Analysing Victor Wanyama's man-of-the-match performance for Tottenham against Man City
Victor Wanyama played a pivotal role in keeping Manchester City out, as Spurs beat the Premier League leaders 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
An Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and a Dele Alli cool finish put Mauricio Pochettino’s team two-up, and his side should have grabbed a third when Erik Lamela missed a penalty.
Many of the Spurs side shone on their best performance of the season so far, including Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen, but the impact of Wanyama in a defensive midfield role was important in allowing the side to function so fluently.
Bfought to Spurs in the summer by his former manager, Wanyama has slotted into the defensive role following injuries to Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele. The impact has been rapid and has caused little disruption to the only side with an unbeaten record this season.
Spurs started with real intensity, with every player closing down City’s defence and not allowing them to play. Wanyama was able to sit in position and break up the play when City did advance.
His ability to win the ball back was evident when he dispossessed the City attack and brought the ball forward in an attack which saw Spurs score the first goal.
His pass rate was an exciting 81%, and put his side in excellent positions going forward. During the second half, when it could have been easier to sit back, he won the ball back and came forward before finding a team-mate in a better position, creating one of many opportunities.
His real impact however was in his ability to tackle. Five tackles won, and five fouls committed in order to break up a City attack that in recent times was causing chaos to most teams. He wasn’t as strong in the air, with only two aerial duels won, but he was incredibly strong in breaking up play and winning the ball back for his side.
With Spurs pressing at an incredibly high tempo, Wanyama could sit back and wait for City to come out. When they did he could quickly break up play, intercept or foul in order to stop City getting forward. It was a very clever performance from a man who looks set to make the position his own, for the very near future.