Tottenham Hotspur advanced into the knockout stages of the Europa League by topping Group J on Thursday evening, though there’s no time to celebrate as their attentions will now quickly turn to the Premier League this weekend.
Jose Mourinho’s side are also sitting on the throne in the English top-flight after 11 matches and are favourites to continue their impressive form when they head to Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
And one member of his much-changed starting XI has just given him plenty to ponder.
Giovani Lo Celso, a player that has taken very scathing criticism from his manager, delivered a masterclass as Spurs defeated Royal Antwerp 2-0.
Indeed, he was rewarded as the Man of the Match with an 8.9 rating by SofaScore.
Last month, Mourinho slammed the Argentine’s fitness, he told reporters via Sky Sports:
“I feel that when he plays he’s not the Gio that we know, not the Gio that we know that he can be an amazing player. But with the ball of course great criteria and he knows what he’s doing of course, and understands the way we want to play. But we need more intensity to be fitter, to be more intense and to be stronger in the transitions.”
Well, Thursday night may have been a delayed reaction to that as on top of scoring the match-winner, Lo Celso also had a squad-high 72 touches, won ten duels, made four key passes, pulled off six successful dribbles and even put in three tackles, via SofaScore.
It was certainly Lo Celso’s night.
In Europe, the former Betis star has delivered, already scoring four goals so it’s only fair he gets a crack against Palace this weekend.
Tanguy Ndombele’s return could see Lo Celso drop back to the bench, though we saw a glimpse of what life could be like when pairing the two together and when you throw in the stability of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, then it becomes a mouth-watering prospect.
The three have had the ability to run the show at Selhurst Park.
AND in other news, £25m Spurs ace with fewer touches than HART endured a night to FORGET…