For the first 20 minutes of the match I thought Dier was average at best. Watford enjoyed entirely too much time on the ball in the middle of the pitch. Spurs were clearly missing Victor Wanyama’s presence in the starting XI.
Then, Dier really kicked on. He really grew into the match and started to close down the space of Watford’s attacking players. Again we got the opportunity to see the player who dominated Tottenham’s midfield last year.
We can’t overlook his excellent finish either. He was a bit fortunate to have the ball fall so kindly to him, but the goal was top-class. He gave Spurs a two goal cushion and the squad never looked back.
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Dembele certainly didn’t have a bad match, but it was pretty nondescript. Like Dier, he also struggled to control Watford’s attack early on. Then, he combined with Dier to entirely clamp down on the Hornets later in the match.
I always want to see Dembele do more moving forward, but at this point I have to accept he isn’t’ going to do that very often. Still, it’s a fair criticism of his game. That’s what weighs down Dembele’s player rating for this match.