Tottenham Hotspur’s spotless start to the 2022/23 campaign came to a disappointing end on Tuesday evening, with Antonio Conte’s side succumbing to a 2-0 defeat to Sporting Lisbon in their second Champions League group stage fixture.
Despite creating two big chances and taking 12 shots – five of which hit the target – at Sporting’s goal, the usually reliable trifecta of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Richarlison all endured something of an evening to forget at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Meanwhile, another of Spurs’ typically solid trios – that of Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies – also had a stinker against their Portuguese opposition, with two last-gasp goals from Paulinho and Arthur Gomes seeing Lisbon take all three points.
However, despite the largely underwhelming collective performance of the Tottenham side on Tuesday evening, there was nevertheless one bright spark for Conte on the night – in the shape of left wing-back sensation, Ivan Perisic.
Indeed, the 33-year-old summer signing once again proved that, despite his advancing years, he is nonetheless one of Spurs’ most creative and hard-working players at present – turning in yet another display of the highest quality against Sporting.
Over the course of his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £17m-rated defender enjoyed 68 touches of the ball – the third-most of any Tottenham player – completed three of his four attempted dribbles, found his man with two of his nine attempted crosses and created one of his side’s two big chances – a first-half cross put on a plate for Richarlison, who headed at the goalkeeper.
The £178k-per-week wing-back also worked incredibly hard in a defensive capacity, making five tackles and winning 10 duels – at a success rate of 62.5% – with these returns seeing the Croat earn a SofaScore match rating of 7.5 – the best of any Spurs player.
Furthermore, Alasdair Gold also appeared impressed with the performance of Perisic, with the football.london journalist awarding the flanker an eight in his own player ratings – the highest aside from Hugo Lloris’ nine – as well as stating of his display:
“Crafted a couple of first-half chances for Richarlison and Emerson and further opportunities in the second half that should have been put away. An excellent creative outlet down the left for Spurs and used all of his experience for much of the match.”
As such, while Conte will undoubtedly be looking to put Tottenham’s first loss of the 2022/23 campaign behind him as quickly as possible, the performance of Perisic was undoubtedly one of the few positives in an otherwise disappointing Spurs display.