Tottenham Hotspur continued their recent upturn in form with a hard-fought win against Fulham on Thursday evening, with Tosin Adarabioyo’s first half own goal the difference between the two sides.
Although Jose Mourinho’s side were far from at their best at Craven Cottage, particularly in the second half, the Portuguese manager will no doubt be delighted with the resolute defending on display.
One man who particularly impressed on his return to the side was Welsh international Ben Davies.
The left-back came in for Sergio Reguilon in defence, and whilst he doesn’t offer the Spaniard’s attacking ability – Reguilon has averaged 0.7 key passes and dribbles per game this term, compared to his team-mate’s 0-4. and 0.2 respectively, as per WhoScored – he was very solid in defence throughout the 90 minutes, and was a big part of Spurs earning the three points.
As per SofaScore, the 27-year-old earned a solid 7.0 rating for his display, with only five Spurs players rated higher. During the 90 minutes in west London, the defender impressively won all three of his duels, resulting in a 100% success rate.
In the second half in particular, Fulham had the bulk of possession and sent a barrage of crosses into the box for their strikers, but Davies was regularly in the right place at the right time, as he made five clearances during the game.
In the top-flight so far this season, he has averaged 2.3 clearances per game, which emphasises that he was better than usual against Scott Parker’s side.
The left-back also effectively shackled the dangerous Ivan Cavaleiro, as during the 90 minutes he wasn’t dribbled past once, despite being left hung out to dry by Heung Min-Son on a number of occasions ahead of him, with the South Korean dribbled past five times in total, per SofaScore.
Davies has often found himself the scapegoat among some Spurs fans when things haven’t gone their way in recent seasons but he proved that he is still a solid option and can challenge Reguilon with this excellent display against Fulham.
You could argue that the defender, who reportedly earns £60,000 per week at the north London club, sent a message to Mourinho with his performance, that when Spurs need to dig deep and defend for the three points, then he may well be a better option than his more attack-minded Spanish teammate.
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