Tottenham 1 Sheff Utd 0: Player ratings as Eric Dier impresses

Player ratings from White Hart Lane as Spurs take a narrow lead in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg

Tottenham

Michel Vorm Out quickly to smother early on when Flynn looked like breaking through, and calmly dealt with a tricky Vertonghen back pass ten minutes in; otherwise relatively untroubled. 6/10

Kyle Walker An early lapse of concentration gifted the ball to his old club in a threatening area, but as so often, was able to use his speed to dig his team out of trouble. Not the buccaneering presence going forward that he would have hoped to be until the later stages, after Spurs had scored. 7

Eric Dier (Man of the Match) Given another chance to impress at his preferred central position ahead of club captain Younes Kaboul, he was calm in defence and a nuisance from set pieces in attack. 8

Jan Vertonghen A loose pass four minutes in put his team in rather unnecessary danger, but otherwise he kept McNulty largely under wraps. 7

Ben Davies The Welshman struggled one-on-one against Campbell-Ryce in the first half, and could have cost his team as the interval approached after over-playing on the edge of the box. Tightened up second half. 6

Benjamin Stambouli Will be disappointed at the number of times the visitors played their way through the Spurs midfield in the first half, but did his job in preventing any real threat and grew as an attacking force before being replaced by Paulinho in the wake of Townsend’s goal. 6

Ryan Mason On his return from injury, started promisingly in both defence and attack before losing his way a little and dropping in influence as the game progressed. Substituted just after th hour. 6

Andros Townsend Seems to have definitively overtaken Aaron Lennon in his manager’s thoughts, and started to have more and more influence on the game as the game wore on. Really needs to learn not to shoot quite so often, though; except maybe from the penalty spot, from which he scored after 73 minutes. 8

Christian Eriksen More industrious than inventive as Sheffield United closed down the space in central areas, and became a little frustrated as a result. His set pieces were a mixed bag. 7

Harry Kane Taking up something of a free role behind Adebayor, Spurs’ man of the moment showed fine feet to set up a few reasonable chances, but was overall a little below his recent standards. 7

Emmanuel Adebayor Given the captaincy in his first Spurs start since early November, and looked to get involved from the early stages, albeit a little too much so to the extent of a booking for a hand-off on Scougall for which he could have seen red. Should have done better when put through by Eriksen ten minutes before half time. Substituted midway through the second half. 6

Substitutes

Mousa Dembele On for Mason just after the hour mark and immediately looked to push forward more than the Englishman had, which helped his team seize the momentum. 7

Roberto Soldado Replaced Adebayor in a double substitution with Dembele and eagerly pressurised the Sheffield United defence, before winning the vital penalty with some fine control which led to a handball from McEveley. 7

Paulinho N/A

Sheffield United

Mark Howard The boyhood Tottenham fan’s strong hands kept out a firm header from Dier midway through a first half in which he was otherwise not greatly tested. Will have been disappointed to see Townsend’s penalty burst through his hands, though. 6

Ryan Flynn Did not sacrifice his sense of adventure against his team’s illustrious opponents and was not greatly tested in defence, although he was given licence by Spurs’ lack of a natural left winger. 7

Chris Basham Came under minimal direct pressure in the first half as his team largely kept Spurs at arm’s length, and put his head in where it was needed in the second. 7

Jay McEveley Misjudged an eighth-minute corner to almost allow Kane in at the far post, but escaped punishment; he was then caught ball-watching to allow Adebayor in later on in the half, but again not to his team’s cost. Booked for a flying challenge on Townsend; and finally conceded a clear penalty for handball. Not his night. 4

Robert Harris Generally tight to Townsend and solid when Walker pushed forward; he was alert to cross-field balls and rangy with his forward passing. Started to struggle as Spurs turned up the heat in the second half, though. 6

Jamal Campbell-Ryce Very prominent in the opening stages, leading up to a fizzed cross-shot which could easily have seen his team take the lead after 22 minutes. Not quite as industrious tracking back, and faded in the second half. 6

Michael Doyle Supported the attack well to create an early shooting opportunity, but the ball was behind him and it skewed up and wide; and a shot three minutes into the second half fared little better. 6

Louis Reed The 17-year-old showed early positive intent, pushing forward in support of attacks and winning the ball high up the pitch to create the first half’s best chance for Scougall, but was not quite able to command the midfield – perhaps unsurprisingly. 6

Stefan Scougall Pounced on a loose ball in midfield to fashion a good chance for McNulty in the opening quarter of an hour, before flashing a shot wide after Reed won the ball back just outside the area. Substituted in the last few minutes. 6

Jamie Murphy Tried to take on Kyle Walker in an early foot race, which was never likely to end well, and struggled to get too much change out of the Spurs right back. Contributed well in defence, though. 7

Marc McNulty Showed excellent close control to hold the ball up and put his team in on a couple of occasions, but just a little short on incision. Replaced by Baxter late on. 6

Substitutes

Jose Baxter N/A

Kieran Wallace N/A

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