Tottenham vs. Norwich Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
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Andre Villas-Boas' changes to his side after the loss to Arsenal two weeks ago made an immediate difference.
Gylfi Sigurdsson—restored to the lineup with Nacer Chadli out injured—scored a goal on either side of half-time. AVB saw contributions from new signing Christian Eriksen, who started in an attacking lineup for the Spurs.
The former Ajax man caught everyone's eye after only 10 minutes with a superb winding run through the Norwich defense. His shot found its way to Roberto Soldado, with the Spaniard's back-heel unluckily coming back off the post.
Tottenham dominated possession thereafter without creating much in the way of chances when Eriksen made his influence count.
Rose on new signing Eriksen: 'When he gets the ball at his feet we all expect him to make something happen and he's a pleasure to watch'— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2013
Soldado controlled the ball neatly on the edge of the area, laying it off to his fellow summer recruit. Eriksen considered his options before spotting Sigurdsson's run from the left with a perfectly weighted through-pass.
The Iceland international calmly took it in stride and placed it past the helpless John Ruddy.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel threatened not long after, but Spurs continued to enjoy the better of possession. Their dominance in midfield was showing, with Andros Townsend and Danny Rose joining Eriksen and Sigurdsson in causing the Canaries problems going forward.
Gylfi: 'I thought we were really good in the first half, really compact and won the ball in their half' #THFC— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2013
Shortly after half-time Eriksen wasted possession for the first time all afternoon. He swiftly made up for it.
Entering the Norwich final third, he put the ball into the path of the on-running Paulinho. The central midfielder proceeded to swing a low ball across the six-yard box. Ruddy got his fingers on it but was unable to divert it away from the unmarked Sigurdsson, who notched his second of the afternoon.
Spurs continued to look dangerous down the flanks, while having some decent moments inside too—particularly a chance that fell to Townsend after Sebastien Bassong had initially given the ball away.
It was Norwich who next came closest to scoring. A Nathan Redmond shot found its way to van Wolfswinkel, but the Dutchman was a tad too ponderous, allowing his subsequent shot to be blocked by Rose.
The game petered out in the final 20 minutes as Spurs ran the clock down, with Norwich unable (and perhaps unwilling) to do much about it.
Tottenham's Star Men
Christian Eriksen will grab many of the headlines for his excellent debut, but two-goal hero Gylfi Sigurdsson deserves tremendous credit too.
Eriksen: 'I had my chances and there was a lot of space for me. I tried to use it in the best way I could. It was a really good performance'— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 14, 2013
As well as his brace, his movement and willingness to get into positive positions played a big part in Spurs' productivity in the final third. While Norwich is not in Arsenal's league, this was undoubtedly a big improvement from Spurs going forward.
Better Balance Between Dembele and Paulinho
Mousa Dembele enjoyed his brightest performance of the season so far. Both he and Paulinho won the overall midfield battle versus Bradley Johnson and Leroy Fer and showed a healthy balance as they did so.
Dembele benefited from starting from a deeper position and got many a Spurs involved in earnest. Moving ahead of him, Paulinho's intelligent running gave the team an extra threat beside their main offensive players (as shown with his assist for Sigurdsson's second).
Away-Day Blues for Norwich
Four points from Carrow Road but none yet away from home. Norwich are among the strongest home teams in the Premier League but have yet to find a satisfactory level on the road.
Tottenham Player Grades/Ratings (out of 10)
Hugo Lloris (6)
Kyle Walker (6)
Michael Dawson (6)
Jan Vertonghen (6.5)
Danny Rose (8)
Andros Townsend (7)
Mousa Dembele (7)
Gylfi Sigurdsson (8.5)
Christian Eriksen (8.5)
Roberto Soldado (6.5)
Lewis Holtby (6)
Erik Lamela (5.5)
Norwich Player Grades/Ratings
John Ruddy (7)
Steven Whittaker (5.5)
Sebastien Bassong (7)
Michael Turner (6.5)
Javier Garrido (5)
Robert Snodgrass (5.75)
Leroy Fer (6)
Bradley Johnson (4.5)
Nathan Redmond (6)
Ricky van Wolfswinkel (5)
Johan Elmander (5.5)
Jonny Howson (5.5)
Anthony Pilkington (6)
Alexander Tettey (5)
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