to the run, perhaps surprisingly, is Serge Aurier.
The right-back endured a difficult start to the season and was on the bench against both Everton and Southampton and was then left out of the squad altogether against Newcastle United.
While he played and scored against Manchester United, and also played versus West Ham United, he was not in the squad for the clashes with Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion, and was on the bench against West Bromwich Albion.
Matt Doherty played when Aurier didn’t but against City, Chelsea, and Arsenal Aurier has played 270 minutes, with Spurs keeping three clean sheets.
The Ivory Coast international has a contract until 2022 but the former Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson has hailed his ability, and believes he could well be offered a new contract if he continues to prove his worth.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I criticised him last year and at the time I think rightly so.
“However, this season he has been outstanding. To come in and perform on the level he has after the signing of Doherty shows great attitude and application. He has taken it as a challenge and last night again he was outstanding. He deserves a lot of credit.
“It is unlike Tottenham to let a player that they want to keep get into the final 18 months of their contract without offering them a new deal.
“But I think slowly Aurier is winning the manager over with his performances.
“He was close to leaving in the summer but I think it is now one to watch.
“If they want to keep him he will be offered a new deal over the festive period, before the end of January. If not we will likely see him leave next summer to raise some much-needed funds.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Aurier has responded to the clear challenge set for him by Mourinho.
In the summer, it was clear that a new right-back was a priority and Doherty’s signing had a twofold effect: It increased the number of right-backs in the squad and also essentially told Aurier that he had to up his game.
He has done that, making zero mistakes throughout his time in the team in the last three games, against three of the biggest teams in the league.
With games against Crystal Palace and Liverpool looming, along with a Europa League tie against Royal Antwerp, one has to think that Doherty will play in Europe, with Aurier rested for the league.
2020 has been a crazy year, but this is right up there.News Now - Sport News