Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 4-2 defeat against Barcelona at Wembley on Wednesday evening and their defeat raised fresh questions about their ability to compete at the highest level.
There is absolutely no shame in being beaten by a team of Barcelona’s calibre and the Spurs supporters will not be overly concerned by the result, but the manner in which they were outclassed suggests that the club have failed to progres since they defeated Real Madrid at Wembley last season.
However, there were still a handful of positives for Tottenham to take from the defeat and BT pundit Owen Hargreaves was eager to single out one player for special praise following another exemplary performance.
Indeed, on BT’s UCL highlights show: Episode 4, Hargreaves stated: “Lamela has been good since he came back from injury. He’s played really well. He played well against Inter.”
Lamela provided a moment of inspiration against Barcelona by scoring Tottenham’s second of the night to temporarily give the supporters hope of completing a sensational comeback, but in the end the visitors simply had too much quality at the other end and Messi clinically put the game to bed in the 90th minute after Spurs had threatened to clinch an equaliser.
Tottenham’s defeat certainly dampened the mood and supporters will be feeling pessimistic about their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition with their side already 6 points adrift of both Barcelona and Inter Milan.
But Lamela’s form so far this season has been a notable plus point to note, and Hargreaves was absolutely right in his assessment of the 23-cap Argentina international.
A relentless and determined work-horse by nature, Lamela has slowly grown in stature since arriving in north London back in 2013, and his importance to the club cannot be understated.
Lamela is intelligent with his decision-making; he knows when to run directly at his opponent or attempt an incisive through ball and he also knows when to play it simple and, combined with his work-rate, his presence in midfield provides Tottenham with a perfect blend of creativity in the final-third and solidity without the ball.
Pochettino handed Lamela only his third start of the season against Barcelona and he is yet to make the starting line-up in the Premier League, but if he continues to emulate the level he has shown in the Champions League this season there is no doubt he will become an integral first-team player in Tottenham’s bid to reach the top-four.
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