Two Goals In Two Mins: Did Spurs’ £7m Flop Finally Prove His Worth?

Left-midfield - Nacer Chadli:

Tottenham were knocked out of the Europa League last night by a strong Benfica side. They also ended their run of consecutive defeats by drawing in the Estadio da Luz.

Spurs fell 1-0 behind and looked likely to lose again and concede more but Tim Sherwood changed the system around with a couple of substitutions. Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane were thrown on in the second half and Spurs immediately scored twice in quick succession.

Nacer Chadli scored both of Tottenham’s goal. One was a piledriver, low into the corner from 25-yards out and the other was a quick swivel and a turn inside the penalty area, rifling the ball into the top corner.

It gave Spurs hope. The two quick goals meant they needed just one more to force extra-time which was quite inconceivable prior to kick-off given the form of both sides.

Chadli has had his critics this season – and rightfully so – but maybe, just maybe, he turned a corner last night. The winger was one of the club’s first summer signings last season in a busy transfer window for the club. He’s had to deal with poor form, inconsistent fitness, criticism, a new country and turmoil surrounding the club. His form was not really expected to be excellent, but still, a lot more has been expected from the Belgian.

Chadli was lively last night, as you can tell by his Heat Map. He was everywhere, it seems. Naturally a left winger, it was strange to see Chadli roaming the field to collect the ball. Has Sherwood figured out how to utilise his talents?

Nacer Chadli heat map

Chadli’s heat map vs Benfica

It was such a surprise to see as dominant a performance as this from the Belgian, who has so often gone missing this season. Last night as one of the biggest games of their season and Spurs were shackled with injuries, forcing a central midfielder and a young defender to occupy the central defensive positions.

On a huge night for the club, Chadli shone and dragged his team by the scruff of the neck, almost earning extra-time in Portugal.

He completed 86% of his passes – a fantastic 32/37 – which is almost unheard of for an attacking player – especially Chadli.

Nacer Chadli passes

Chadli’s pass map was impressive

Chadli also helped out off the ball, contesting 9 headed duels and winning five of them. He also entered five tackles but only came out on top in one of them. His performance also featured one clearances and one take-on.

If the Belgian can continue the form shown during Benfica for the rest of the season, his critics will slowly start to dissipate. It has been a tough season for him and everyone at Spurs but that performance last night showed what Chadli is capable of. It is down to him now to carry that on, starting at the weekend.

Related Teams:

Comments

Please consult these rules when commenting. These rules outline what is acceptable and unacceptable content on Squawka News. Note that these rules are subject to change at any time. Just like football.

See commenting rules
  1. Language

    Don't use swear words or profanity of any sort. Please refrain from insulting other users, everyone is entitled to their opinion and just because you shout the loudest, doesn't make you more correct or valid in your point of view. All insulting or offensive comments will be immediately removed.

  2. No libel or other abuse

    At no point should you be making comments which are:

    • defamatory, false or misleading;
    • insulting, threatening or abusive;
    • obscene or of a sexual nature;
    • offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

    We have an absolute zero tolerance policy on this. Football is the world's language.

  3. Report abuse

    If you see a comment not adhering to rules 1 & 2 please email info@squawka.com and this comment will be reviewed by a member of the Squawka editorial team.

  4. No third party promotion

    This comment section is here to let football fans talk about football, not to allow people to sell or push products. Any comment found peddling a third party will be immediately reviewed.

  5. No linking or copyright infringement

    You must not insert links to websites or submit content which would be an infringement of copyright.

  6. Play the game/Respect the game

    Please respect these rules when commenting on Squawka News; people will disagree from time to time but please try to see each other's point of view before getting all worked up, that helps no one.