A brace from Nacer Chadli and one goal apiece for Emmanuel Adebayor and Eric Dier ensured the Argentine coach’s home debut was quite the memorable occasion. While Redknapp’s Rangers were far from in fine shape—especially in a first-half that saw them devastated by the irrepressible Erik Lamela—the manner in which Spurs played in front of their home crowd at the first time of asking this season will have delighted everyone at the club.
It was a complete performance that resulted a third win in three games for manager Pochettino, who left Southampton to replace Tim Sherwood in north London this summer.
Spurs were organised and disciplined from the back and inventive and industrious from the midfield forward, a far cry from some of their performances last season, which often lacked consistency and the ability to finish teams off.
While Belgium international Chadli found the net twice, much of Spurs’ success on Sunday can be attributed to Pochettino’s compatriot Lamela.
The 22-year old Buenos Aires native’s problems last season, his first in England after joining from Roma in a deal valued over £25million, were well-documented. Yet, for whatever reason—a change in management personnel, a return to full fitness, simply just spending more time in England or a combination of the three—there are signs that Lamela is going to enjoy his second season in London much more—providing he stays fit.
He was Spurs’ foremost architect in the rout of QPR, most notably when his gliding run into the heart of the Hoops’ defence was rounded off by a perfectly weighted chipped cross for Chadli to head powerfully past Robert Green for Spurs’ third of the game.
He was one of the visitors’ most notable tormentors, even without his two assists, for his dribbling and confidence in rounding his opponents was clear throughout:
TAKE ONS: Eric Lamela has completed more take ons (6) than any other player involved so far. pic.twitter.com/ANhSBPQrRf— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 24, 2014
The Argentine’s supporting cast were also in full flow.
Chadli’s two goals made him one of the stars of the show—the first requiring exquisite control to chest the ball and poke it past Green to open the scoring. Togolese frontman Adebayor also shone, scoring one and creating another.
With full-back Kyle Naughton suspended, Pochettino was forced to rely on Danny Rose opposite Dier, who scored the only goal in Spurs' opening day win at Upton Park.
Rose did not disappoint, and the left-back shone opposite former Sporting Lisbon man Dier, contributing an assist while fending off QPR's attacking forays. Such was the complete shutdown imposed upon Redknapp’s side by the Spurs back four, Hugo Lloris only had to make one save all game.
With an excellent 90 per cent pass completion rate and 14 chances created, it was a dazzling, dominating Tottenham performance that brought the Lilywhites out from under the radar and well into the Premier League spotlight once more.
It can’t be denied that QPR were far from the competition they could have provided and that Redknapp, alongside another former Spurs manager in the dugout in Glenn Hoddle, will not have been impressed in the slightest by what was a lacklustre showing.
Yet for Tottenham to dominate a game so completely, at such an early point in the season under a new manager, is a massive contrast from last season, which saw numerous close-fought wins and only two by a four-goal margin.
Tougher tests lie in waiting. Tottenham host Liverpool on Sunday in what will be the sternest examination of Pochettino’s managerial talents since his arrival in north London, and the Reds will be out to claim victory to build upon their own successful start to the campaign.
Until then, Brendan Rodgers and Company will watch the tapes and see Lamela starring in this rejuvenated Tottenham side. You can wager that many a long night is ahead of the Northern Irishman as he attempts to devise scheme to stop the talented Argentine.
All stats courtesy of Squawka unless otherwise stated.
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