PSV’s early goal at Wembley last night meant that the remainder of Tottenham’s Champions League salvage mission became more like a game of defence versus attack.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side responded reasonably well to going behind to Luuk de Jong’s header, but on the whole, the pace of their attacking play was easy enough for the visitors to deal with.
Lucas Moura was the notable exception. The Brazilian was nominally playing on the right flank but drifted around at will to influence proceedings.
Where Spurs’ build-up play was slow and their dribbling was predictable, the Brazilian who signed for £23m in January was the shining light.
He was the only player who looked capable of beating his man or making anything happen and he produced the moment of the first half when his mazy run perplexed the PSV backline and he was unlucky to be crowded out at the last minute.
Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to remove the Brazilian in his first change of the match was roundly – and rightly – booed by the Wembley crowd, which shows just what an influence he had on the match.
As many of Tottenham’s attacking options continue to splutter, Lucas looks right at the top of his game. Until their current fragility subsides, Spurs desperately need that to continue.