Skipp and Sarr constructive for Spurs
Antonio Conte will remorse the defensive negligence that allowed Brahim Diaz to attain the winner for AC Milan on the San Siro, however there have been additionally positives to be taken from Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat. Firstly, Spurs stored the draw going into the second leg. And second, the performances of Pape Sarr and Oliver Skipp in his midfield.
Sarr had by no means entered the competitors earlier than. In truth, it was solely the 20-year-old’s sixth look for Spurs in any competitors. However with Skipp, himself a Champions League debutant at 22, he did not look misplaced.
Each males have been spurred into motion by circumstances, in fact, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suspended and Rodrigo Bentancur becoming a member of injured Yves Bissouma on the sidelines when he ruptured his ACL in Saturday’s 4-1 loss towards Leicester within the Premier League.
However towards a way more skilled midfield duo of Sandro Tonali and Rade Krunic, they competed effectively, utilizing the ball cleanly and, within the case of Sarr specifically, defending in a tabby vogue.
The Senegal worldwide had 5 tackles and regained possession 12 occasions, 4 greater than every other participant on the pitch.
“It is good to have the arrogance of the supervisor,” Skipp mentioned. BT Sports activities afterwards, earlier than Conte added, in his personal interview, the academy product and his younger teammate had ‘repaid’ that belief. “I am actually glad for each gamers,” added the Spurs boss.
At Hojbjerg, Conte is anticipated to have a minimum of one among his midfielders lacking for subsequent month’s return leg in north London, however Sarr and Skipp have proven they’ll ship when referred to as upon.
“Having this sort of efficiency from Skippy and Sarr makes me extra relaxed,” added Conte. “I do know I can belief them 100%.”
Leao dazzles on Milan’s return to CL knockouts
There was little or no to get enthusiastic about on the San Siro on Tuesday night time.
However AC Milan star striker Rafael Leao was the exception. Though he did not have a decisive influence on the encounter, the Portugal worldwide did handle to dazzle as Milan returned to the knockout phases of the Champions League after a nine-year absence.
Leao teased Tottenham together with his fast toes and confirmed precisely why he’s such a needed man. He accomplished the identical variety of dribbles (9) as all the opposite gamers on the pitch mixed. That is greater than any participant has achieved in a single Champions League recreation this season.
Despite the fact that he takes extra dangers than most, Leao barely loses the ball. Spurs solely managed to dispossess him twice as he tried a 12-dribble recreation, double the quantity of the subsequent closest participant. The ball appears to stay to his toes a lot to the chagrin of the opposing defenders, who don’t have any recourse however to cut it up.
Leao additionally makes use of his giant body to good impact in bodily battle. No participant received extra duels than him on Tuesday night time (13) as he stored Spurs’ weak protection on the again foot.
The turbulent tempo of Tuesday’s recreation could have led some neutrals to a Valentine’s Day different, however Leao is the sort of participant who may have you sticking round to look at simply in case. His unpredictability makes you are feeling like one thing particular can occur anytime he is on the pitch.
The one criticism that might be leveled at Leao on Tuesday night time was his reluctance to cross earlier. As quickly as he began delivering the ball into the Spurs field, Milan got two wonderful probabilities to increase their lead they usually most likely ought to have come away with an help.
Leao stays at an deadlock with the Italian champions over a contract extension together with his June 2024 deal. Premier League golf equipment will virtually actually come calling ought to these negotiations proceed this summer time.
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