Opinion

Ben Davies was Tottenham’s unsung hero in victory over Burnley

Ben Davies was Tottenham’s unsung hero in victory over Burnley

Tottenham supporters have been mightily relieved in recent times after seeing their side leave it late to record a 13th Premier League win of the season on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their encounter with struggling Burnley off the back of drawing 1-1 with Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek, in turn booking their place in the knockout stages of the competition. Yet Spurs were made to work extremely hard for all three points against Sean Dyche’s Clarets on Saturday, with it needing a last-gasp strike from Christian Eriksen to seal a 1-0 success for the North Londoners, a result which keeps them third in the Premier League table.

Thus, there have been many delighted Tottenham fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been heaping praise on match-winner Eriksen for coming off the bench to inspire his side to victory.

The Denmark international hadn’t scored in the Premier League prior to his vital contribution on Saturday, although his tally of six assists underlined just how integral he remains to Pochettino’s side, as evidenced once again by making the difference at Wembley this weekend.

Yet it was far from plain sailing for the hosts against Dyche’s side, with it needing an outstanding effort from defender Ben Davies, deputising at centre back, to help Tottenham to all three points.

Spurs have been suffering something of a crisis in the centre of defence recently given an injury to Davinson Sanchez, illness to Eric Dier, and suspension to Jan Vertonghen, leaving Pochettino having to select natural left back Davies to partner Toby Alderweireld in the heart of his backline on Saturday.

Yes, Davies is no stranger to playing centre back having done so in a back three for Wales, but in a two he is much more of a rookie – yet he didn’t look anything of the sort against a robust and physical Burnley side on Saturday.

The Welshman, capped 41 times by his country over the years, touched the ball more often (119) than any other player on the pitch on Saturday to underline his composure with the ball at his feet (as per WhoScored), which was further exemplified by his healthy pass success rate of 88%.

And while it’s pretty clear just how calm the 25-year-old was on the ball, questions were always likely to be asked off it by the visitors, only for the former Swansea City man to answer almost all of them over the course of the 90 minutes.

Davies won a staggering nine aerial duels over the course of the 90 minutes to help negate that particular threat from the Clarets, while his tally of three clearances suggested that he was often in the right place at the right time to help Spurs relieve some pressure.

Add in two interceptions and two blocks, and Davies quite literally got in front of a great deal that Burnley threw at Pochettino’s side – he certainly didn’t look like a makeshift centre back on Saturday.

So while Eriksen will earn many of the plaudits for producing the goods late on against the Clarets, 25-year-old Davies was the real hero in Spurs’ last-gasp win on Saturday.

Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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