Martin Keown has told Match of the Day (broadcast on 22/2; 22:38) that Erik Lamela was the Tottenham Hotspur player to completely change the game after coming on during their defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.
Spurs were beaten 2-1 by the Blues at Stamford Bridge. It was a disappointing afternoon for Jose Mourinho’s men, who could have gone fourth with a win.
They were poor for much of the contest. Of course, they have been dealt a very tough hand after losing both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to injury. But they did not cope well without the pair at all.
They did hand themselves a late lifeline however. Lamela received the ball inside Chelsea’s box and his attempt to move the ball on led to an own goal from Antonio Rudiger. But Spurs could not find an equaliser.
Keown was critical of Tottenham’s performance. But he did suggest that he was impressed by what he saw from Lamela after he came on just after the hour-mark.
“When they made the changes, Dele Alli coming on, Lamela. I thought Lamela completely changed the game,” he told Match of the Day. “He played with conviction, expression. They got lucky, because they deserved that by getting players forward. Suddenly, they switched.”
Lamela has produced two superb performances from the bench this week. He was also excellent after coming on against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
And Mourinho will be hoping that he will soon be back to full fitness. The Argentinian looks ready to step up in Kane and Son’s absences.
And Mourinho will be hoping that some of his teammates follow suit as they look make the best of a bad situation.