Lucas Moura’s delayed emergence as a star for Spurs has surprised many, as the former PSG man struggled to make an impact last term, but his performance against Inter Milan on Wednesday night should show Mauricio Pochettino that he is essential to the north London derby this weekend.
The Brazilian may not start the game against Arsenal on Saturday but he may well be the ace up Poch’s sleeve, his eye for a pass was on show against the Nerazzurri and his direct dribbling will surely cause problems for the Gunners.
Spurs kept their winning run and their Champions League knockout stage hopes alive as Christian Eriksen’s impact off the bench was felt as he netted the winner late on to come away with a 1-0 victory.
The Lilywhites dominated the opening stages, with Erik Lamela and Dele Alli trying their luck from range but to no avail – Moura himself could have put the hosts ahead on the half hour mark as he ran onto a Dele dummy but couldn’t beat Samir Handanovic.
Although this proved to be his only shot of the game, the 26-year-old was a key component in his side’s creation as he completed four key passes – his most to date this season – and three successful dribbles against one of the best defences in Europe, winning two fouls as his trickery baited the opposition into unlawful dispossession.
Hardly a passenger when his team are on the back foot either, the winger tracked back tirelessly and completed one tackle, and this work-rate will be key against Unai Emery’s side – they have pace to burn on the counter.
Heung-min Son replaced the right-footer on the 62nd minute mark and the South Korean may well start at Wembley this weekend after his demolition of Chelsea a week before, but it will be Moura who has a greater impact if he does indeed drop to the bench.
His ability to drop deep and help his team out in defence, combined with his electric pace and mesmerising skill, will be a huge asset for Spurs in the later stages as they look to soak up Arsenal pressure and counter at pace.
Playmaker FC’s Theo Ogden was at Wembley to witness Spurs’ dramatic second half comeback against PSV. Watch the drama unfold in the video below…